In January of this year, Everton came perhaps the closest they've been in over two decades to breaking their futile run of results in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.
After blowing a two-goal lead in the second half, they scored what appeared to be a winner as the clocked ticked towards 90. But seven minutes of added-on were enough for Chelsea captain, leader, offside goal-scorer John Terry to equalize with the final kick of the game. And so the streak continued. Twenty-one matches in twenty-two years without a win at Stamford Bridge for the Toffees.
Chelsea, in our best league form for seven seasons (not since 2009-10, when we won the title with Carlo Ancelotti, have Chelsea recorded four clean sheets in a row), will look to extend both that streak of futility and our own streak of excellence.
The last international break of the calendar year begins after this weekend, which means no Chelsea games until the middle of November. The month will end with back-to-back contests against Spurs and Manchester City — the dearth of games adding extra emphasis on continuing to achieve good results and keeping pace with the lead pack.
Date / Time: Saturday, November 5, 2016, 17:30 GMT; 1:30pm EDT; 11pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Robert Madley — the rather inexperienced Bobby Madley gets to adjudicate over this top-six clash with possible European implications. We last saw him in the 4-2 comeback win over Leicester City in the EFL Cup earlier this season.
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBC, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (India); NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Star Sports (India)
Chelsea team news: Situation unchanged as far as the health of the squad, and thus, most likely, the starting lineup as well. Chelsea may be in the midst of the sort of winning streak not since since 2009-10, but when was the last time we fielded the same starting lineup in three (and about to be four) straight games?
Kurt Zouma is expected to play one more rehab assignment with the U23s before rejoining the first-team squad for good after the international break alongside Cesc Fàbregas who looks to have finally put his "muscular injury" issues aside. Will be interesting to see if/when either of them actually play competitively.
Diego Costa continues to lead the league in goals while Eden Hazard has three goals in his last four games. Chelsea have been prolific in attack and beyond stingy in defense — it's a situation that's far too good to continue for too long, so we must take advantage as long as we can.
Everton team news: After a strong start to the season, last weekend's win over West Ham was Everton's first in six games in all competitions. They are currently on a three-match winless streak away from home, which includes surprising losses to AFC Bournemouth and Burnley (and a surprising draw at Manchester City). Leighton Baines, James McCarthy, and Mo Besic will all miss out through injury, while Gana Gueye, a most important player for Ronald Koeman who had also caught our eye as a smart signing this summer, is suspended.
The one man who hasn't been struggling at all is Romelu Lukaku, who's second only to Costa in terms of goalscoring in the league. Many are billing this as a showdown between the two "complete strikers", but chances are that it will be the supporting cast who will decide the actual outcome of the game. As last weekend, Chelsea's top-four attack faces a top-two defence; to break that down, a team effort will be required just as Conte has been preaching all season. Gueye is a big loss for Everton; Kanté & Co are flying high. That could be all the difference needed...
View from the enemy: Royal Blue Mersey — be sure to the check out their opposition analysis for a third-person perspective on Chelsea, Conte, and the 3-4-3.
Previously: John Terry equalizes as the death to maintain the aforementioned 22-year unbeaten streak.