Can Everton end Jose Mourinho’s incredible run at the Bridge?
One day Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League run at Stamford Bridge – currently standing at an incredible 73 games – will come to an end and when it does it might well be a team like Everton that finally finds a way to beat Chelsea on their own turf.
The Toffees have shown great enterprise and spirit on the road this season, holding Arsenal to a draw at the Emirates and then beating Manchester United at Old Trafford. Coral go 6/1 they have an even better trick up their sleeve and bring Mourinho’s house down on Saturday (1/2 Cheslea, 3/1 the draw).
And this might not be a bad time to be playing Chelsea. Yes, they are top of the table, but recent draws at home to West Ham and away to West Brom will have irritated the Portuguese boss, just as much as that brilliant win at Manchester City will have delighted him.
There is also an upcoming away Champions League tie at Galatasaray to take into account when picking this weekend’s team, a distraction Everton don’t have.
Chelsea have a much better chance of wining the Premier League (6/4 with Coral) than they do the Champions League (14/1), but they have a strong squad and nobody will be thinking about sacrificing one tournament for another.
But not being in Europe must be an advantage for the likes of Everton and Liverpool, especially at this stage of the season when the going gets so tough.
Having said all that, Everton are having a bit of a Premier League wobble at the moment, so much so that they are in danger of drifting out of contention for a top four place.
After losing just two of their first 22 games this season, Everton have lost another two of their last three, including a demoralising 4-0 hammering at Liverpool.
From being right in the mix for a Champions League spot, Everton are now 9/1 with Coral to finish in the top four behind Liverpool (1/5), Arsenal (2/9), Spurs (2/1) and Man United (7/1).
The good news for Roberto Martinez is that Romelu Lukaku has now recovered from an ankle injury and is fit again to play; the bad news is that he is ineligible this weekend against his parent club.
In his continued absence Steven Naismith, reportedly okay after suffering mild concussion in the FA Cup win over Swansea, and maybe Lacina Traore will shoulder the main goalscoring responsibilities – both are 100/30 to score at any time and 9/1 first or last.
Naismith scored the winner against Chelsea at Goodison Park in September, while the beanpole Monaco loanee Traore scored just four minutes into his debut in the Cup and impressed his manager with his general all-round contribution.
So yes, that astonishing record could go on Saturday, but all in all, a narrow Chelsea victory looks the best call, maybe 1-0 (11/2).