Chelsea vs Everton 02/22/2014 Free Premier League Soccer Pick and Preview
Chelsea (17-6-3) Everton (12-9-4)
Saturday 22nd February 2014 12:45(GMT)
The Line: Chelsea 4/7 Draw 11/4 Everton 5/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: BT Sport, NBC Sport, Direct Tv
Jose Mourhino's teams simply do not lose at home in league games. Chelsea will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of the league table with a win at home in Stamford Bridge against a top six opponent. Mourhino and Chelsea will know that Everton are no push overs and have only lost on four occasions this term. With Eden Hazard in spectacular form it will be down to the young Belgian to inspire the blues to victory as Chelsea's strikers Eto, Torres and Ba have been pretty mundane to this point of the season. I expect Oscar, Hazard and Ramires to be the inspiration in midfield playing behind probably Eto. But with Chelsea travelling to Galatasaray midweek in the Champions League dont be surprised if Mourhino plays some of his second teamers here.
Everton have proven themselves tough to beat all season, the toffees have only lost four games all season and two of those losses have come in the last three games as they lost away to Liverpool and Spurs. With on loan striker Romelu Lukaku unavailable to play against his parent club (lukaku is on loan to Everton from Chelsea) Roberto Martinez will turn to Naismith and Mirallas to lead the line up front. There is lots of talent in this Everton side but its good season thus far is heavily reliant on their solid defence.
I dont love this game as I think Everton have regressed in recent weeks and the fact that their star striker Lukaku is unavailable really hurts the toffees chance of coming away from this one with something. I do think that Martinez will set up his team to be tough to break down though and with Barry, McCarthy, Coleman, Baines, Distin and Jagielka there is a solid enough core to cause Chelsea some real problems. I am taking the draw at halftime here as I think Everton will frustrate Chelsea for at least an hour before finally succumbing to the home team. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo