Everton begin make-or-break spell by hosting Chelsea


Everton will aim to jump-start their survival bid when they host third-placed Chelsea at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The Toffees had avoided the relegation zone all season despite their poor form but their troubles caught up with them last weekend as Burnley defeated Wolves early on Sunday to send the Blues into the drop-zone.

A victory over rivals Liverpool at Anfield was not forthcoming despite a resilient performance and Everton now enter a weekend in 18th place for the first time this season.

There is a psychological element to this with Everton now the hunter rather than the hunted. It also comes with more pressure as each defeat can potentially leave them in even deeper trouble.

The Clarets visited a Watford side who hadn’t won at home since November and took victory on Saturday, which means that Everton now find themselves five points adrift of safety before Sunday’s encounter, even if they have games in hand.

Sunday’s game is also intriguing due to the fact that Everton manager Frank Lampard will be taking on the side that he last managed and where he scored 211 goals in a highly successful career.

Lampard will be leaving nostalgia behind him though as he realises this is one of Everton’s most crucial games of the season. Yerry Mina and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are both back in contention to play but Ben Godfrey could miss the remainder of the campaign as the result of an injury picked up in last week’s warm-up against Liverpool.

Chelsea will come into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford and Thomas Tuchel’s side are in the midst of an indifferent run of form.

Two wins, a draw and two defeats in their previous five Premier League games points to a side that know they’re firmly secured in third place but unlikely to go any higher as the season reaches it’s conclusion.

All eyes in the Chelsea camp will be on the FA Cup final in two weeks time and this may work in Everton’s favour as Tuchel could look to rotate in order to keep the squad fresh for the May 14th showpiece.

For Everton fans, a nervous few weeks will begin as they keep an eye on happenings at Vicarage Road and Elland Road. They will get behind their side on Sunday as survival is still in their hands.

Lampard may just remind Chelsea supporters of what they once had.

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