Chelsea v Everton: Preview and prediction
Graham Potter has noted the change in atmosphere around Chelsea following their positive recent run, which his side will hope to continue against Everton.
Potter was under huge pressure at Stamford Bridge after a dismal stretch that saw only two wins in 15 matches in all competitions.
But Chelsea have since won three in a row, with Premier League victories over Leeds United and Leicester City sandwiching a vital Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund.
Emboldened by those results, Potter met with fans at an event this week and told them he would "try to win the f***ing Champions League".
That enthusiasm could have been dampened by Friday's draw, in which Chelsea were paired with Real Madrid on the same side of the bracket as Manchester City and Bayern Munich, but Potter remained upbeat ahead of Saturday's meeting with Everton.
"It was a nice event in front of 1,000 or so supporters. The atmosphere was good," Potter said after a clip of his rallying cry appeared on social media.
"It was a good evening. Results give everyone belief and happiness, and we're here to win."
Everton have also improved of late under Sean Dyche, winning three of their last seven to give themselves a fighting chance in the relegation battle.
All of those victories have come at home, but Dyche hopes his side have the mentality to take that form on the road – starting at Chelsea.
"It's more the consistency of the mentality, home games going into away games," he said. "It's the mentality and saying, 'look we're going to take it on'.
"There's certain tactical things that may change, but generally speaking, the mentality is massive.
"There's some tactical tweaks sometimes, certain grounds you might not have the ball as much, but you've got to find ways of winning, and we're trying to build a mentality where we can win games under different circumstances."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chelsea – Mykhaylo Mudryk
Chelsea played some thrilling football in the win at Leicester and, to the relief of some supporters, there was a role in that team for Mykhaylo Mudryk.
The winger had previously lost his place in the side and did not even appear from the bench against Leeds and Dortmund, but his wait for a first goal involvement was ended with an assist for Mateo Kovacic. Mudryk will hope a first goal is not far away.
Everton – Demarai Gray
With Everton still without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gray was handed a striking role last time out against Brentford.
Although he did not score, no Everton player was involved in more shots (three shots, two key passes). Dyche will likely rely on the winger-turned-forward's nuisance factor again at the Bridge.
MATCH PREDICTION – CHELSEA WIN
Although Everton have beaten Chelsea in each of the previous four seasons, all of those wins came at Goodison Park. They have a miserable record in west London.
Indeed, Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 27 Premier League home games against Everton. Against no side have they ever had a longer unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge in their top-flight history.
And the Blues have started to find form at both ends of the pitch. They have scored five goals across their past two games, as many as they had in their previous 12 in all competitions, and are looking to keep three consecutive home clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since September 2021.
OPTA WIN PROBABILITY
Chelsea – 54.1 per cent
Everton – 19.3 per cent
Draw – 26.6 per cent