It’s Premier League match time when champions Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 4.
Everton are coming off a demoralising 4-1 defeat at home to West Brom in match week 15. barring Cahill and to an extent Pienaar, the other players were virtually absent on what can only be termed an off-day for the Toffees. Moyes’ charges came into this game hoping to break a run of winless games that got extended to six on the trot with this loss. As a result, Everton are hovering close to the relegation mine, and the away game against Chelsea couldn’t have come at a more inappropriate time.
Arteta got sent off after attempting to stamp on West Brom’s Jara, but it would be a travesty against the Baggies to suggest that they won because of the send-off. Di Matteo’s squad were the better side on the day and they had the wherewithal to exploit the opportunity after catching Everton on their off-day.
Chelsea were involved in a 1-1 stalemate away at St James’s Park against Newcastle. And with the failure to bank full points in the match, Chelsea conceded the Premiership lead to Manchester United.
Chelsea have banked just four points from their last five games and that is the story of the declining champions who began the season on a high note. the game began on a false not when a defensive error from Alex gave Newcastle a sixth minute lead.
To their credit, Ancelotti’s squad hit back with several attacks on the Magpies’ goal, and they were made to work hard by a compact Newcastle backline and midfield. And on the break, their efforts paid dividend when Salomon Kalou scored a well-crafted goal.
The second half was a tale of missed opportunities by Kalou and Drogba, as Newcastle hung on, and even tested the Chelsea goal on a couple of occasions.
Head to head, in 22 league matches between the sides, Everton have an overwhelming 13-1 advantage over the Toffees, with 8 games ending without result. Interestingly, that solitary loss came when Chelsea travelled to Goodison Park in February this year.
A wounded Chelsea have a point or two to prove and a dispirited Everton could provide fodder at Stamford Bridge
The following men comprised Chelsea’s starting eleven against Newcastle: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Malouda, Anelka, Drogba and Kalou, with the following substitutes: Turnbull, Ferreira, Sturridge, Van Aanholt, Bruma, Kakuta and McEachran.
Everton had the following players in their starting eleven against West Brom: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Cahill, Heitinga, Arteta, Yakubu and Anichebe. The substitutes were Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Saha, Beckford, Coleman, Rodwell and Baxter.