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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Chelsea v Everton: Will it be a blue day for Mourinho or Martinez at the Bridge?


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Premier League leaders Chelsea kick off the weekend with a lunchtime kick off against Champions League hopefuls Everton, but will it be a blue day for Mourinho or Martinez?

Chelsea dropped two crucial points in the race to the title last time out against West Brom. Fortunately for them neither Arsenal nor Manchester City could capitalise - drawing blanks with Manchester United and Norwich City respectively. 

Mourinho and martinezHowever, Everton travel south determined to leave with all three points. Not only do they have their sights set on overtaking Liverpool and Spurs to finishing in the top four, this afternoon they can achieve something they haven't managed to do since 1978 . . . record the double over Chelsea!

Yes, despite having scored in their past 13 meetings with Chelsea, Everton have failed to beat the boys from the King's Road home and away in a single season since I was born 35 years ago. 

Chelsea start the game as favourites, despite having being knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester City last weekend, but Everton - who consigned Mourinho to his first defeat on his second coming at Chelsea in September - will be desperate to bounce back from defeats at the hands of rivals Liverpool and Spurs. It will be tough though.

The hosts have only dropped six points from their past 10 outings in the league - Arsenal, West Ham and West Brom - and Mourinho is still protecting his unbeaten home record.

Everton' hopes of success in the league this season meanwhile have been derailed following away consecutive away defeats. In fact, the last time the Toffees celebrated victory on their travels in the league was just before Christmas when they beat Swansea City.

Games between Chelsea and Everton do tend to be full-bloodied affairs and this will be no different. There will be a lot of talented players on show and Mourinho and Martinez are two of the smartest managers around. A positive result for Everton would really shake-up the title race once more and give Liverpool and Spurs something to think about too, but Chelsea must win to retain top spot.

It will be an intriguing game, but who will come out on top?

SQF Prediction: 2-2

Do you agree with our prediction? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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