Everton vs Chelsea - The top four beckons if we revert to City and Tottenham tactics.

Maurizio Sarri and his Chelsea side travel to Goodison Park on Sunday with an eye on closing the gap to the top four. Three important poi...

Maurizio Sarri and his Chelsea side travel to Goodison Park on Sunday with an eye on closing the gap to the top four. Three important points would see us move within striking distance but, as we all know, this will be no easy game.

Right now, Chelsea are on a high after a good midweek performance in the Europa League and despite a disappointing performance against Wolves, we had seen a marked improvement in our performances. In addition, we witnessed the managers willingness to try something different a week ago and step away from his trusted 4-3-3 formation which gives us all hope for the remaining games. 

For weeks now we had witnessed teams setting out to stop Chelsea. They knew how we were going to set up, our style, formation and even the changes that would likely be made as the game played out. As a result, teams that were due to play us would take note of how other sides had coped with us and exploited our weaknesses to do the same (who would have thought that Bournemouth would thump us 4-0). 

A slight tactical tweak in our setup through midfield has given us some protection to our back-four and had seen Chelsea deliver to excellent performances and clean sheets against Manchester City and Tottenham. Unfortunately, against Fulham and Wolves we seemed to revert to type and it comes as no surprise that we conceded goals. It's important that we take the same approach that gave us the clean sheets into Sunday as Everton have the talent to really hurt us. 

The home side come into the game looking for form. They have taken just four points from a possible fifteen including three defeats. As for Chelsea? Ten points from fifteen and have put themselves right back into contention for a top four finish with a game in-hand against Brighton yet to be determined and at the current time everything is in our own hands. 

Without question, Chelsea MUST finish inside the top four this year. That would have been the mandate handed to Maurizio Sarri at the start of the season with a good cup run thrown in as a bonus. He has managed the cup run so far in the Carabao and the Europa League - we now need to finish strong because, with the transfer ban coming into effect for the next two windows, Chelsea need all the monies they can get to enable them to keep hold of their best players. 

In games such as this, with the excellent atmosphere that the home fans create, this is by far a foregone conclusion despite the current form of both sides. As with any game in this league, you simply have to earn the right to get a single point let alone all three. Chelsea will need to match the determination and desire of the home side to turn their form around. If we can do that, it will be half the battle. 

Sitting here writing this now, I would take the three points no matter how they came. Whether it was an amazing performance or a scrappy goal that wins it, these are the games you need to win on the road to make a statement of intent to those sides fighting with us for the same goals. Anything other than a scrappy win is a bonus in my eyes. 

A win would be massive for the club and would put us right back in the mix for the top four. We would jump above Manchester United who are playing in the FA Cup this weekend, we would be level on points with Arsenal and just a single point behind Tottenham - still with our vital game in hand to play. Surely that should be enough to encourage the players on Sunday?

Everton v Chelsea Betting Tips:

Chelsea have conceded in both of their last two games winning one of them and drawing the other. Based on current form I would recommend Chelsea to win and both teams to score at odds of 11/4 here

Chelsea are a threat from corners and someone who is always up there making a nuisance of himself is Toni Rudiger. Back him to score anytime at odds of 14/1

If Chelsea perform as we know they can to take advantage of the home sides lack of confidence and get an early goal, we could see us kick on and score a couple more. However, based on our conversion to chances created I would recommend taking his bet - Chelsea to win by two goals at 15/4


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