Afternoon all! Sports Mole's live Premier League coverage continues from Stamford Bridge as Chelsea welcome Everton. Both sides will enter the match off the back of draws during the week, with Chelsea being held at home to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday and Everton securing a point at Manchester City on the same night. Everton (11th) are currently above Chelsea (14th) in the table, but the Toffees have a really rotten record at Stamford Bridge in the league.
Indeed, Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League home games against Everton – recording 11 wins in the process. The last time that Everton won at Stamford Bridge was way back in 1994, when Paul Rideout scored the only goal of the match. That said, Roberto Martinez
's side are looking to do the double over Chelsea for the first time since the 1978-79 season.
Everton recorded a 3-1 win when the pair met at Goodison Park towards the start of the season, but the Merseyside team have failed to score on their last two trips to Chelsea in the league – conceding in the 89th and 90th minute on their last two visits. What's more, Toffees boss Martinez has lost on all six of his Premier League trips to Stamford Bridge as an opposition coach!
Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news. Both teams still have key players on the sidelines, but there is plenty of quality in both sides...
CHELSEA: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Pedro; Costa
EVE: Howard; Oviedo, Jagielka, Stones, Baines; Barry, Besic, Barkley; Mirallas, Lukaku, Lennon
So there we have it. Eden Hazard and Radamel Falcao remain on the sidelines for the home team, but Loic Remy is back among the substitutes. John Obi Mikel, who is a favourite of Guus Hiddink, keeps his spot in midfield alongside Nemanja Matic, while Willian, Cesc Fabregas
and Pedro will support the lone forward Diego Costa
. At the back, Kurt Zouma is once again preferred to Gary Cahill.
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As for Everton, Tom Cleverley, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy are still on the treatment table, but there is a return at full-back for Costa Rican international Bryan Oviedo. Muhamed Besic has been in strong form since returning to fitness and he also starts alongside Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley in the centre of the pitch. Former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who has 15 Premier League goals to his name this season, will lead the line with support from Aaron Lennon and Kevin Mirallas
Since Guus Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho at the helm, Chelsea are unbeaten in all competitions. The Dutchman watched from the stands as the Blues beat Sunderland 3-1 in the league on December 19 and they have since also beaten Crystal Palace and picked up draws against Manchester United, Watford and West Brom. It appeared that they would pick up an important three points against West Brom on Wednesday, but they conceded late on as the score finished 2-2 in London.
As a result, Chelsea sit 14th in the table on 24 points. They are only six points clear of the relegation zone and currently 10 points behind sixth-place Manchester United. Realistically, this Chelsea team is capable of putting together a four/five-game winning run, but surely they cannot make the top four from this position. If they do not win the Champions League, they will be without top-level European football next season, which seems incredible for the current English champions.
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Last season, Chelsea were comfortably the best team in the Premier League, but they have really struggled this term. Confidence has been a problem throughout the campaign and that is shown by the fact that they have dropped 12 points from winning positions this season, which is the joint-highest figure in the entire league alongside Bournemouth and Newcastle United.
What's more, the Blues have conceded 31 times in their 21 league games this season, which is their highest tally at this stage of a Premier League season and just one short of the total that they conceded in the whole of last season. They have also found it difficult down the other end and a goal difference of -3 further puts into perspective Chelsea's troubles during the 2015-16 campaign thus far.
Chelsea have improved since Mourinho departed, but Hiddink's team will be seriously tested in the coming weeks. In fact, their upcoming fixtures are very difficult on paper. After this one, they will travel to league leaders Arsenal, before making the trip across London to face Watford at the start of February. The Blues will then welcome Manchester United and also have a date with French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in February. It is a massive month or so for the club.
As for Everton, they have flattered to deceive this season. Martinez's team have put in a number of impressive performances, but they are currently 11th in the table. Just three points separates them from eighth-place Crystal Palace, however, and they will fancy their chances of pushing for the top seven, top eight in the next couple of months. A win here would be a good start!
The Merseyside outfit will enter the match off the back of a 0-0 draw at Manchester City during the week and they have actually only lost one of their 10 Premier League away games this season – drawing six and winning three. It has been a story of too many draws, with the Toffees sharing the points in 10 of their 21 league games this season, which is a league high.
Unlike Chelsea, Everton have some decent fixtures ahead in the league. They are back at home to strugglers Swansea City next weekend and will then welcome relegation-threatened Newcastle United at the start of next month. Martinez's side are also active in both the FA Cup and League Cup and have the second leg of their League Cup semi-final at Manchester City next Wednesday.
This afternoon will be a big occasion for Lukaku, who returns to the club that he departed in 2014. There is no question that Chelsea will be regretting allowing the big Belgian to leave and he has already scored 15 Premier League goals this season, just two short of his best-ever total in England's top flight, which he achieved while on loan at West Bromwich Albion in 2012-13. Man United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested in the brilliant 22-year-old.
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Are Chelsea in a relegation battle? They are currently six points off the drop zone...
PREDICTION! This is a really tough game for Chelsea. If I had to pick a winner, I would just be siding with the hosts, but I am actually going to back a draw. Everton are a difficult team to beat, especially on the road, and I think that they have enough about them to claim a 1-1 in London.
The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. It is a massive game at Stamford Bridge and you can follow all the action with us right here!
KICKOFF! Plenty of interesting battles all over the field this afternoon. Lukaku against Terry and Zouma could be a cracker, while Costa will battle Stones and Jagielka down the other end. Right, the time for talking is over. The home side get the first 45 minutes of action underway...
... not too much to report in the opening couple of minutes as both teams battle for possession in the middle of the park. Besic has seen a fair bit of the ball for Everton inside two minutes here.
Stones, who is believed to be a £40m target for Chelsea, has been on the ball in the early moments, dictating the play for Everton and looking for that pass into midfield. Not an awful lot from Chelsea thus far and you sense that the home supporters will need to be patient in this game!
Willian, who has been Chelsea's star man this season, has been the player in blue attempting to make things happen in the early moments, but Everton continue to clear their lines. A nervous moment for Howard almost allows Costa to nip in, but the American clears up the park.
Just a few signs that Chelsea are settling here in terms of possession and as expected, it is Willian at the heart of everything. Everton, however, continue to play their way out of trouble. Barkley is extremely advanced at the moment and Mikel is being forced to drop extremely deep.
Mirallas and Lennon are extremely wide for Everton at the moment and that is causing problems for Chelsea's two full-backs, especially Ivanovic, who needs Zouma to come across and challenge Mirallas. No chances to speak of in the opening 10 minutes at Stamford Bridge.
Willian again shifts the ball wide before delivering towards Costa, but Howard comes to claim ahead of the Spanish international, who has that look in his eye. I am certain that the striker will pick a fight with someone at some point. Possibly Stones? Future teammate Stones maybe.
Mikel goes down in the middle of the park following an awkward fall, but the midfielder is back on his feet and should be fit to continue. Not an awful lot happening at the moment in either final third as both teams battle for possession in the middle of the park. Very even 14 minutes here.
Zouma versus Lukaku is an interesting battle and the Chelsea defender certainly has the size to deal with the powerful striker. Everton continue to make good ground down the right here.
SAVE! First real chance of the match comes to Chelsea as Willian breaks through on the Everton goal, but his low strike is saved by Howard, who tips it wide for a corner!
GOAL DISALLOWED! Everton have the ball in the back of the net as Mirallas chips Courtois from close range, but the offside flag had been raised against the Belgian. Some finish!
CLOSE! Suddenly this game is opening up and Everton have their best chance of the match, but Oviedo can only place his effort wide of the post after meeting a high ball!
Not an awful lot happened in the early moments of this match, but it is really opening up now. Chelsea are moving the ball from left to right with pace and purpose, but Everton are so dangerous when they have the chance to counter. Cracking period of the game in London.
Lukaku finds space outside the Chelsea box and decides to unleash one, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Half-chances at either end as this game gathers pace here.
Costa attempts to drive into the Everton box and gets past Mirallas and Jagielka, but Baines is across on the cover and manages to squeeze him out. Costa looks like he is going to throw his arms in frustration, but the Spanish international accepts the decision. What is happening here!
Well, 26 minutes on the clock and it has been a very even match. Chelsea's best chance came to Willian, but the Brazilian fired straight at Howard from inside the box, while Everton have had the ball in the back of the net through Mirallas, but the Belgian was correctly ruled to be offside.
This time Costa does wave his arms after going down under a challenge from Stones and the referee agrees that the striker was fouled. Chances remain few and far between in London.
Willian continues to twist and turn away from Everton players, but the final pass has not been there in the opening 31 minutes. Down the other end, Zouma has been excellent as he continues to deny Lukaku and Mirallas. Lennon has not really been involved on the right for Everton.
Pedro has not really adapted to the rigours of Premier League football and the Spaniard is pushed off the ball by Mirallas, winning Everton a corner. The resulting set piece is delivered by Baines, but Terry is on hand to clear. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining here.
Not much of an atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment and that is exactly what Everton would have wanted at this stage of the match. It has been pretty comfortable for the visitors.
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Little over five minutes of the first period remaining and not much is happening in either final third at the moment. There have been a couple of late challenges for the referee to deal with, but he has not issued a yellow card thus far. It has been an interesting tactical battle thus far!
SAVE! Wonderful turn from Mirallas outside the Chelsea box and the Belgian follows it up with a stinging effort towards the bottom corner, but Courtois is across to make the save!
Everton are playing the better football at the moment as they continue to move the ball in the final third, with Barkley causing problems just behind Lukaku in the final third. Chelsea have not really offered a threat for long periods of this first half and there is frustration in the stands.
One additional minute at the end of this first period.
HALF-TIME: Chelsea 0-0 Everton
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. It has been a very even game in terms of chances, but Everton have arguably been the more threatening in the final third. Some boos from the crowd as the two sets of players head down the tunnel!
STATS! Chelsea have just about shaded the possession with 51%, but they have only had one shot on target, which came from Willian. Everton, meanwhile, have also only had one shot on target, but they have had five attempts overall to Chelsea's two. No yellow cards to report!
BENCH WATCH! Chelsea have a number of attacking options on their bench this afternoon, with the likes of Kenedy, Oscar and Remy all capable of making a difference. Everton, meanwhile, have options in the shape of Cleverley, Deulofeu, Kone, Osman and the returning Pienaar.
RESTART! Here we go then - both sets of players re-join us on the pitch for the second period. Will we have a breakthrough in London? It is the visitors that resume the action here...
... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that alterations will take place if the score remains level for the next 20, 25 minutes here. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be crucial here.
Mirallas remains a threat for Everton and once again manages to squeeze a low cross into the Chelsea box, but Courtois is on hand to claim. Chelsea need more from the likes of Pedro and Fabregas in this second period, but it is the visitors that continue to press high up the field here.
GOAL! Chelsea 0-1 Everton (Terry OG)
Everton take the lead in the 50th minute as Chelsea captain Terry turns a low Baines cross into his own net from close range. The centre-back got his feet all wrong and Everton have the lead in London. The home supporters respond with cries of 'Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea!'
POST! Everton have a wonderful chance to score a second after Barkley finds space inside the Chelsea box, but the England midfielder hits the post! Real let-off for Chelsea!
Costa has a go at Oviedo following a late challenge, signs that the Chelsea striker is losing his head once again. Meanwhile, the home team are preparing to make their first change...
... CHELSEA SUB! Oscar for Matic.
GOAL! Chelsea 0-2 Everton (Mirallas)
Oh my word! What a goal! Everton have their second as Mirallas controls a low cross from Baines before firing one into the bottom corner. It is a super finish from the Belgian!
Little over 30 minutes of football remaining here and Chelsea need some inspiration from somewhere. Everton have utterly dominated matters since the half-time interval here.
It is the Everton fans that can be heard as Chelsea break down the left with Oscar, but once again the ball into the box is cleared. Everton are such a threat on the counter here.
SAVE! A clever flick from Fabregas almost catches out Howard, but the American goalkeeper shows excellent reflexes to tip wide. Some stop from Howard there!
GOAL! Chelsea 1-2 Everton (Costa)
Chelsea are back in business here as Costa takes advantage of a mix-up between Howard and Jagielka before rolling the ball home from close range. Super response from the hosts!
GOAL! Chelsea 2-2 Everton (Fabregas)
Oh my word! Everton have fallen apart here! Chelsea level the scores in the 66th minute as Fabregas's deflected effort finds the bottom corner after a super flick from Costa!
Oviedo has hit the deck for Everton and that might not be a bad idea! The visitors need to find a way to stop this onslaught, which has occurred ever since the Toffees took a 2-0 lead.
It does not look good for Oviedo as the stretcher is called...
... Oviedo is no stranger to a serious injury and it occurred following a clash with Kenedy, who has replaced Pedro for Chelsea. That happened just after the scores were levelled at 2-2.
EVERTON SUB! Funes Mori replaces Oviedo for Everton.
Everton have just managed to repel some of the pressure in the last couple of minutes, but it is still Chelsea on the front foot as we approach the final 15 minutes. There have been some super games in the Premier League over the last week or so and this has been right up there!
Half-chance for Chelsea as the ball is once again fed into Costa, but the striker cannot make clean contact and Everton manage to clear. It is simply all one-way traffic at the moment!
CHANCE! Stunning chance for Everton to regain the lead as Mirallas goes through one-on-one with Courtois, but the Chelsea stopper wins the battle! He had to score!
CHELSEA SUB! Remy replaces the injured Costa.
EVERTON SUBS! Deulofeu and Pienaar replace Barkley and Lennon.
You just get the feeling that there is another goal in this match as Chelsea continue to commit players in the final third. Everton might well be happy with a point at this stage, despite the fact that they led 2-0 early in the second period. Little over five minutes of football remaining here.
Chelsea continue to work the ball into wide positions, but Everton are now much tighter at the back and Jagielka hammers down the field under pressure from Remy, who is full of running.
CLOSE! Mikel has a long-range strike deflected wide for Chelsea!
Lukaku has come alive in the last couple of minutes as Everton look to feed their big striker, but Terry just does enough on two separate occasions to clear the danger. Still 2-2 in London.
It is Everton now on the front foot as Mirallas continues to impress in a wide position, while Baines is also caught up-field during a phase of possession. Chelsea break, but to no avail.
Lukaku once again gets in ahead of his marker after a super cross from Deulofeu, but Ivanovic does enough to clear ahead of the Belgian. Everton are threatening a winner here!
GOAL! Chelsea 2-3 Everton (Funes Mori)
Oh my word! Everton have surely won this as Funes Mori somehow squeezes the ball home at the far post after the ball was recycled from a corner. Terrible Chelsea defending there!
BOOKING! Funes Mori (Everton) is booked for his celebration.
Seven additional minutes here!
Chelsea continue to swing the ball into the Everton box, but it is desperate defending from the visitors that helps clear the danger. There is still time for this score to change!
Howard gets down to keep out Willian as the pressure continues!
Time almost up here and Everton are holding out...
GOAL! Chelsea 3-3 Everton (Terry)
You just could not write it. Chelsea level in the eighth minute of additional time as Terry bundles home from close range following a header from Ivanovic. He looked offside!
FULL-TIME: Chelsea 3-3 Everton
What a game! What a game! Chelsea come from behind on three occasions to draw 3-3 with Everton in the Premier League. This season continues to produce! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around for all the reaction. Until next time!