Chelsea v Everton: Back the hosts to bag a few at the Bridge

With a fresh Romelu Lukaku facing his former club, Chelsea can put a few goals away against struggling Everton on Thursday, says Paul Higham...

Chelsea conceding more then usual

Chelsea have been unusually open and entertaining in the last few games, but you can bet Thomas Tuchel isn't enjoying this new gung-ho style at Stamford Bridge.

The European champions have let in eight goals in their last three - as many as they had in 18 games before that - with their last two Premier League games ending 3-2.

A late penalty did for Leeds after the Blues had been beaten at West Ham, but if there's a team Tuchel will fancy being able to keep out it's this struggling Everton side - who haven't won a league game at Stamford Bridge since November 1994.

Missing the control N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic give them in midfield has been the big issue for Chelsea, but even without them Tuchel will feel confident of keeping up their title challenge against such an out-of-form opposition.

Rafa on the ropes at struggling Everton

The walls are closing in on Rafa Benitez and he's a big favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post for a reason - namely just one win in 10 and growing unrest among the fans.

The only glimmer of hope on the horizon is that after facing Chelsea and Leicester they have eight straight games against bottom half sides, including four games against the current bottom three. Of course, bad results against that lot could see him out even quicker!

The stats against Chelsea aren't great either, with no wins in 26 away games (D11 L15) and no goals on their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge. The Toffees have lost their last four away games in a row and have just one win on the road all season.

Injuries haven't helped, to star man Dominic Calvert-Lewin especially, but performances just haven't been there - even when Benitez got a rare good one against Arsenal they then lost at Crystal Palace.

An ex-Liverpool manager was never going to get a lot of time to prove himself, and if Benitez gets a kicking from another former club Chelsea he could soon add ex-Everton boss to his CV.

Tuchel keen to tighten up

Chelsea are obviously huge favourites at 1.2 and even in this form Everton can't have gone into too many games as 13.0 outsiders. Even the draw is classed as far-fetched by the bookies at 6.0.

The combination of mistakes in their own defence and not creating enough chances against the opposition has been killing Everton - and their goal threat could be diminished even further if Richarlison doesn't fully recover from a calf injury.

After conceding a goal in each of their last five games, following just one goal against in the previous five, it's hard to imagine this game goes down that free-scoring route of Chelsea's last few. They haven't conceded 2+ goals in four straight games in five years and that won't be repeated on Thursday.

Everton have scored less than a goal a game away in the Premier League, and this isn't the place for them to up those stats, so look for a Chelsea win to nil here.

Chelsea to score over 2.5 goals at 2.5 is also worth a look.

Lukaku to haunt former team

Romelu Lukaku is still Everton's record Premier League goalscorer, and although he's scored just once in his five games against them this looks an ideal situation for him to pad those stats. He's 4.0 to score twice..

He's being eased back into the action after injury but scored when starting against Zenit and only came on for the last few minutes against Leeds so will be fresh to lead the line - and no doubt do some damage.

Mason Mount has scored in his last three Premier League games and he's 3.3 to make it four in a row.

If Everton are to mount some attack, it's likely to come through Demarai Gray who has two goals and five shots on target in his last three games - he's also got three bookings.

He's a big price at 10.0 to score again but since we don't really fancy Everton to score it's worth looking at a decent value bet of 2.5 for him to hit the target, given his dribbling and shooting skills mean he can create something out of nothing.

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