Torres To Terrorise Toffees?
Rafa Banitez takes his Chelsea (13/8) side to Goodison Park on Sunday to face Everton (9/5), in his first trip back to Merseyside since leaving Liverpool. Everton fans should give him a frosty welcome as he returns to the "small club" which he infamously branded Everton back in 2006 whilst at the helm of their bitter city rivals.
That so called small club got off to its best start to a Premier League season since 2004/5, are just two points behind The Blues in the title race and could leap-frog them should they make it 4 home wins on the spin, and pick up all 3 points at Goodison. They currently sit 8 points to the good over Liverpool and are fighting for a Champions League spot come the end of the season. They are enjoying a 13 home game unbeaten run and have been beaten just once in their last 16 Premier League fixtures. The Toffees have lost just 6 games this calendar year so should go into this clash with the confidence to beat Chelsea.
Nikica Jelavic (6/1 first last, 7/4 anytime) has scored 8 goals at home this year, the most home goals since Kevin Campbell back in 1999, and we have him at (6/1 first/last, 7/4 anytime). We also have our Matchwinner offer on him to score in an Everton win enhanced to 5/1. Kevin Mirallas (7/1 first/last, 2/1 anytime) will be looking to get amongst the goals again. Victor Anichebe should start and go (8/1 first/last 11/4 anytime) for him to add to his 4 goal tally this season.
Everton have scored in each of their last 16 Premier League games; the longest-such run seen in the competition this season but have conceded in their last 14 so both teams to score at 4/6 could be a decent shout. Everton have also hit the woodwork (14 times) more than any other team in the Premier League this season. Only Manchester City (259) and Liverpool (257) clubs have had more shots (excl. blocked) than Everton (247) in the Premier League this season.
David Moyes' side are never easy to beat and we have Everton at 19/5 To Win To Nil.
Banitez can expect a hostile atmosphere when he takes to the sidelines on Sunday, luckily though, this time from the opposing fans! His appointment as Chelsea manager last month sparked controversy and outrage amongst the Chelsea faithful, but 3 straight wins down the line and all that appears to have been forgotten.
A few weeks in Japan for the World Club Championship has proved to galvanise his team somewhat. Just two days after stepping off the plane they hammered Leeds Utd at Elland Road to set up a Capital One Cup semi-final then stuck 8 past Aston Villa. Fernando Torres (6/1 first/last 7/4 anytime) has been rejuvenated under the boss that introduced him to English football and any team with Torres firing is be one to be feared. Indeed we have enhanced his odds. Fernando Torres to score in a Chelsea win from 16/5 to 4/1.
Chelsea have won their last 3 League games under Rafa and Juan Mata (15/2 first/last 9/4 anytime) will be looking to extend that run. The Spaniard has scored 6 goals in his last 8 appearances in all competitions. He has also scored or assisted 14 goals in 16 Premier League appearances this season.
Chelsea have had 44 shots in their last 2 league matches against Villa and Norwich. Over 19.5 goal-kicks could be the way to go at EVS.
The head to head between the two sides makes interesting reading. Rafa Benitez is unbeaten against Everton with 5 wins and one draw whilst in charge at Liverpool but Everton have lost only once to Chelsea in their last 8 meetings. However, they have never beaten Chelsea over the Christmas period.
Nikica Jelavic to score & Everton win @ 5/1
Fernando Torres to score & Chelsea to win @ 4/1
Worth a punt
2-2 Draw 14/1 @ 14/1
Double result Everton/Draw @ 14/1