After Everton was let down by its away form once again last week, the Toffees return to Goodison Park with Chelsea, the likely champions, providing the club’s stiffest home test of 2017.
Our writers were quite surprised by Everton’s inability to find a way through West Ham United last week, which was perhaps naive. The Toffees have only four away wins all season (one of which came against Sunderland, which almost shouldn’t count) — though solid draws at Manchester City and Manchester United have obfuscated that poor form to an extent.
Our picks for the eventual 0-0 draw are below, with correct guesses in bold.
Only Brian F. and Calvin got any points at all this week, with both correctly predicting that Everton would draw at West Ham. No one predicted a 0-0 final score, nor that Phil Jagielka would be voted Everton’s man of the match.
Calvin, in fact, might be the only Evertonian with something to celebrate following the disappointing match, as his correct prediction (and a lack of good picks from the rest of us) gave him a little more control at the top of the table.
Calvin has opened up a three-point lead, with me still as his closest competition. Tyler and Mike are both still within touching distance as well, but with only four matches left on the schedule, they need to start picking up points immediately.
Fortunately for those of us chasing the leader, the impending arrival of Chelsea to Goodison Park has created a fair bit of dissent and disagreement among our writers, meaning that a week of major change isn’t impossible.
Our picks for the match are below.
Two writers, Sean and Tom, foresee Everton’s 2017 unbeaten home streak continuing, but the rest of us have predicted draws or losses for the Toffees this weekend.
Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku are the two most popular choices to score to opening goal, while Ross Barkley and Morgan Schneiderlin have taken the lion’s share of the man of the match votes.
A draw will likely open Calvin’s lead at the top of the table to five points, which may prove insurmountable with only three matches left after Sunday. A 3-3 draw would even open Calvin’s lead to seven points!
On the other hand, a Chelsea victory would likely cut his lead down to one point, with the potential for even greater gains depending on the final score, opening goalscorer, and man of the match.