Chelsea took another major step towards a top-four finish with a midweek victory over Liverpool, but they won’t find it easy to keep their run going against Everton on Monday.
Kevin Hatchard, Mark O’Haire and Jake Osgathorpe previewed the fixture on the latest edition of the Football…Only Bettor podcast. The trio seemed to be in agreement that while Chelsea are the favourites, Everton will be tricky opponents.
Mark said: “Ultimately I suspect this game is going to follow the same sort of blueprint which has been laid out by both of these teams in recent weeks and months.
“Chelsea will look to control the game, keep possession, probe Everton for their weaknesses. Whereas Everton might be quite happy to stay compact, keep their shape and rely on their counter-attack and set pieces.
“They’ve got Allan back in midfield which I think solidifies things massively. Calvert-Lewin is back available as well. Richarlison is back scoring goals which is great for them.
“I think that derby win away at Liverpool will really boost their morale, boost their ability and confidence in going to Stamford Bridge to try and get a result.
“If you listen to Carlo Ancelotti in recent matches, he’s ambitious, he wants his team to push on and keep fighting for a Champions League place which is really quite encouraging.
“I do think this will be an interesting game but I don’t think it will be one for goals. I’m quite surprised if you look at the market that you can get odds against for under 2.5 goals.
“At the moment, Thomas Tuchel has taken charge of nine Chelsea games and just one of those has gone over 2.5. They kept clean sheets in seven of those across all competitions and they’re yet to score three or more goals in a match.
“Whereas Everton, since we talked about their switching system to be a little more pragmatic, they’ve delivered unders in 11 of their last 16 Premier League games, including five of seven matches against top-six teams too. They’re well capable of keeping games tight and compact too.
“I think that Chelsea will probably get the result, but at the moment, odds against for unders, I think that’s a great play.”
You can hear more tips and more insight from Kevin, Mark and Jake on the latest edition of Betfair’s Football…Only Bettor podcast.