How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Chelsea 4/7, Draw 3/1, Everton 5/1 - Betfred
- First Goalscorer: Diego Costa (CHE) 3/1, Michy Batshuayi (CHE) 5/1, Eden Hazard 6/1 - Paddy Power
- Correct Score: Chelsea 1-0 8/1, Chelsea 2-0 8/1, Draw 1-1 8/1 - BetVictor
- Chelsea’s form has improved dramatically in recent games, seeming thanks to Antonio Conte’s introduction of a 3-4-3 formation. The defensive backline appears far more solid having kept four successive clean sheets in the league and look to have adapted to the tactics of the former Juventus and Italy manager following a shaky start. Wins over Hull, Leicester and Manchester United showed that the Blues certainly shouldn’t be written-off as title contenders, while victory over an improving Southampton side saw Chelsea become the first side to leave St Mary’s with all three points since February.
- Everton started their season brightly under the guidance of new manager Ronald Koeman, picking up 13 points from the first 15 available. Talk of a push for the title was soon halted though, as the Toffees came unstuck away at Bournemouth, before dropping points at home to Crystal Palace. An impressive draw with Manchester City brightened the mood, but a last gasp defeat to Burnley left the Merseysiders with two points from a possible 12. However, the good feeling around Goodison Park returned as the men in blue recorded a 2-0 victory over a struggling West Ham to leave fans in a positive mood with their side sitting fifth in the table.
Chelsea’s return to form has coincided with their newfound stability at the back, something that the home fans will be hoping to see more of this weekend. A clean sheet for the Blues is priced at 11/8 with Bet365, while a win to nil is available at 9/5 with BetVictor. Chelsea have also proved lethal in front of goal, scoring 21 in the league this season, the fourth most in the division. Those goals are thanks to the in-form Diego Costa, a player who could well add to his tally against an Everton side who have kept just three clean sheets this term. An opening strike from Costa is priced at 16/5 with Paddy Power, while a goal anytime in a 2-0 Chelsea win is 12/1 with William Hill.
Everton are are well acquainted with their Premier League counterparts, having faced them every year since 1984. Where once this fixture would have filled fans of the Toffees with fear, there is now the belief that victory is possible following a run of three games without defeat in all competitions against the men from the Bridge. A win this Saturday is not deemed likely by the bookmakers, but they are certainly capable of getting things wrong. The away side are 5/1 with Bet365 to leave London with all three points, while a win to nil is available at 12/1 with BetVictor. It’s not often that Everton look to neighbours Liverpool for inspiration, but the Reds did leave the capital with a 2-1 win earlier in the season, something this weekend’s visitors will be hoping to emulate. The same scoreline this time around is priced at a tempting 20/1 with Bet365.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Diego Costa to score and Chelsea to win 2-0 - 12/1 with William Hill
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run-up to kick-off.