It’s back to the Bridge for an early one this Saturday after two games on the road. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton are already prepared…
Chelsea have not lost to Everton in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge for 19 years and have the best unbeaten home record in the top flight. A third successive league victory against the Toffees at the Bridge would be our 66th in all competitions – the most achieved against any other club.
The Blues know retaining leadership of the Premier League can only be guaranteed by a win this weekend, and it will require a vast improvement on last Saturday’s FA Cup exit at the Etihad to earn the three points.
This is Chelsea’s fifth early kick-off in the league. The four matches so far have yielded seven points. Everton’s record is five points from five games, the most recent was their last Premier League outing, a 0-1 defeat at Tottenham.
The Liverpudlians have yet to suffer back-to-back defeats under Roberto Martinez. The White Hart Lane game could have gone either way but was settled by Emmanuel Adebayor from a set-play that was not cleared.
It was interesting to hear the Toffees manager’s analysis in the TV studio after Manchester City’s home defeat to Barcelona. He suggested that to be a goal and a man down with 40 minutes remaining against the Catalans presented ‘an impossible mission.’ Try 10 men, 0-2, 47 minutes, at Camp Nou – Chelsea managed a thrilling draw under just those circumstances.
Champions League action returns to our calendars on Wednesday with the Türk Telekom Arena stadium our destination. Opponents Galatasaray, who qualified for the Round of 16 ahead of Juventus, are presently third in Turkey’s Süper Lig.
They have slipped six points shy of scandal-hit rivals Fenerbahçe after successive draws home and away. Roberto Mancini’s side play on Saturday evening at Rizespor, 1,000 kilometres away along the Black Sea shoreline.
In our FA Cup defeat, Man City’s blank week seemed to hand them an extra sharpness from the off – their reaction to a dispiriting home loss to Barcelona will be informative when they host Stoke City’s awkward squad.
Although many people, including Chelsea’s manager, have suggested Liverpool’s lack of European football hands them an advantage over their title rivals, history is against the Scousers.
No team since Leeds United in 1991/92 have been crowned champions in a season in which they had no UEFA competition involvement. Liverpool’s year-on-year improvement would, in that sense, be unprecedented. Equally, the statistic indicates Europe may not be such of a costly distraction from league success.
Incidentally, after Wednesday’s results, only two clubs this season have managed to beat Manchester City and Arsenal in their own stadium: Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
*Points won from games between the teams in the current top seven
The race for the Premier League Golden Boot
Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 23
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 16
Sergio Aguero (Man City) 15
Eden Hazard 12
Yaya Toure (Man City) 12
Loic Remy (Newcastle) 11
The race for the Premier League Golden Glove
Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) 12
Petr Cech 11
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) 11
Tim Howard (Everton) 9
Jussi Jaaskelainen (West Ham) 8
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Chelsea v Everton 12.45pm – BT Sport
Arsenal v Sunderland 3pm
Cardiff v Hull 3pm
Manchester City v Stoke 3pm
West Brom v Fulham 3pm
West Ham v Southampton 3pm
Crystal Palace v Manchester United 5.30pm – Sky Sports
Liverpool v Swansea 1.30pm
Newcastle v Aston Villa 1.30pm – Sky Sports
Norwich v Tottenham 4pm – Sky Sports
Chelsea have the tightest defence in the Barclays Premier League, conceding only 21 goals in 26 games, including 11 clean sheets.
Since the November international break, the Blues have taken 36 points from a possible 45, more than any other club.
Chelsea have gained 14 points from losing positions this season, the best record in the Premier League.
The Blues have won 13 and drawn two of the 16 league games we have opened the scoring.
Chelsea are 10 points up compared to the corresponding 26 fixtures last season.
We have kept nine clean sheets and conceded just five goals in our last 13 games in all competitions.
Chelsea have won 18 and drawn four of our last 22 home Premier League games, since QPR won at Stamford Bridge on 2 January last year.
Jose Mourinho is unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in all 89 domestic games in open play.
|Jan 26||Stoke (FA Cup h)||W 1-0|
|Jan 29||West Ham (h)||D 0-0|
|Feb 3||Manchester City (a)||W 1-0|
|Feb 8||Newcastle (h)||W 3-0|
|Feb 11||West Brom (a)||D 1-1|
|Manchester City (FA Cup a)||L 0-2|
Premier League scorers (48)
Hazard 12 (2 pens), Eto’o 6, Oscar 6, Lampard 4 (1 pen), Torres 4, Ivanovic 3, Schurrle 3, Terry 2, Willian 2, own goals 2, Ba 1, Cahill 1, Mikel 1, Ramires 1.
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 1
A home defeat: 22
|Wed 26 Feb||Galatasaray (Champions League) away||7.45pm|
|Sat 1 Mar||Fulham away||3pm|
|Sat 8 Mar||Tottenham home||5.30pm|
Our next win will be the 150th of Jose Mourinho’s two spells at Stamford Bridge. His record is: played 224, won 149, drawn 47, lost 28, goals scored 400, goals conceded 149.
Frank Lampard’s next converted penalty will be his 50th for the Blues. His next goal will be his 250th in his club career (Chelsea 209, West Ham 39, Swansea 1).
Congratulations to Branislav Ivanovic who celebrates his 30th birthday tomorrow (Saturday).
9 League championships, last in 1987
5 FA Cups, last in 1995
1 European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985
9 FA Charity Shields (1 shared), last in 1995
Everton’s best season in the Premier League was fourth in 2004/05, 34 points behind champions Chelsea.
The Toffees have won 18 points from a possible 39 on the road this season. They’ve achieved four wins at West Ham, Aston Villa, Man Utd and Swansea, six draws at Norwich, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Stoke and West Brom and three defeats at Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Roberto Martinez’s side have won two points from their last four away games.
Everton have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League matches, although Chelsea are the only club to have conceded fewer than Everton’s 26 goals.
Everton have won 10 and drawn one of the 12 matches they opened the scoring.
Manager Roberto Martinez
Days in charge: 262
|Jan 20||West Brom (a)||D 1-1|
|Jan 25||Stevenage (FA Cup a)||W 4-0|
|Jan 28||Liverpool (a)||L 0-4|
|Feb 1||Aston Villa (h)||W 2-1|
|Feb 9||Tottenham (a)||L 0-1|
|Swansea (FA Cup h)||W 3-1|
Premier League scorers (37)
Lukaku 9, Coleman 5, Mirallas 5, Baines 3 (1 pen), Barkley 3, Barry 3, Deulofeu 2, Naismith 2, Osman 2, Oviedo 2, Pienaar 1.
League games since
An away win: 4
An away draw: 2
An away defeat: 0
Completed January transfers
Ins Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow, undisclosed), Lacina Traore (AS Monaco, loan), Jindrich Stanek (Sparta Prague, undisclosed)
Outs Nikica Jelavic (Hull City, £6.5m), John Heitinga (Fulham, free), Shane Duffy (Yeovil Town, loan), Hallam Hope (Northampton Town, loan), Matthew Pennington (Tranmere Rovers, loan), Matthew Kennedy (Tranmere Rovers, loan), Tyias Browning (Wigan Athletic, loan), Mason Springthorpe (Woking, loan), Chris Long (MK Dons, undisclosed)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Lee Probert is refereeing his first Chelsea game for two years, when he was the official for our 5-2 home FA Cup win against Leicester, and his first in the Premier League since our 2-1 defeat to Liverpool in November 2011.
There are no suspensions. Romelu Lukaku is not eligible under the terms of his loan.
Visit again tomorrow for Part Two of the Briefing.