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Everton expected to be a thorn in Premier League champions Chelsea’s side

Defender John Stones’ transfer drama will almost certainly dominate the build-up to this Premier League battle between Everton and Chelsea, though the Toffees came out tops in that tug-of-war.

The Merseyside men (3/1 with Coral to keep a clean sheet) have previously proven stubborn opponents at Goodison Park, snatching a draw and victory against Chelsea in two of their last four on home turf, while smashing three past them in another.

So, back the Blues to come unstuck in the Northwest once again, with Everton a sensational 16/5 for victory. A draw at 12/5 is also an intriguing offer, though travelling Chelsea have already fallen eight points off Premier League leaders Manchester City in the title race, so must take the spoils here.

Jose Mourinho’s men are odds-on at 20/23 to triumph, though have looked shaky all season, with a last-gasp loss to Crystal Palace the latest in a line of underwhelming outings. Keeper Thibaut Courtois, meanwhile, could be sidelined for two months, in an injury blow for the Blues.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Watford - Goodison Park

The opportunity is ripe here, then, for the Toffees to take a big scalp, and former Blues boy Romelu Lukaku is a superb 6/1 to strike first, or 7/4 in the anytime market, to help sink his old club.

Everton academy graduate Ross Barkley has been in brilliant form and is 5/1 to fire home anytime. While, new boys Leandro Rodriguez and Ramiro Funes Mori may be set to make their bows, with forward Rodriguez a 7/2 anytime shout to make it a debut to remember.

As for Chelsea, customers can back the Blues to get back to their best here, with the sense that the tide will at some point turn rather spectacularly. Will the Toffees be punished for the Londoner’s previous poor performances? Odds of 18/5 for the visitors to nab three or more are tempting.

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Chelsea v Real Sociedad - Stamford Bridge

Leading the line for Chelsea will undoubtedly be goal threat Diego Costa, who bagged a brace at Goodison last term, and is 9/2 to notch the opener, or 6/1 to snatch two or more strikes again.

Putting pressure on Mourinho’s main poacher will be back-up forward Radamel Falcao (5/1 to have the final say), who was the only one to breach Palace’s backline last time out. Creative hub Eden Hazard impressed while on international duty, and is a great value 15/8 anytime option, while summer signing Pedro is 6/1 in the same market.

Betting tip: Place a stake on Lukaku @ 7/4 to ripple the net anytime