Everton vs Chelsea Preview: Blues target top four spot
Photo: Getty Images - Tony McArdle

Everton vs Chelsea Preview: Blues target top four spot

It's Silva vs Sarri in Sunday's all blue clash.

Dominic Scott-Bone

This Sunday sees Chelsea travel to Goodison Park in the Premier League.

With a game in hand, a win for the Blues could see them move up to fifth place and level on points with fourth positioned London rivals Arsenal.

Everton have had a disappointing season by all accounts and will be looking to catch up with Wolves for that 7th spot which sees them into the Europa League qualifiers.

Last time out

Eden Hazard saved Maurizio Sarri's men at the very death against Wolves last week.

The Blues didn’t capitalise on their superior possession and were caught out by Raul Jimenez midway through the second-half.

Chelsea’s star man earned what could be a vital point in the race for Champions League qualification, with a terrific solo goal.

Since then, the Blues thrashed Dynamo Kiev 5-0 and progressed to the quarter-final stage of the Europa League.

For Everton, it was an afternoon to forget at St James’ Park last time around.

Marco Silva’s outfit were unable to hold onto their two-goal lead in the first-half and were completely outplayed by Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle in the second period.

Two goals from Ayoze Perez and one from Salomon Rondon secured all three points for the Magpies. 

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Team news

Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines are in contention to return to the Toffees’ squad.

A back injury has kept Baines out since the beginning of February and Coleman suffered from an illness before the Newcastle fixture.

Phil Jagielka is unlikely to return until after the upcoming international break and fellow central defender Kurt Zouma is unavailable to face his parent club.

Elsewhere for Chelsea, Gonzalo Higuain did not travel to Ukraine but looks to start after recovering from illness, even after Olivier Giroud’s hat-trick heroism in Europe.

After fielding a weakened line-up in Kiev, normal service is set to be resumed with David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Eden Hazard and Jorginho starting for Sarri.

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Previous meeting

Everton held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture.

The Blues were unable to capitalise on their chances in this scrappy encounter, as Jordan Pickford, the goal frame and the offside flag intervened, but the result did set a new Premier League record.

In his start to Premier League management, Sarri surpassed Frank Clark's 11 game unbeaten run with Nottingham Forest in the 1994/95 season.

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Predicted Line-ups

Everton XI: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Digne, Baines; Schneiderlin, Gueye; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin.

Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard.