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Everton vs Chelsea: Another blank trip for Blues on Merseyside

Everton vs Chelsea Match Preview and Predictions

Chelsea travel to Everton with their confidence sky high after an exhilarating 8-0 aggregate Europa League victory against Dynamo Kiev.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

Olivier Giroud started in place of the ill Gonzalo Higuain and scored a superb hat-trick in Thursday's 5-0 win which also came without the likes of Eden Hazard, Jorginho, Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz.

Domestically, the Blues rescued a point against Wolves with a stoppage-time equaliser from Hazard in their last Premier League outing, while Everton threw away a 2-0 half-time lead at Newcastle in a 3-2 defeat.

Match information

When is it? Sunday March 17th

What time is kick-off? 16:30

Where is it being played? Goodison Park

Which channel is it on? Sky Sports Main Event

Who is the referee? Anthony Taylor

Everton vs Chelsea Betting Tips

Here are our predictions for the Everton vs Chelsea game for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Chelsea produced a stunning attacking performance in eastern Europe on Thursday but their record away from home this season has been poor lately, losing 2-0, 4-0 and 6-0 to Arsenal, Bournemouth and Manchester City respectively.

The trend may suggest the Toffees are heading for an 8-0 victory but jokes aside the Merseysiders have failed to beat any of the top-six sides this season, taking just two points from eight matches.

However, they proved difficult to break down in the recent goalless draw with arch rivals and title hopefuls Liverpool and also played out a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in November.

Maurizio Sarri rested many of his star players on Thursday but most of them still made the long trip to Ukraine, so with fatigue potentially a factor for the visitors the first of our Everton vs Chelsea predictions is a draw at 5/2.

The teams also drew at Goodison Park last season so another share of the spoils at 5/2 looks possible bearing in mind Everton have had a week to prepare for this game.

First goalscorer tips

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is starting to make an impact for Everton with two goals in his last three starts and looks a decent shout to be first goalscorer at 7/1.

The 21-year-old striker scored at Chelsea in last season's EFL Cup tie and has bagged six goals in the Premier League in the current campaign, one of which came at Manchester City so he should not be overwhelmed playing against one of the elite teams.

Anytime goalscorer tips

The assumption has to be made that most of the players on show in Kiev will not start at Goodison Park with the exception of N'Golo Kante who came off after 65 minutes with the job done.

The France international continues to be a driving force in the Blues' midfield and has to be considered as an anytime goalscorer at 6/1 to add to his four goals this season.

Where the game will be won or lost

Chelsea are two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal going into this match, but with the Gunners having a free weekend and Manchester United in FA Cup action at Wolves a win on Merseyside would propel the Blues into the final Champions League spot.

Tottenham and Arsenal are favourites in the Premier League odds to claim a top-four spot at 8/13 and 8/11 respectively, ahead of both Chelsea (evens) and Manchester United (13/10).

That's probably right bearing in mind five of Chelsea's remaining games are away from home, two of which are at Manchester United and Liverpool.

Before those big matches they must first get past an Everton defence that are notoriously hard to beat in the first half.

Eighteen of Everton's 30 matches have been level at the break, two more than the next highest Newcastle, so the next of our Everton vs Chelsea betting tips is for the scores to be level at half-time at 23/20, and we wrap up our preview by tipping a third successive goalless draw between the teams at 11/1.

Team news

Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines are both in contention to return for Everton but Kurt Zouma will be unavailable to face his parent club while fellow centre-back Phil Jagielka is unlikely to return until after the upcoming international break.

Gonzalo Higuain could return for Chelsea after illness which ruled him out of the trip to Dynamo Kiev.

Traders' Tips - View from the trading floor

Chelsea were outstanding in Kiev and with a top-four spot up for grabs this weekend, rested attacker Eden Hazard to score and the Blues to win catches the eye at boosted odds of 13/5.

80+ Minute Goal Insurance - Free Bet up to £/$/€20 if a goal scored after 80 minutes turns a winning bet into a loser. Applies to Premier League, Champions League & Europa League Match Result bets only. Min odds: 1/2 (1.50). Terms apply.

Warren Barner
@warren_barner in Football