Andre Villas-Boas will have been anxiously watching the international matches over the past fortnight to make sure that none of his Chelsea players come back with ailments, while the Blues manager will also hope that the lay-off doesn’t halt the momentum that is starting to build up at Stamford Bridge.
Convincing wins over Swansea and Bolton mean that Chelsea sit on the shoulders of the two Manchester clubs in the title race and three points should be very much on the cards when Everton arrive at the Bridge on Saturday evening.
Victor Chandler (£25 free bets) offer 4/11 that the banker on many people’s accumulator comes in and the Toffees will simply look to dig in and make life difficult for their opponents, much in the same way that they did at Manchester City recently.
Fernando Torres continues to serve a suspension which means Didier Drogba will lead the line again, with the Ivorian surprisingly not getting on the scoresheet when his team put five past Bolton a fortnight ago.
Even so, the striker has a good scoring record when it comes to finding the net against Everton and can be backed at 4/1 (bet365 – £200 free betting) to score the first goal, with Daniel Sturridge looking sharp as a tack at the Reebok and the young Englishman is a 9/2 chance.
Frank Lampard was the hat-trick hero in that game, although the midfielder once again had to contend with being a substitute in Montenegro last Friday, something that might inspire the 33-year-old in this match.
Everton were raging with injustice a fortnight ago thanks to the unjust sending off of Jack Rodwell, although the midfielder’s red card has been rescinded and he will now be briefed with stopping Juan Mata from causing too much damage on Saturday evening.
The visitors are 19/2 to pull off a shock in this match and 4/1 to claim a draw at the Bridge, something that they managed to do last season thanks to a Jermaine Beckford late equaliser.