Everton outplayed Chelsea in the first Premier League clash of the season between the two sides, and Roberto Martinez will hope for more of the same when the teams clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Steven Naismith was the hero for Everton, scoring a hat-trick at Goodison Park in a thoroughly impressive 3-1 victory in September. This Chelsea side are, of course, a changed team since then, with Jose Mourinho replaced by Guus Hiddink. And while there have been signs of improvements, that soft underbelly is still there for everyone to see, as was evident in midweek, when West Brom came back twice to hold the Blues to a 2-2 draw.
It is that flaw Everton will target again, with one man, in particular, coming in with a point to prove. Romelu Lukaku was sold by Chelsea to Everton in the summer of 2014, and the Belgium international has gone on to become one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
While Chelsea struggle with their strikers, due to injury and a lack of form, Lukaku has been bagging the goals, with the forward currently on 15, the joint highest in the Premier League. If Lukaku shows the kind of form he has shown the majority of this season, Chelsea, with their far from convincing defence, will find it difficult to cope, which in turn will put the pressure on the attackers at the other end to find the goals.
One of them who has found goals hard to come by this season – Eden Hazard –will not make a return from a groin problem, but Hiddink is hopeful of the Belgian's return for the Arsenal match next weekend.
With all of Chelsea's woes this season, though, they are still only four points behind Everton, who have also flattered to deceive more often than not this season, and 12 points off fourth place. While Hiddink insisted Chelsea remain in a battle for relegation, the Dutchman will also have an eye on going on a winning run to cut that gap to Tottenham in fourth.
"There is a 12-point difference from fourth place, which is a [big] gap," Hiddink told reporters. "We all like to look forward towards the top of the table, but we also have to be realistic and see we are six points away from the relegation line. That's also a fact.
"We have to work hard and be very concentrated. We have to gather our points to step up. That's why it is a pity West Brom got this 86th minute equaliser because a win would have helped us a lot in going up the table.
"We were one point off the relegation line [when Hiddink replaced Mourinho] but now we have a little bit more room to breathe in. We have two very difficult games coming up -- Everton who have a very good away record, and then Arsenal. If you don't gather points you don't know what the others can do. The Premier League can surprise you."
Where to Watch Live
The EPL game is scheduled for a 3 pm GMT (8.30 pm IST, 10 am ET) start. Live TV coverage of the match in India will be on Star Sports 2 and HD2. The match can also be watched via live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
The Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton will not be shown live in the UK.
NBC Sports Network will broadcast the EPL game live in the US, while the game can also be live streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Audience in Canada can watch the action live on Sportsnet World, with the live stream option on Watch Sportsnet Online.
Bein Sports Arabia 11 and Bein Sports Connect will show the match live on TV and online.