Michael Owen and Paul Merson agree on ‘big’ Everton vs Chelsea Premier League prediction

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Everton and Chelsea come into this near season-defining game needing the points for very different reasons.

Frank Lampard’s side, who put up a valiant fight in their 2-0 loss last time out in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool last weekend, wiill be desperate to get one over his beloved club for personal reasons. More importantly, though, Burnley’s 2-1 win over Watford on Saturday meant that the gap for the Toffees between themselves and the Clarets and Leeds is five points, meaning a win is imperative if they are to retain hope of avoiding the drop.

Thankfully, they have two games in hand on their relegation-threatened rivals but points in the bag are often more valuable at this stage of the season as we come down to crunch time. On the contrary, Chelsea are feeling a lot easier about themselves despite dropping two points in wasteful fashion midweek against Ralf Rangnick’s stuttering Man United side.

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A lack of a clinical edge in front of goal was yet again bemoaned by Thomas Tuchel post-match but a point at Old Trafford meant that the Blues now have a six-point buffer to Arsenal and eight points to Spurs, who currently occupy sixth place. Therefore, a win is important for the west Londoners to solidify third place at this late stage and football.london rounds up how the pundits have seen this one going on Sunday afternoon.

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Michael Owen

“There’s been a lot of discussion about how Everton approached the game at Anfield, but they showed a lot of character in the game, and they clearly managed to frustrate Liverpool for a large period of the game. Frank Lampard will be hoping for a similar performance from his players here. Chelsea got a late winner over West Ham but they didn’t create or take enough chances. As good as this side can be, I still think there are games when the lack of a natural goalscorer can hurt them.

“This won’t be high scoring. Everton will keep things tight and hope to use the crowd to their advantage. I can see them getting a point.”

Prediction: 1-1 draw

Paul Merson

“Wow, this is a big game. If Burnley win, Everton will be four points behind them before they start this match. They played well against Liverpool, and they’ll need to get a result this weekend. This is a pretty good time to play against Chelsea, and Everton will have to make the most of it. A draw won’t be good enough for them, but they’ll have to take what they can get.

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“Everton’s approach against Chelsea will depend on what happens in the Burnley game. If Burnley win, Everton will need to make sure they don’t lose this weekend.”

Prediction: 1-1 draw

Mark Lawrenson

“Everton were much improved against Liverpool last weekend, and did really well for the first 60 minutes or so. Yes, they were doing whatever they could to slow the game down and frustrate the Reds, but it was working and they carried a bit of a threat too.

“In the end, they just couldn’t last out but there was nothing wrong with their spirit and it was still really encouraging, especially going into this game, where they will need to work just as hard to get anything out of Chelsea. This is the first time Everton boss Frank Lampard has come up against Chelsea since losing his job at Stamford Bridge last year, and I don’t think it’s a bad time to play them.

“Chelsea might make some changes after playing Manchester United on Thursday but they are pretty much sure of a top-four finish and Thomas Tuchel might just be looking now to work out his FA Cup final team.”

Prediction: 1-1 draw

Source by Football London

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