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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V EVERTON

TACTICAL BRIEF
It's the last game of the season - or is it? Former Blue Clive Walker assesses how Chelsea might win and avoid an unwanted third/fourth place play-off.

Key battles
'The timing of the Europa League final is a tricky one for Rafael Benitez and the players. After such a high, a brilliant win, all that adrenalin of a big UEFA final, how do you get up for a regular league game?

'Normally you play a final at the end, go off and have the summer to enjoy thinking about it. That is not the case this season and third place still has to be cemented.

'It's a tough one, but the good thing is we now know we're in the Champions League, it's just a matter of whether there is the qualifying round to face.

'Having had such a long, hard season, you might say to the players: 'unless you want extra games, you better get these three points!

'The players will motivate themselves of course. To them it is one last heave and hopefully everyone leaves for America happy. We don't want this play-off with Arsenal.

'The other slight complication for Chelsea is it is David Moyes's last game and his players will want to do right by him. Phil Neville is retiring too - but he has a knee injury anyway.

'Other than ending on a high they have nothing to play for really and cannot be caught by Liverpool, which is obviously a comfort to them.

'There may be fatigue and a few more bumps and strains to contend with, so we might see a few of the less-common starters in the side.

'For Chelsea, Ramires can't play after his red card which opens up the possibility of involvement for Nathan Ake, or perhaps this is a game Mikel could come back for.

'With Everton you're up against Marouane Fellaini, who is physically awkward and puts himself about - a big threat. Frank Lampard, who must be absolutely buzzing after the week he's had, might be asked about playing there for a third game in a nine days.

'He also has a great scoring record against Everton and got both our goals there in December.

'Demba Ba can come in if it is time to give Torres a break, and the manager will pick the three behind from those who look the freshest. Maybe Marko Marin will have another chance. You'd imagine Juan Mata and Oscar have to be involved.

'Ryan Bertrand is still injured so Ashley Cole will have to start and with John Terry out, Branislav Ivanovic probably has to stay in the centre. If Ash and Cesar Azpilicueta play they can be more conservative perhaps than usual, sit back and do their defensive duties. Paulo Ferreira could step in too, don't forget - the fans would love to see him play.

'Everton have full-backs in Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines who like to bomb forward anyway. Baines links very well with Steven Pienaar down their left and that is something we have to be wary about.

'I've been quite impressed by Victor Anichebe (pictured below) this season. He has had a better season. He's not a world-beater but he will run and run and puts himself about. If we're not on our mettle he can sense it and exploit it.

Anichebe


'Kevin Mirallas, who gave his manager a great send-off with two goals last week against West Ham is another obvious danger.

'There may be some patching up required but it can still be a strong enough team to win and make the season truly done and dusted.'


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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V EVERTON

CHELSEA STATS
Chelsea have won 11 and drawn three of our last 14 games at the Bridge since our last defeat, to Swansea in the League Cup semi-final on 9 January.

We have lost one of our last 10 Barclays Premier League games.

The Blues have opened the scoring in 25 of our 37 Premier League matches which is higher than any other club. We have gone on to win 18 games and draw six. Only West Ham have defeated us.

The Blues are 11 points better off compared to the corresponding 37 fixtures last season.

We have gained 15 points from losing positions this term. We have dropped 18 points from winning positions.

Last six results
Apr 28 Swansea (h) W 2-0
May 2 Basel (Europa League h) W 3-1
May 5 Manchester United (a) W 1-0
May 8 Tottenham (h) D 2-2
May 11 Aston Villa (a) W 2-1
May 15 Benfica (Europa League final, Amsterdam) W 2-1


Premier League scorers
Lampard 15 (5 pens), Mata 11, Hazard 9 (2 pens), Torres 7 (1 pen), Ivanovic 5, Ramires 5, Oscar 4 (1 pen), Terry 4, Ba 2, Cahill 2, D Luiz 2, Cole 1, Marin 1, Moses 1, Sturridge 1, own goals 3. Total 73


League games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 0
A home defeat: 8


Chelsea's post-season games
Thu 23 May Manchester City (Friendly) St Louis, USA 1.30am BST (Fri)
Sat 25 May Manchester City (Friendly) New York, USA 10.30pm BST

 

MILESTONES
Chelsea's next victory in front of our own supporters will be our 250th in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.

If selected, Frank Lampard will play his 50th Chelsea game of the season and Cesar Azpilicueta will make his 50th appearance this term for club and country.

Congratulations to Petr Cech who celebrates his 31st birthday on Monday (20th) and Demba Ba his 28th on May 25th.


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 used 23 players in the Premier League this season - fewer than any other club.

They have gained 22 points from losing positions over the season which is only bettered by Manchester United and Tottenham.

Everton have won 21 points from a possible 54 on the road this term. They have won at Aston Villa, Swansea, West Ham and Newcastle, drawn at Wigan, QPR, Fulham, Manchester City, Stoke, Southampton, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool. Their losses came at West Brom, Reading, Manchester United, Norwich and Sunderland.

The Toffees have conceded three goals and kept seven clean sheets in their last nine Premier League matches which is fewer than any other club in that period.

Everton have drawn more games than any other top-flight side this term - 15.

Only Manchester United and Manchester City have lost fewer league games than Everton's six.

Leighton Baines is the only outfield player to play every minute of every league game this season.


Manager David Moyes
Days in charge: 4,083
Played 517
Won 218
Drawn 139
Lost 160


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


 

PMB

 

 

Last six results
Apr 13 QPR (h) W 2-0
Apr 16 Arsenal (a) D 0-0
Apr 20 Sunderland (a) L 0-1
Apr 27 Fulham (h) W 1-0
May 5 Liverpool (a) D 0-0
May 12 West Ham (h) W 2-0



2012/13 Premier League scorers
Fellaini 11, Jelavić 7, Anichebe 6, Mirallas 6, Pienaar 6, Baines 5 (2 pens), Osman 5, Naismith 3, Jagielka 2, own goals 2, Gibson 1. Total 54.


League games since
An away win: 7
An away draw: 0
An away defeat: 1


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Anthony Taylor's most recent Chelsea appointment was the last time we lost at Stamford Bridge, against Swansea in the League Cup semi-final in January. His other Chelsea games this term were for our 4-1 win against Norwich in October and our goalless draw with Fulham in November.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
Ramires is suspended for his red card at Villa Park last weekend.

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