Premier League

Everton-Chelsea Preview

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel insisted he remains calm despite the form of fellow title challengers Liverpool and Manchester City ahead of the Blues' home clash with Everton.

The Blues have fallen from first in the Premier League to third in recent weeks, following a run of just three wins in six league matches.

Liverpool have edged into second, while City sit five points clear of Chelsea - by virtue of playing a game more - but Tuchel is refusing to panic.

"Not so long ago it was the opposite position and Man City turned things around," Tuchel said. "At the moment, they have good form, and they show it. They show their quality.

"We knew before that if we wanted to compete with City and Liverpool for the title, we would face adversity and tough moments. So we can't be surprised now, and we can't give up.

"Maybe it's what we need at the moment to overcome. We were lucky at the weekend but didn't feel blessed with luck against West Ham. We didn't have the luck against Burnley. So we should not start to say sorry for a late victory. We found a way to win the game."

Everton have struggled in recent weeks and are 14th after their most recent 3-1 loss at Crystal Palace, but manager Rafa Benitez is feeling confident ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.

"Be sure that we go there with the idea to win the game," Benitez said. When I say that, I don't want people taking advantage of that and saying 'on the front foot if you want to win.'

"We have to have a plan to get the best from our players and take advantage of the weaknesses of Chelsea, which are not too many."

Chelsea - Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku is Everton's highest ever goalscorer in the Premier League, netting 68 goals for the Toffees between 2013 and 2017. The Belgian has netted just once in his five appearances against Everton in the competition, doing so with Manchester United in September 2017.

Everton - Salomon Rondon

Salomon Rondon was offered a rare chance off the bench at Palace and took the opportunity as he scored past Vicente Guaita, while also providing a team-high two chances in his substitute appearance.

- Everton have won three of their last five Premier League games against Chelsea (L2), as many as they had in their previous 15 against them. However, all of these victories have come at Goodison Park.

- After beating Liverpool in all three meetings in all competitions in the 1984-85 campaign, Everton are winless in their last 12 competitive matches against reigning European champions (D4 L8). They lost both such meetings against Chelsea the last time the Blues were champions of Europe in 2012-13.

- Of all teams to play more than one Premier League game on Thursdays, Chelsea have the best win rate on this specific weekday in the competition, winning seven of their 11 such games (64%).

- After losing four of their first five Thursday games in the Premier League between 1996 and 2015 (D1), Everton are unbeaten in their last five played on this day in the competition (W2 D3).

- Chelsea have conceded eight goals in their last three games in all competitions, as many as they had in their previous 18 combined. Meanwhile, the Blues are looking to avoid conceding 2+ goals in four consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since September 2016.

Updated December 15, 2021

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