Everton vs Chelsea, preview, predicted XI, team news and more
Chelsea are set to battle it out with a bruised Everton side on Saturday's lunch-time kick-off at Goodison Park as they aim to make it two wins on the bounce and momentarily at least, go level on points with champions Manchester City.
Their opponents however, are the ones who've made the biggest stories of every publisher's back page, post Marco Silva's sacking just after 18 months into his tenure at Merseyside.
After a lavish outlay in summer, the Toffees failed to match their ambitions of chasing the top dogs in the league. And that, quite glaringly, as they sit inside the dreadful relegation zone; a point away from Southampton.
Although momentum is not swinging in their favour, the hosts would aim to emulate a similar result to the one they put in in March, when they outclassed Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea by 2-0. Not to mention, the Blues have failed to find the back of the net in each of their last three encounters with Everton.
Home comforts succour Frank Lampard's opponents, who have won six of their last 10 matches at home against Chelsea. However, it'd be cretinous to write off this free-scoring young side marashalled by Lampard, especially after they've regained their flow after a run of consecutive league defeats.
On that note, we bring you everything you need to know ahead of the opening game of the much-awaited weekend.
Everton vs Chelsea: Head-to-head
Everton wins: 55
Chelsea wins: 72
Everton vs Chelsea: Form guide
Last five matches (in all competitions)
Duncan Ferguson and co. will be sweating over the fitness of center-half Yerry Mina, who ended his performance in the Merseyside derby by tottering off. Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman and Fabian Delph remain sidelined.
With the all-important finale of the Champions League group stage looming, Lampard is expected to rotate his squad and rest some of the more important players.
The Chelsea boss confirmed that the game comes a tad too soon for Antonio Rudiger, while Ross Barkley is in contention to face his former side. Tammy Abraham and Willian are set to brush aside their knocks and be match fit.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marco Van Ginkel remain long-term casualties.
Everton v Chelsea: Predicted XI
Everton (4-2-3-1): Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Yerri Mina, Micheal Keane, Lucas Digne, Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies, Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga, Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, Cesar Azpilicueta Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Willian, Tammy Abraham, Calum Hudson-Odoi
Everton v Chelsea: Match prediction
The Blues will be hoping for a string of positive results, and it's hard to look beyond them in this fixture due to the baseline of the circumstances. A hostile atmosphere at Goodison is expected, with the visiting fans set to out-sing the opposition faithful.
Abraham could add to his tally, while the engine and harmonious functioning of the wonderful trio of Jorginho, Kante and Mateo Kovacic could prove to be too hot to handle for a sorry Toffees side.
Predicted score: Everton 1-4 Chelsea