Everton could only limp to a scoreless draw against West Ham, a result that will have disappointed both sets of supporters, and they are now without a win in six on the road. Fortunately for them, they return home for their Sunday game against league leaders Chelsea, who recorded a second straight 4-2 win when they beat Southampton at Stamford Bridge following on from their FA Cup match with Spurs. Everton have prevailed over Chelsea the last two times the sides have met at Goodison Park – they’ll be hoping to avenge the 5-0 drubbing they suffered in West London in early November.
The problem for Everton will be their weak record against top teams. They’ve lost four of their last seven against top-six teams despite scoring on all but two of these occasions, and their two wins over top-six teams have come against out-of-sorts Arsenal and City sides earlier in the season. That said, they’ve looked excellent at home lately: they’ve won eight on the trot, and the Chelsea side they face have won only one of their last four away games against top-half sides. Granted, their three non-winning games in that stretch came against Man United, Liverpool and Spurs, but Everton have averaged more than 3.5 goals a game at home in their recent winning run, and will expect to create plenty of chances against a team without a clean sheet in 11.
Chelsea start as favourites, but we’re not confident they’ll win this after a few hiccups away at good teams recently. Instead, we’ll side with Over 3.5, which would have come home in five of Everton’s last seven at home and four of the last six between these two.
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