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Premier League

  • 11 February 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Jones
  • • Attendance: 33924
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Everton - Chelsea Preview: David Moyes hoping for more good home form as he leads the Toffees against the Blues for the 30th time

The Merseysiders have proved a tough side to beat at home in recent years but Andre Villas-Boas will hope to overcome this as his side look to cement their Champions League spot


PROBABLE LINE-UPS
EVERTON

Howard
Hibbert, Heitinga, Distin, Baines
Pienaar, Fellaini, Neville, Gibson, Donovan
Jelavic
CHELSEA

Cech
Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole
Essien, Meireles, Lampard
Sturridge, Torres, Mata

Sylvain Distin is expected to continue his return to fitness after playing last time out against Wigan and could partner Johnny Heitinga at the back with Phil Jagielka still injured.

Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman are still missing from the Toffees' midfield but David Moyes has real options up front with new man Nikica Jelavic likely to make his first Premier League start with recent super-sub Victor Anichebe set to continue from the bench.

Andre Villas-Boas may well be without captain John Terry again, after yet another controversial week for the 31-year-old, thanks to a knee problem. Ramires is also missing through injury while Didier Drogba is still at the Africa Cup of Nations so Fernando Torres will again start as he looks to break his recent goal drought.

Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel have returned to training this week following injuries and the England midfielder, who is Chelsea's top scorer this season, could make his return to the first-team. Ashley Cole also returns at left-back following suspension.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Chelsea have not won a Premier League game at Goodison Park since April 2008 when a Michael Essien strike helped the Blues to a 1-0 victory.
  • The fixture will be David Moyes' 30th game against Chelsea as Everton manager, he has faced the Blues more times than any other side as the Toffees' boss.
  • Leighton Baines is in line to make his 100th consecutive appearance for Everton in all competitions.

  • At least one goal can be expected as the home side have not been involved in a scoreless draw in the League in their last 45 games since a 0-0 with Wigan in December 2010.

  • Chelsea have won both games between the two sides this season, a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in October preceded an extra time win for the Blues in the Carling Cup with Daniel Sturridge hitting a 116th minute winner.
  • The west London Blues just hold the edge historically over their Merseyside rivals, with 51 League wins comparing to Everton's 47 triumphs, another 47 games between the two have been drawn.
  • Fernando Torres (pictured) continues his search for a return to goalscoring ways. The Spaniard hasn't netted in his last 18 games since grabbing a brace against Genk in mid-October, he has still scored more goals against Chelsea in his career than for the Blues.
  • Chelsea have stuttered away from home in the League recently, drawing four and winning just one of their last five games on the road.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
24Tim HowardGoalkeeper
3Leighton BainesDefender
5John HeitingaDefender
15Sylvain DistinDefender
4Darron GibsonMidfielder
17Tim CahillMidfielder
18Phil NevilleDefender
22Steven PienaarMidfielder
25Marouane FellainiMidfielder
10Landon DonovanStriker
11Denis StracqualursiStriker
1Jan MuchaGoalkeeper
2Tony HibbertDefender
34Shane DuffyDefender
10Royston DrentheMidfielder
20Ross BarkleyMidfielder
19Magaye GueyeStriker
27Apostolos VelliosStriker
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
3Ashley ColeDefender
23David LuizDefender
3José BosingwaDefender
-Michael EssienMidfielder
8Frank LampardMidfielder
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
8Juan MataStriker
15Daniel SturridgeStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
20Paulo FerreiraDefender
24Gary CahillDefender
23Ryan BertrandDefender
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
15Florent MaloudaMidfielder
18Romelu LukakuStriker
Players to Watch
Nikica Jelavic
Nikica Jelavic
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Croatian frontman could be set for a first Toffees start since his deadline-day switch from Rangers and he will be keen to hit the ground running against an occassionally fragile Chelsea defence.

Many have claimed that the step up from the SPL to the Premier League is too great and Jelavic will not be able to recreate his fine Ibrox goal-scoring form, but the 17-cap Croatia international's neat touch and precise finishing are likely to translate to goals in any League.
Michael Essien
Michael Essien
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Ghanaian is looking fitter with every minute he spends on the pitch as he continues his comeback from a serious knee injury. His drive and energy have been sorely missed from the Blues' midfield throughout his absence.

The former Lyon man's box-to-box style and ability to break up the opposition could be the key to unlocking Raul Meireles' playmaking abilities and unleashing Frank Lampard's attacking instinct.
Prediction
The Toffees are always stubborn opposition and with Donovan and Jelavic look to have added a goal threat to their side that had previously been hugely missed. They will fancy their chances against an unreliable David Luiz and newbie Gary Cahill with additional confidence following recent wins against Manchester United and Fulham.

The Blues are still a force to be reckoned with on their day, however, with Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata likely to give any defence a problem and, despite his lack of goals, Fernando Torres' overall contribution to the side has been decent of late, now if only the £50 million man can hit the net himself.
Editor's Prediction

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