In-form Chelsea take on high-flying Everton at Goodison Park.
Midfielder Darron Gibson is hoping to prove his fitness in order to feature in Sunday’s match. Gibson – eligible after his red card in last week’s win at West Ham United was overturned – was withdrawn at half-time against Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day with a thigh strain. Right-back Seamus Coleman could return after a knock but midfielder Marouane Fellaini completes a three-match ban and defender Tony Hibbert (hamstring) and striker Kevin Mirallas (calf) are out.
Everton (from): Howard, Mucha, Neville, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith, Osman, Gibson, Pienaar, Jelavic, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Oviedo, Barkley, Vellios, Gueye, Duffy, Anichebe.
Ramires is expected to return after missing the Boxing Day win at Norwich with a slight knee injury and interim manager Rafael Benitez was confident he would be fit for the trip to Goodison Park. Sunday’s game is set to come too soon for defender John Terry (knee), while striker Daniel Sturridge could be omitted from the squad again ahead of his proposed move to Liverpool.
Chelsea (from): Cech, Azpilicueta, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Hazard, Moses, Marin, Piazon, Torres, Turnbull.
Referee: Howard Webb; Assistants: M Mullarkey; D Cann. Fourth official: P Dowd.
SOURC: Official Premier League
Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Osman, Hitzlsperger, Gibson, Pienaar
Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole
Hazard, Mata, Moses
Everton are unbeaten in their last four home matches against Chelsea, winning the last three.
Chelsea have recorded just one win in their last eight meetings with the Toffees – a 3-1 triumph at Stamford Bridge last season.
Everton have never defeated Chelsea in seven previous December Premier League meetings (D5, L2).
Everton are enjoying a seven-match unbeaten run in the Premier League and have lost only once in their last 16 fixtures.
The Toffees are unbeaten in their last 13 home matches since a 1-0 defeat by Arsenal in March.
They can set a new club record for fewest Premier League defeats in a calendar year. They have lost only six league matches in 2012, one fewer than in 2010.
Everton have scored in each of their last 16 league games and conceded in each of their last 14 – both are the longest
current streaks in the Premier League.
They are unbeaten in five games against London opposition so far this season (W2, D3).
Nikica Jelavic has scored eight league goals at Goodison Park in 2012 – the most by an Everton player at home in a single year since 1999. when Kevin Campbell grabbed 13 goals.
Victory would see Chelsea record a fourth successive league win for only the second time this season.
Rafa Benitez is unbeaten in his last seven league matches against Everton, all as Liverpool manager in Merseyside derbies.
Chelsea have had 44 shots in their last two Premier League games (18 against Norwich and 26 versus Villa).
Juan Mata has scored in six of his last eight appearances in all competitions for Chelsea. He has also scored or assisted 14 goals in 16 Premier League appearances this season.
SOURCE: BBC Sport
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