Chelsea will travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton on Sunday as they look to strengthen their chances of qualifying in the top four of the Premier League.
Chelsea sits sixth in the league table, just one point behind fifth-placed Manchester United. Arsenal are fourth, and they are three points above Chelsea. The Blues have a game in hand over these two sides, as they will not play in the Premier League this weekend due to the FA Cup.
A win against Everton would take them level on points with Arsenal with eight fixtures to go. The three sides along with Tottenham are in a tight race for Champions League qualification, and three points will be a massive boost for Sarri. They dropped points in their last Premier League outing, as they drew 1-1 against Wolves at Stamford Bridge.
The Europa League is also a route to next season’s Champions League for Chelsea. They will play Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals, and will be hoping to win the game with a good margin. Chelsea were in total disarray just some weeks ago, but they have got their season back on track somewhat now. They won 5-0 against Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday, as Olivier Giroud netted a hat-trick. Even though Dynamo is a relatively inferior side, that win must have boosted the confidence.
Everton’s campaign started brightly, but it has petered out in recent months. Marco Silva was handed the responsibility of taking the club to the brink of challenging the ‘top 6’, but he has failed to deliver on that. The Toffees are in the bottom half of the table, and seven points behind Wolves who are in seventh place.
Last week they blew a 2-0 lead to lose against Newcastle, conceding three goals in the space of half an hour. He confronted referee Lee Mason after the game, and now faces a touchline ban in the Premier League. Silva has taken just 15 points out of the last 51 available, and the pressure is mounting on him. Their last home match was a 0-0 draw against Liverpool, and the Portuguese will want a similar performance against Chelsea.
Everton vs Chelsea Match Preview
Gonzalo Higuain could miss the game, as he did not travel to Kiev due to illness. Aside from him, Sarri has a full-strength squad at his disposal, and he had the luxury of resting some players on Thursday. Kurt Zouma won’t play for Everton, as he cannot face his parent club. Seamus Coleman should recover from illness to make the lineup. Meanwhile, Silva has a decision to make in midfield as the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Andre Gomes, and Idrissa Gueye are vying for places.
Everton will look to strangle the Chelsea attack, and the away side should dominate the possession. It could turn out to be a tense game, without many clear-cut chances for either side. Eden Hazard would like to break his scoring duck at Goodison Park, and Chelsea should nick the game by a close margin.
Everton vs Chelsea Preview and Bet Tips: Chelsea to win @ 1.96 at Pinnacle Sports