Chelsea vs Everton: Premier League – LIVE!
Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this evening. Graham Potter’s side look to have turned a corner of late, picking up three wins on the bounce as the former Brighton manager lifts some of the pressure on him.
While the priority this season is now next month’s Champions League meeting with Real Madrid, the Blues will be keen to maintain their upturn in League form to ensure they got into that with confidence. N’Golo Kante is back for Chelsea and is named on the bench, while Reece James is fit to start in a big boost.
Three wins in a row have lifted the mood at Stamford Bridge, and Potter will be desperate for his side to take that momentum into the international break. For Everton, their improvements have largely come at home, and they must now prove they can deliver on the road. Follow all the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s dedicated match blog!
5 mins: Decent ball in from Chilwell, flicked behind for a Chelsea corner.
It will be Chilwell to take this too, swung into the six-yard box and it’s headed straight up rather than away. Nodded to Kovacic at the second time of asking, volleys just wide!
Really decent chance for the midfielder.
Dom Smith at Stamford Bridge
Joao Felix has started as the central attacker in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 system here. He isn’t necessarily dropping in as you would expect from a False 9.
Instead, the Portugal international is the furthest man upfield, looking for through-balls from the midfielders, as well as from Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz either side of him.
3 mins: Fernandez tries his luck from just outside the area, blocked and there are some very hopeful handball appeals. Never getting that.
Decent start from the Blues though, straight on the front foot. Felix wins a free-kick for his side in a dangerous position.
Up and running at Stamford Bridge!
Not long now!
Players will be in the tunnel any minute now.
Reminder of Everton’s woeful record at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League – one win in 30. That’s a lot of misery!
International break coming up for these two sides after this match, so important to go into that on a high.
Potter on Kante’s return
“Managers before me have spoken very highly of him because he is a top, top player,” the Chelsea boss says.
“He has been a huge miss to us. That’s not to say others have not given absolutely everything, but N’Golo Kante is N’Golo Kante.
“Once he is at his highest level, he is a huge player for us. We want him to be the player that he is but in a responsible way, done as safely as we can.”
Dom Smith at Stamford Bridge
A few weeks ago, this might have been a crucial fixture for Chelsea.
But Graham Potter’s side have won three matches in a row — against Leeds, Borussia Dortmund and Leicester — and now this is only an important match in the context of the fact the international break comes next.
No League wins at Stamford Bridge since 1994…
Potter surprised at Mount call-up
Graham Potter has admitted he was unaware Gareth Southgate intended to select Mason Mount in his England squad for this month’s games against Ukraine and Italy.
The midfielder is not available to face Everton but was named in the 23-man squad Southgate announced on Thursday. Mount has not played for Chelsea since the 2-0 defeat away to Tottenham at the end of February.
The PA news agency understands that a breakdown in communication between Chelsea and the England camp led to Mount’s inclusion in the squad announced on Thursday. Potter admitted his surprise at Mount’s selection, and confirmed the player will not be fit to play for club or country until after the international window.
“He’s never been available as far as I’m aware,” said Potter. “Probably as a club we will (seek clarity on why he was named). I don’t have all the contacts of all the doctors.
“As far as I was aware, he wasn’t going to be available for us at the weekend. He needed a bit of time for his injury to settle down which pretty much ruled him out of the England thing.
“I don’t think there’s anything untoward. Sometimes, a player can be named but there’s still a couple of days where things can be changed. As far as I was aware he wasn’t available.”