Chelsea vs. Everton: Complete Premier League Final Day Preview

Matt Cheetham@@Matt_CheethamCorrespondent IMay 15, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30:  Everton Manager David Moyes gestures as Chelsea Manager Rafael Benitez looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on December 30, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge this coming Sunday for the last fixture of the Premier League season.

As with the majority of final day contests, there isn't a considerable amount riding on this clash, although it will be both David Moyes' and Rafa Benitez's last game in charge of their side.

Chelsea need a win to guarantee third place, although a draw or defeat may still prove enough, while Everton will finish the season sixth regardless of Sunday's result.

The visitors will still be intent on sending their manager off in style and know a win would secure 66 points, which would be their highest return under Moyes and a best points haul since 1987-88.


Form and Previous Meetings

Chelsea have produced some fine late season form to secure a Champions League berth next season. They are unbeaten in seven Premier League games, winning five, and have collected 23 points out of a possible 30.

Everton have been similarly consistent, collecting 21 points from 30 and suffering just one defeat in 10 league games, away at Sunderland.

The Toffees are yet to secure an away win at Stamford Bridge under Moyes—aside from an FA Cup penalty shootout win—and haven't returned with victory since 1994.

However, while winning has proved to be practically impossible for Moyes' side, five of the last six Premier League meetings have been closely contested draws in this fixture.


Team News and Key Players

For Chelsea, much will depend on their Europa League final against Benfica. Eden Hazard and John Terry have joined Oriol Romeu on the sidelines, while John Obi Mikel is also a doubt for that final (via ITV).

Phil Neville has missed the last few weeks and is the only player Moyes is likely to be without, as Tony Hibbert returned against West Ham after an especially lengthy injury lay-off.

If selected, Juan Mata's artistry will prove key in unlocking what has become an increasingly resilient Everton defence. The Toffees have only conceded three goals in nine games, so the Spaniard will need all his creative nous and guile to dissect what's in front of him.

Everton's back four should expect a heavy workload, but Marouane Fellaini may be tasked with the job of disrupting Chelsea's playmakers in front of them. The Belgian has frequently switched roles over the previous few weeks but was deep again against West Ham, and it would make sense to also feature him here this weekend.


Potential Starting XIs

Again, Chelsea's lineup will depend on their Europa League final and the fitness of those involved, although a fresh Demba Ba should come into the lineup, having been cup-tied against Benfica.

Final day fixtures of little importance always have a tendency to provide opportunities to the odd youngster, so perhaps Nathan Ake will come into contention for the hosts.

Frank Lampard may not feature if included against Benfica, although his excellent record against the Toffees would make his inclusion a smart one.

Everton have little reason to alter things after an imperious showing against West Ham, unless Moyes fancies introducing some younger players for the future.

If not, the only conceivable changes could perhaps be Ross Barkley in for Leon Osman or Nikica Jelavic in for Victor Anichebe, as well as the attacking or defensive role of Marouane Fellaini.


Statistics via EPL Index


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