An historic year for the club draws to a close with a visit to Merseyside. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton see out 2012…
Something has to change if Chelsea are to sustain the pressure on the top two: three times in our last three league visits the Blues have returned from Goodison Park without any points. The Londoners, though, are in fine form again, similar to the start of the season.
In fact, outside of grim November and a few days at either end, Chelsea have dropped just two points in the league.
This match marks the halfway point of the campaign. It is a curiosity that our first league double came against Norwich even before we have played either Southampton or today's opponents once. With 35 points, the champions of Europe now have the same tally as all the bottom three Premier League clubs combined.
There is no respite from the present hectic schedule for a while. Following this trip the Blues have weekend and midweek games up till 12 January.
Glancing back at the Boxing Day game, at 17 years and 10 months old when he came on at Norwich, Nathan Ake is our youngest debutant since Josh McEachran made his first team bow in 2010 (aged 17 years, six months).
The impressive youngster from the Netherlands wore Chelsea's highest squad number yet in an official match: 57.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Sunderland v Tottenham 12.45pm - Sky Sports
Aston Villa v Wigan 3.00pm
Fulham v Swansea 3.00pm
Manchester United v West Brom 3.00pm
Norwich v Manchester City 3.00pm
Reading v West Ham 3.00pm
Stoke v Southampton 3.00pm
Arsenal v Newcastle 5.30pm - ESPN
Everton v Chelsea 1.30pm - Sky Sports
QPR v Liverpool 4.00pm - Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League table top eight|
Race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Asmir Begovic (Stoke) 9
Petr Cech 8
Joe Hart (Manchester City) 7
Simon Mignolet (Sunderland) 7
Leading scorers in all competitions
Robin van Persie (Manchester Utd) 16
Fernando Torres 14
Jermain Defoe (Tottemham) 14
Miguel Michu (Swansea) 14
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 14
Juan Mata 13
Demba Ba (Newcastle) 11
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 11
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WE HAVE HISTORY
The Blues of London and Merseyside have been playing each other since 1907/08, when 50,000 at the Bridge watched a brace for Jimmy Windridge overcome Booth's equaliser for the Toffeemen,and a hat-trick for 'Gatling Gun' George Hilsdon earned a 3-0 victory at Goodison Park in front of 10,000 on Merseyside.
Everton are the side we beat at Villa Park to reach the FA Cup final for the first time in 1915. Successes in the league at Goodison have never come easily. Chelsea's biggest margin of victory remains that 1908 3-0, though we finished with the larger share of seven goals in December 1984 thanks largely to three goals from Gordon Davies.
London also brought home the bacon in November 1989 thanks to a side under Scouser Bobby Campbell that included Tony Dorigo, Kenny Monkou, Kerry Dixon and a Hazard from seasons past, Micky.
The two teams faced each other as title challengers, with the recently promoted southern Blues top of the table. Colin Harvey's side had been humbled 0-6 by Aston Villa the week before. Harvey revealed his team were nervous about facing their supporters, though former Chelsea man Pat Nevin had more reason than most to welcome the fixture.
As it turned out, Harvey was right to be apprehensive. 'With [Graham] Roberts acting as the spare man in defence and Hazard as the spare man in attack,' observed The Times, 'they were were comprehensively superior at Goodison Park.' Roberts's sweeper role allowed full-backs Dorigo and Steve Clarke to raid forward more than usually, and Hazard caused the Toffees untold trouble roving behind Dixon and Kevin Wilson.
The only goal of the game came when a loose ball fell to Clarke on the edge of the box and he fired an angled shot past Neville Southall. It was one of three the current West Brom manager would score that season for Chelsea and a vital one. His match-winning performance earned a recall to the Scotland squad.
Everton have beaten Chelsea in the last three meetings in the Premier League at Goodison Park, although we were victorious there in last season's Carling Cup
Our last league victory at Goodison Park was in April 2008 when a first-half Michael Essien goal secured the three points.
Our last 10 league meetings at Goodison Park
2002/03 - Chelsea won 3-1
2003/04 - Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 - Chelsea won 1-0
2005/06 - Drew 1-1
2006/07 - Chelsea won 3-2
2007/08 - Chelsea won 1-0
2008/09 - Drew 0-0
2009/10 - Everton won 2-1
2010/11 - Everton won 1-0
2011/12 - Everton won 2-0
LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING MATCH
Everton 2 Chelsea 0
Barclays Premier League, Saturday 11 February 2012
Ref Mike Jones
Manager David Moyes
Howard; Neville (c), Heitinga, Distin, Baines; Donavan, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar: Cahill; Stracqualursi
Substitutes Drenthe for Pienaar (74), Hibbert for Gibson (88), Duffy for Stracqualursi (90+3)
Scorers Pienaar (5), Stracqualursi (71)
Manager Andre Villas-Boas
Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, D Luiz, Cole; Meireles, Essien, Lampard (c): Sturridge, Torres, Mata.
Substitutes Malouda for Essien (68), Bertrand for Cole (76), Lukaku for Mata (77).
Booked Meireles, Bosingwa, Torres
Other fixtures last season
15 October 2011 Barclays Premier League
Sturridge 30 Vellios 80
26 October 2011 Carling Cup fourth round
Saha 83 Kalou 37
After extra time
Everton v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played 16
Chelsea wins 63
Everton wins 51
Head to head in the league at Goodison Park
Games played 73
Chelsea wins 15
Everton wins 36
Biggest league win at Goodison Park for each team
Everton 6-0 Chelsea - 29/04/1978
Everton 0-3 Chelsea - 01/04/1908 and 13/10/1956
Chelsea won a league game at Goodison Park: 1,718
Everton lost at home in the Premier League: 284
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,780
Liverpool won the league: 8,275
Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.