Premier League Preview: Everton vs. Chelsea
- Alvaro Morata is suspended for Chelsea but the club has a clean bill of health.
- Chelsea has won their last three Premier League matches against Everton by an aggregate score of 10-0.
- Sam Allardyce has won his last two PL matches versus Chelsea and will become the first manager to win against them with five different clubs if Everton are victorious.
- Wayne Rooney has scored 10 goals in 16 PL appearances this season; the fewest amount of matches it’s taken him to reach 10 goals in a season since 2011/12.
Everton has seen its fortunes change spectacularly since Sam Allardyce has taken over as manager but the Toffees will be put to the test on Saturday when they host Chelsea. (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).
Since being named manager on November 30, Allardyce has led Everton to Premier League wins over Huddersfield Town and Swansea City at home and Newcastle United on the road, as well as a 1-1 draw at Liverpool in the derby and a 3-0 win on the road in the Europa League.
It’s been an up-and-down last few weeks meanwhile for the defending Premier League champions, which were on a low after a draw at Atletico Madrid and defeat to West Ham before consecutive wins over Chelsea, Southampton and then Bourmenouth in the Carabao Cup.
The big question looking ahead for Chelsea will be how they deal with the loss to suspension of Alvaro Morata, with Michy Batshuayi likely stepping in.
What they’re saying
Everton boss Sam Allardyce on Yannick Bolasie, who is making his comeback from a torn ACL: “Physically he is ready, technically he’s a little rusty but we have to think about throwing him in at some stage. He could be on the bench tomorrow”
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on being without Morata: “Now I have to prepare a different plan and I have different options. I have another day to make the best decision and looking at the training today, every single player is in good form.”
Prediction: Everton has shown a much-improved defense since Allardyce joined the club but facing Chelsea is another challenge that may be a step too far for the fragile Everton squad. Chelsea should take care of business on the road. Chelsea 2-1 Everton