FA Cup preview: Everton vs Chelsea
The countdown for the FA Cup finals has begun, with the road to Wembley not too far off all remaining teams will look to put in their all for English Football’s coveted Cup. The big game taking place on Saturday sees Chelsea take on Everton at Goodison Park. Both teams have had a tough time this season and struggled getting the results they would’ve liked. The fixture will be of utmost importance to both the clubs as it presents them with their only chance of a silverware in this below par season. The Cup presents a chance for clubs to get some redemption even though they might have had tough league runs and that is just what these two clubs will look to do.
The recent results for the two sides have not been too impressive as both Chelsea and Everton have won three out of their last five fixtures in all competitions. Chelsea suffered a home defeat to French giants Paris Saint Germain knocking them out of the UEFA Champions League for the second consecutive season. That result means that Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League are now pretty much over . However the FA Cup could provide them win this year’s FA Cup. Chelsea’s manger who has seemed to turn around Chelsea’s fortunes a bit reflected that his side must bounce back from Wednesday’s setback if they are to win the FA Cup, he said” We had a difficult loss,' he said. 'Of course there is always disappointment, we only had two days to recover physically and psychologically.'It’s always a blow when you are knocked out, it’s a setback but the players have to respond. Physically we can do that but mentally we must also be resilient.”Everton meanwhile have been performing well in the away games winning their last three away from home but have been absolutely poor at home ,conceding plenty and not able to convert chances have resulted in some drastic failures at home. Everton conceded three in twelve minutes against West Ham in their last game to lose from 2-0 up to 3-2 at home. Questions have been asked of Everton’s mental strength in recent weeks given their results but their manger Roberto Martinez believes that his side have what it takes to win at home in this all important encounter against Chelsea. “We are in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and we have the advantage of playing at Goodison. We look forward to being in these sort of games. We could achieve something really special.“It’s the type of game we want to use to our advantage. We are in March, are involved in two competitions and we want that to continue. It’s a really good opportunity to show what we can do.” Martinez refused to rule Chelsea citing that they still remain a difficult opponent to play against, “It depends what way you want to look at it,” he reasoned. “If you are pessimistic, you’ll say that Chelsea will now be focused on the FA Cup. If you are optimistic, you’ll say that they won’t now have that feel-good factor after Wednesday's result. “The reality is that Chelsea are an outstanding team and we know what they have achieved since Guus Hiddink arrived - they are unbeaten in domestic competition”. Chelsea have not beaten Everton at the Goodison in this completion and will look to take advantage of Everton’s poor home run this season. Everton on the other hand will be vary of Chelsea’s tough game in mid-week and will look to tire them further during the course of ninety minutes. This one Promises to be another excellent Cup game between two first division sides both desperate to seal their respective final four berths.
John Terry is in the squad for the first time in a month. Goalscorer Diego Costa and Eden Hazard both left the field injured on Wednesday but Hiddink will have them both available if the centre-forward comes through a late fitness test.
Everton attacking midfielder Kevin Mirallas is suspended, but Roberto Martinez is hoping Gareth Barry, Tom Cleverley and Brian Oviedo will have recovered from illness. Winger Aaron Lennon is nursing a tight hamstring and may not be risked.
Everton 1 (McFadden) Chelsea 1 (Lampard)
Chelsea 4 (Robben, Lampard pen, Crespo, Terry ) Everton 1 (Arteta pen)
Everton 1 (Saha) Chelsea 2 (Drogba, Lampard)
Everton 1 (Saha) Chelsea 1 (Kalou)
Chelsea 1 (Lampard) Everton 1 (Baines)
Everton won 4-3 on penalties after extra time