Chelsea vs Everton – Premier League preview and team news

Chelsea will be looking to win for the fourth time in five Premier League games and maintain a convincing lead at the top by seeing off Everton, who have not won at Stamford Bridge for over 20 years.

The home side were not at their absolute best on Saturday at Aston Villa, but still performed sufficiently well to take all three points thanks to an exquisite volley from Branislav Ivanovic. To make matters even better, Manchester City’s draw saw them move seven points clear in the title race.

Even with 14 games still to go, it is hard to see the Blues relinquishing such a big lead, particularly with City struggling for form at present. Even so, manager Jose Mourinho will not allow any room for complacency, and he would love an attacking performance such as the one which saw them score six in the reverse fixture in August.

Securing two clean sheets is a major boost for an Everton side that has often struggled defensively this term, and manager Roberto Martinez seems to have sacrificed some of his attacking impetus in order to be tighter at the back, with Saturday’s Merseyside derby very much a rearguard action.

They limited Liverpool to very few clear chances, but on the other side of the coin the Toffees mustered just one effort on target as Seamus Coleman came close late on. Aaron Lennon came off the bench to make his debut in that game, and his pace on the counter-attack could be a defining factor here.

Diego Costa completes his three-match ban for Chelsea, who are also without Filipe Luis. Despite that, they are hopeful over a return for Cesc Fabregas.

Everton could have Leighton Baines back after injury, but are still without Tim Howard, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar. Aiden McGeady is also likely to be sidelined.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Chelsea v Everton

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