GOOD EVENING FROM GOODISON PARK
Welcome to our live coverage of Saturday evening’s Premier League encounter between Everton and Chelsea.
These two clubs have served up some crackers on Merseyside over the years, and – with top spot on the line – another festive feast of football is expected.
The third-placed visitors are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions, are scoring goals for fun, and can head to the summit with three points here – for 24 hours at least.
Frank Lampard can boast a wealth of attacking riches to such an extent that deciding who to play up front has become a conundrum for the Chelsea boss.
One player is certainly making a claim. From forgotten man to man-in-form, Olivier Giroud has eight goals in seven for club and country, and has netted on his last six Premier League starts.
Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi are both unavailable for the Londoners, but Christian Pulisic should be ready after being one of many players rested in the Champions League on Tuesday.
It’s not so long ago that it was Everton leading the way at the top, but it’s been a season of two halves for the Toffees so far.
Carlo Ancelotti’s squad got off to a flying start in league and cup, winning their first seven games of the campaign.
Since October’s international break, however, it’s just one victory from seven league matches ensuring their slip down to midtable.
The Premier League’s top scorer, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, has continued to find the net, but his service has dried up following the ankle injury to left-back Lucas Digne.
The absence of James Rodriguez tonight will further stifle Everton’s creativity so grand old teamwork may be what’s required to break down their in-form opponents.
We’ll have confirmation of the two teams shortly with kick-off to come at 8pm.
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