Chelsea vs Everton predictions: Slow-burning Battle of the Blues in store
- Chelsea have been level at HT in six of their last nine PL games
- Everton have been better in the first halves of their matches under Sean Dyche
- Recommended Bet: Back a drawn first half
Chelsea can maintain their freshly-established momentum if they see off a desperate Everton side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
The Blues have finally found some cohesion and confidence under Graham Potter with back-to-back Premier League wins keeping them just about in the conversation for a top-four finish.
Sean Dyche's Toffees also picked up three points last weekend thanks to a backs-to-the-wall display at home to Brentford.
It moved the Merseyiders a point clear of the bottom three and they will be desperate to stay out of the drop zone heading into this month's international break.
Chelsea are again without Raheem Sterling, who has a minor hamstring problem, but Reece James comes back into contention for this game after missing last weekend's 3-1 win over Leicester through illness.
Although Wesley Fofana appeared to pick up an injury late on against his former club, the Frenchman has been able to train this week and may keep his starting berth.
There could be further good news in the form of N'Golo Kante, who last played in August, returning to the matchday squad.
But Thiago Silva, Mason Mount and Cesar Azpilicueta are again sidelined.
For Everton, striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is still nursing a hamstring problem and looks unlikely to feature this side of the international break.
Andros Townsend remains a long-term absentee, but Nathan Patterson and James Garner are understood to be in the mix to make the trip to London.
All 10 of Chelsea's league victories this season have come against clubs currently below them in the standings.
Meanwhile, Everton are winless in 11 consecutive away games in all competitions since beating Southampton on October 1 — they last went 12 without victory between December 2003 and May 2004.
The Toffees have gone 11 league games without a win in London (D3, L8), failing to score in each of their last four fixtures in the capital.
Everton centre-back James Tarkowski has blocked 57 shots in the Premier League this season — at least 24 more than any other player.
He also has the highest aerial duel success rate in the Premier League this season (72.2% — among players who contested at least 75 aerial duels).
Momentum is massive in football and, after looking like they could not make any forward progress a couple of weeks ago, Chelsea now carry a three-game win streak into Saturday's clash with the Toffees.
They looked very good at times against Leicester last weekend, but will not find Everton as easy to play against.
The Toffees will sit deep and defend their box with everything they have got and so it could take a while for the Londoners' superior quality to shine through.
Potter's team had scored only one first-half goal in their previous nine Premier League games to last week's game at the King Power Stadium.
And while Everton have been behind at the interval in four of their last five away league contests, three of those were against Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.
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