Everton vs Chelsea
It’s seven games and more than two months since Everton last won at home.
In that time, they have drawn three games, including the recent Merseyside derby, and lost four.
The Toffees have also won only one of the last 10 Premier League encounters (drawn three, lost six).
Boss Marco Silva hardly needs any us pundit to tell him that is not good enough for a club of Everton’s stature.
A win against the 2017 champions, though, would go some way to lifting spirits amid the Goodison Park gloom.
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So Premier League 2019 news does not make great reading for the Merseysiders.
Everton have lost four of their last six league games, have not beaten one of the established top-six sides in the league since January 2017 – drawing seven and losing 18 – and have failed to score any of their last five league matches against Chelsea.
The good news for home fans is surely this has to change?
Silva will also demand a reaction after they let slip a two goal lead at Newcastle last time out – a defeat which angered the Portuguese manager who confronted the official Lee Mason at the full-time whistle, for which he has been subsequently charged by the Football Association.
Although he is likely to select him for his 100th Premier League appearance, Silva will also expect more from his goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after his erratic showing in that game attracted intense media scrutiny and prompted England boss Gareth Southgate to jump to his defence.
Pickford was fortunate to escape a red card for conceding a penalty, which he then saved, parried a long range shot which led to Newcastle’s equaliser and appeared to be distracted by abuse from the home fans who took delight in baiting the former Sunderland keeper.
There will likely be a reunion at Goodison Park.
The talented Kurt Zouma, who was prevented from fulfilling his potential at Stamford Bridge due to injury, is ineligible against his parent club but Ross Barkley will come up against his boyhood club – where he spent 14 years of his life – for the first time at the place he called ‘home’.
Seamus Coleman is set to return after illness and Leighton Baines is in contention after a back issue but Phil Jagielka is an injury doubt.
Everton drew 0-0 with Chelsea in the reverse fixture
For Chelsea, Gonzalo Higuain could be available again after missing the midweek Europa League trip to Dynamo Kiev with illness.
The likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, and Eden Hazard, who were rested for that match, are set to return.
Hazard has been directly involved in 24 of Chelsea’s 50 Premier League goals this season (13 goals, 11 assists), the highest ratio in the division.
Despite coming under recent criticism, the team has 57 points after 29 Premier League matches, four more than they had at this stage of last season under Antonio Conte.
They have also had spells of misfortune, hitting the woodwork 19 times, more than any other side in the top flight.
Indeed, Marcos Alonso and Willian have both hit the woodwork six times each.
Before you consider the Premier League 2019 betting odds, however, just think of a few more pointers.
Chelsea may have won three of their last five league matches but they have lost three of their last four away games in the Premier League, conceding 12 goals along the way, and have kept only one clean sheet in their last nine away league matches, in a 1-0 triumph at Crystal Palace in late December.
Moreover, some players will have had little time to recover from their trip midweek European exertions.
Time for Everton to make amends?
The past two league meetings have ended 0-0, including in November when Everton put up a really spirited resistance at Stamford Bridge. Only four fixtures in Premier League history have finished goalless in three consecutive games.
Overall, Chelsea have a total of 72 victories compared to 54 Everton wins and 54 draws.
||Everton vs Chelsea
||1X2 draw @ 3.35
|March 18, 00:30(GMT+8)
Chelsea start as firm favourites, priced 1X2 @ 1.97 with Everton adrift @ 3.85.
If another tight, low scoring affair is expected, you can get odds on under 2.25 goals @ 2.21, total goal 0-1 @ 3.40, total goal 2-3 @ 1.95 and correct score 0-0 @ 10.00.
The Double Chance Everton or Draw @ 1.77 certainly appeals to me, as does Asian Handicap Everton +0.25 @ 2.28 or Asian Handicap Chelsea -0.75 @ 2.29.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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