In the battle between fourth and sixth, many would expect the former to snatch a narrow victory, but will Chelsea really have it that easy when Everton come knocking on November 5? In seasons gone by, a visit from the Toffees would have been seen as another routine win for Chelsea. However, this season, things look set to be a little different.
Although the Premier League stats are currently weighting in favour of Antonio Conte’s side, it’s worth remembering that the last time the two teams squared off it was Everton who clinched the win. Yes, that game was back in March, and yes it was an FA Cup quarterfinal, but the fact remains that Everton won 2-0.
Now, if you looked at the current football betting odds on Sun Bets, you’d probably never guess that the last meeting between these two went the way of Ronald Koeman’s men. At the time of writing, £10 on Everton will earn you a £50 profit thanks to a 5/1 betting line at Sun Bets.
Branching out across the industry, Sky Bet’s odds makers have a similar outlook at 19/4, while BetVictor has priced the away team at 11/2. On the other side of the coin, 11/20 and 5/9 can be found at BetVictor and Sun Bets respectively, which would suggest all three points will stay at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
At this point, it’s important to say that living in the past isn’t a particularly strong strategy for a team playing in the present. But, it’s hard to ignore the fact Everton hold the upper hand. Of course, if we leave the past behind, the current dynamics certainly favour Chelsea. 21 goals in ten Premier League games is a testament to the work Diego Costa et al have put in so far this season.
Equally impressive has been Chelsea’s defensive record of late. The combination of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta paid dividends in October with clean sheets becoming the norm. Indeed, it’s this combination of defence and attack that has left Chelsea nipping at the heels of the top three.
However, as strong as Chelsea’s stats are, Everton have been equally impressive this season. Just eight goals against in ten games (compared to Chelsea’s nine) have earned Everton some impressive results. Indeed, with 18 points already in the bag and a place in the Champions League still on the table, the Toffees will start the game with a lot of confidence.
Unfortunately, confidence might not be enough to get Everton through an untimely injury spell. Keeper Maarten Stekelenburg is out due to a foot injury while Leighton Baines will also be watching from the sidelines with a hamstring strain. The loss of two key players couldn’t come at a worse time, and that could be the reason the odds are against Everton this time around.
There’s no doubt Everton have a much better chance of beating Chelsea than they have in previous seasons; however, that might not be enough. Although 5/1 is an extremely attractive price given the situation, it’s hard to see past Chelsea and that’s why the bookies appear to have it right this time.
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