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Everton vs Chelsea Preview: Previous Meeting, Form, Team News & More

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Everton and Chelsea square off in their final Premier League match before Christmas with Goodison Park the scene for a truly special festive fixture.

The resurgent Toffees will hope to make it seven matches unbeaten since Sam Allardyce took charge, while the reigning champions wants to continue their impressive streak without defeat over the Merseyside-based Blues.

Here's all you need to know ahead of the contest:

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Previous Meeting

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Chelsea bested Everton in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup in October as Antonio Conte's men ran out 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Rudiger's first goal for his new club seemed to have sealed a win for the hosts despite Everton's much improved second-half showing, and the Toffees were extremely unfortunate to fall to a 90th-minute Willian goal to book Chelsea's place in the next round.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's strike a mere 60 seconds later did set up a frantic finish but the hosts held out for the win.

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Form

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With four wins and two draws since Big Sam took charge - plus the 4-0 triumph over West Ham on the eve of his appointment - Everton head into Saturday's clash on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run.

Wins over Swansea and Newcastle in the past week have fired them up to ninth in the standings - victories that are part of a run that has seen the Toffees let in just two goals during that time.

Chelsea are in a similarly rich vein of form having only tasted defeat once since the start of November - a 1-0 defeat to West Ham the only blot on their league record in the last nine domestic games.

Three consecutive wins - two in the league and one in the Carabao Cup - have Conte's men full of confidence ahead of their trip to Merseyside and the Italian will want a result akin to last season's Goodison bout to keep that run going.

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Team News

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Allardyce is still without a number of first-team stars as they work their way back from a number of long-term injuries.

The 63-year-old, however, has Yannick Bolasie back fit following his year-long lay off with a cruciate knee injury, and the forward could be a surprise inclusion on the bench come Saturday lunchtime.

For Conte, Alvaro Morata is absent due to a one-match ban for accruing five yellow cards in domestic matches.

The only other absentee from his first-team squad is David Luiz, who continues to receive treatment on an inflamed knee.

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Predicted Everton Lineup: Pickford; Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina; Gueye, Schneiderlin; Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin.


Predicted Chelsea Lineup: Courtois; Christensen, Azpilicueta, Cahill; Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro.

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Prediction

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Everton will be desperate to end their losing streak against Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime, with Allardyce's men having lost the past four encounters, shipping 12 goals and scoring just once in that run.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will want to cement their place in the top four of the league with a fifth successive win in all competitions over the Merseysiders.

With both teams fielding miserly defences, it could take just one goal to secure a mammoth win for either. Expect, then, this one to be a tightly-fought score draw.

Predicted Score: Everton 1-1 Chelsea