Everton are deep in the mire at present following a defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace added to a dismal run of Premier League form.

The Blues looked to have turned a mini-corner with a second-half comeback victory over Arsenal at Goodison Park, only to be brought back down to earth with a bump against the Eagles.

Now the Toffees head back to London to face European champions and early title contenders Chelsea.

Writing in his weekly BBC Sport column, Mark Lawrenson has predicted another chastening evening for Rafa Benitez’s side.

Rafael Benitez is back at another of his former clubs but he will not expect a warm welcome at Stamford Bridge – and I can’t see him picking up any points either. The very least you usually expect from a Benitez side is that they are solid at the back but, defensively, Everton have been poor of late and it is hard to see them keeping Chelsea quiet. Chelsea have not been at their best at either end recently, but they should still have too much for the Toffees, who have lost four away games on the trot going into this one.

Lawrenson tipped a 2-0 success for the hosts as Everton continue to look perilously over their shoulder.

Yet more injuries have marred the build-up as Seamus Coleman, Richarlison and Andros Townsend are all likely to miss out in West London.


Despite an apparent dip in form at Chelsea, the Blues will certainly have their work cut out to obtain anything from this contest.

Already without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Benitez may finally have to call upon young talents Ellis Simms or Lewis Dobbin for this clash.

Having conceded 28 goals in 16 Premier League games thus far, it’s an absent defensive solidity that the Toffees will need to discover in order to stand a chance of bringing points back to Merseyside.