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Predicted Chelsea lineup against Everton: Here comes John Terry to save the day

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John Terry saved the day with a last-gasp equalizer last time we faced Everton. Now he might just do it with his defending.

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Chelsea have not found it too hard to score goals recently, having collected 39 in the 18 games since Mourinho's sacking, including three 5-goal outbursts, two of which came in the FA Cup.  But while the 19 conceded in the same span is not a horrible record, Chelsea have kept just two clean sheets.  The ease with which certain players have managed to knife through the defense, especially the left side (e.g.: Nathan Redmond, Andros Townsend, etc), or the general breakdowns we saw on Wednesday for both PSG goals are concerning.

But, there may be hope.  John Terry could be back after missing all six games.  He's desperate to play and he's been training for a couple days at least now.  All good signs.  That's not to say we didn't concede silly goals with Terry.  We did ship 3 to Everton not that long ago, and the defense has been leaky all season even under (especially under?) Mourinho.  But Terry's return does have a knock-on effect, allowing Cesar Azpilicueta to return to what by now sure seems to be his "natural" position at left back (or at least the position at which he's better than right back).  All-in-all, a better arrangement than with what we've been scraping by over the last month.

The rest of the lineup becomes the usual choice of giving established, but struggling first-teamers yet another chance, or giving youth a go.  Diego Costa looks set to miss out unfortunately, while I doubt we'd force Eden Hazard into action once again if he's truly not quite fit.  Given Everton's attacking threat, I do think we'll opt for the much-derided Matic-Mikel duo in the middle, pushing Fabregas forward and opting for a couple willing runners around a center forward.

4-2-3-1:
Courtois | Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic | Mikel, Matic | Pedro, Fabregas, Willian | Traore

The community seems to be thinking along much more straightforward lines.  Guus isn't one to over-complicate things unnecessarily, so they just may be right.

4-2-3-1:
Courtois | Baba, Ivanovic, Cahill, Azpilicueta | Mikel, Fabregas | Kenedy, Willian, Pedro | Traore