After winning a place in the last eight of the Europa League, Chelsea turn attentions to winning a place in the top four of the Premier League.
That quest looked a lot better before last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge, but with nine games left to go, hope is certainly not lost. As Manchester City and Liverpool duke it out for the title, the rest of the top six are separated by four points. Vying for two available Champions League spots, every little bit counts.
This match is essentially Chelsea’s game-in-hand, as the rest of the teams immediately ahead of us had their league matches this weekend postponed due to FA Cup action. A win or a draw puts Chelsea fifth for the start of the post-international break run-in, and eight-match sprint to the finish.
Date / Time: Sunday, March 17, 2019, 16:30 GMT; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Referee: Anthony Taylor — a familiar face whom we last saw at the Emirates, as we lost 2-0 to Arsenal
Forecast: Rather atrocious, with strong winds and the possibility of hail showers
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); Fubo (affiliate link — USA only)
Everton team news: With just 1 win in their last 6, Everton are in a bit of tailspin and are close to basically giving up on the season. They won’t relegated and they won’t finish top six — what’s there left to fight for? Manager Marco Silva will of course be hoping for something better ahead of the international break, especially as the pressure on his job continues to increase.
The Toffees will be without Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma, who’s been one of the mainstays of their defense. He will likely be replaced by man-mountain Yerry Mina, who has not really lived up to his reputation or transfer fee — though he’s hardly alone in that regard at Goodison Park this season. Everton will also be without veteran Phil Jagielka, while full backs Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman are doubtful.
View from the enemy: Royal Blue Mersey
Chelsea team news: The squad remains in good health, but the results in the league have been harder to eke out than in Europe. A trip to Goodison Park is never easy, and it will be especially tough for local hero-turned-villain Ross Barkley, who’s set to play there for the first time as a non-Everton player.
Gonzalo Higuaín is expected to return from his bout of illness midweek, but Davide Zappacosta appeared to pick up a knock on Thursday and might miss out (which he often does anyway).
This is Chelsea’s last match until the end of the month.
Previously: Chelsea came close a couple times in a rather limp 0-0 draw at the Bridge.