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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: EVERTON V CHELSEA

TACTICAL BRIEF
Chelsea have won three on the spin but Everton have won this fixture on the last three occasions. Who will be kings of the Blues on Sunday?

Key battles
David Moyes will no doubt have arranged special measures to deal with Juan Mata. The Spaniard's importance to his club can be measured in the fact he has contributed seven goals and seven assists in 14 Barclays Premier League games. He has scored six in eight matches and has managed more crosses (48), shots on goal (38) and on target (27) than any other Chelsea player in the league.

Mata Chelsea


As he showed again at Carrow Road, when fed by Oscar, he needs just a few spare yards on the edge of the box to do his damage. Everton will want no repeat of the shambolic defending that allowed Kone to pull one back for Wigan on Boxing Day. The Toffees have not kept a clean sheet in 14 league matches.

Rafael Benitez rested Eden Hazard and Frank Lampard partially and Ramires (who had a slight injury) completely at Norwich, shuffling his squad to cope with the intensity of the schedule.

The Blue Brazilian and Manchester City's Vincent Kompany were the Premier League's only representatives in the 2012 'team of the year' just published by venerable French football magazine 'l'Équipe'.

David Luiz excelled again in midfield against Norwich - despite three wayward long shots - and the central defensive partnership of Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill has kept consecutive clean sheets in the league. Cesar Azpilicueta versus Steven Pienaar could be a fascinating match-up.

Marouane Fellaini has consistently been a thorn in Chelsea's side, losing just once infive league meetings. The powerful Moroccan/Belgian, a threat from the crosses Everton regularly angle into the box, is suspended for the last of three games this weekend.

His absence, as well as those of Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas, has forced a refit in the Toffees' engine room, with in-form Leon Osman moving to the right and Moyes switching to a 4-4-2 formation. Most sides try not to set themselves up to be outnumbered in the middle, but Everton may feel they have a physical superiority in the heft department.

They can also knock the ball up to a front two quickly if they wish, although one of their two attackers, injury-prone Victor Anichebe, was subbed after 70 minutes on Wednesday.

Darron Gibson's red card against West Ham last weekend has been rescinded.

Squad fitness news
Ramires returns to the squad but there will be late fitness tests for John Mikel Obi (knee) and Ryan Bertrand (groin). John Terry and Oriol Romeu are both out with knee injuries.

For Everton, Gibson is a doubt having come off at half-time on Boxing Day with a thigh strain. Right-back Seamus Coleman might return but Tony Hibbert (hamstring) and striker Kevin Mirallas (calf) are injured.

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: EVERTON V CHELSEA

CHELSEA STATS
Chelsea have won six of our last seven matches in all competitions.

The Blues have opened the scoring on 12 occasions in the Barclays Premier League this season and have gone on to win 11 of those matches; the loss at West Ham is the sole exception.

Only Stoke, with nine, have kept more clean sheets than Chelsea's eight.

Following the win at Carrow Road, the Blues are 10 points better off compared with the corresponding 18 games last season.


Last six results
Dec 8 Sunderland (a) W 3-1
Dec 13 Monterrey (Club World Cup SF, Japan) W 3-1
Dec 16 Corinthians (Club World Cup final, Japan) L 0-1
Dec 19 Leeds (League Cup QF a) W 5-1
Dec 23 Aston Villa (h) W 8-0
Dec 26 Norwich (a) W 1-0

 

Premier League scorers
Mata 7, Torres 7, E Hazard 4 (1 pen), Ivanovic 4, Lampard 4 (2 pens), Ramires 3, Cahill 2, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Moses 1, Oscar 1, Sturridge 1, Terry 1. Total 37


League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 4
An away defeat: 2


Chelsea's next three games
Wed 2 Jan Queens Park Rangers home 7.45pm
Sat 5 Jan Southampton (FA Cup) away 3pm
Wed 9 Jan Swansea (League Cup semi-final, 1st leg) home 7.45pm


 

MILESTONES
Petr Cech will make his 400th appearance for Chelsea, the first overseas player to reach that milestone.

Frank Lampard now requires three goals to equal our second highest top scorer in all competitions - Kerry Dixon with 193.


EVERTON STATS
Formed
1878

Major trophies
9 League championships, last in 1987
5 FA Cups, last in 1995
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1985
9 FA Charity Shields (1 shared), last in 1995


Everton have only lost two (West Brom and Reading this season) of their last 28 Premier League games. They are unbeaten in seven since the 2-1 reverse at Reading on 17 November.

Everton (and Stoke) are only one of two clubs to remain unbeaten at home this season.

At home they have won nine and drawn four of their last 13. Their last reverse at Goodison Park was against Arsenal in March.

This season at home they have beaten Manchester United, Southampton, Sunderland, Tottenham and Wigan and drawn with Newcastle, Liverpool, Norwich and Arsenal.

The Toffees have drawn nine of their league games this term. Only Stoke have with 10 have drawn more.

Everton have not kept a clean sheet for 14 games, the longest run in the Premier League.

They have scored in their last 16 games, also the longest run in the Premier League.

Steven Pienaar has won more free kicks than any other Premier League player - 45


Manager David Moyes
Days in charge: 3,943
Played 494
Won 207
Drawn 132
Lost 155


Everton's last 10 year Premier League history
2002/03 59 7th
2003/04 39 17th
2004/05 61 4th
2005/06 50 11th
2006/07 58 6th
2007/08 65 5th
2008/09 63 5th
2009/10 61 8th
2010/11 54 7th
2011/12 56 7th


 

LAST PREMIER LEAGUE LINE UP
Everton 2 Wigan 1

Wednesday 26 December 2012
Attendance 38,749
Team Howard: Neville (c), Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Gibson, Hitzlsperger, Pienaar; Jelavić, Anichebe.
Scorers Osman (51), Jagielka (76)
Substitutes Naismith for Gibson (h/t), Oviedo for Anichebe (69), Heitinga for Hitzlsperger (69)
Booked Jelavić

Last six results
Nov 28 Arsenal (h) D 1-1
Dec 1 Manchester City (a) D 1-1
Dec 9 Tottenham (h) W 2-1
Dec 15 Stoke (a) D 1-1
Dec 22 West Ham (a) W 2-1
Dec 26 Wigan (h) W 2-1



2012/13 Premier League scorers
Fellaini 8, Jelavić 6, Anichebe 3, Naismith 3, Osman 3, Pienaar 3, Baines 2 (1 pen), own goals 2, Jagielka 1, Mirallas 1. Total 32.


League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 2
A home defeat: 13


EVERTON'S MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins
Steven Pienaar (Tottenham, £4.5m), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos, £5.2m), Bryan Oviedo (FC Copenhagen, £2m), Steven Naismith (Rangers, free)
Outs Jack Rodwell (Manchester City, £12m), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls, £1m), Marcus Hahnemann (released), James McFadden (Sunderland, free), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbahçe, undisclosed)


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Howard Webb takes control of a Chelsea match for the second occasion this season. The previous outing was the 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in November.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
Marouane Fellaini is suspended for Everton.

John Mikel Obi is one yellow card away from a one-match domestic suspension. He is on four bookings.

From 1 January onwards, a player will need 10 yellow cards before he is handed a suspension (five yellows will lead to a warning as to his future conduct rather than a ban). Whereas the suspension for five yellows before 31 December is one game in length, suspension for 10 yellows is two matches although that only applies until the second Sunday in April.

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