Chelsea-Everton Preview

Having advanced though in the Europa League, Chelsea must now shift their attention back to the Premier League.

The Blues do so whilst looking to continue their recent unbeaten run in all competitions over Everton on Sunday at Goodison Park.

Chelsea (17-6-6) advanced to the quarter-finals of the second-tier Europa League with a 5-0 rout of Dynamo Kiev on Thursday to post an 8-0 aggregate triumph over both legs. The Blues, who received three goals from veteran Olivier Giroud on Thursday, will next face Czech side Slavia Prague on April 11.

While it seems Chelsea's best path to the Champions League is winning Europa, they can't blow off the Premier League. The Blues enter the weekend sixth in the table, but very much within striking position of the coveted top four spots.

Chelsea needed an Eden Hazard goal in the second minute of extra time to record a 1-1 home draw versus Wolves in Premier League play last weekend. Whilst the Blues' supporters might look at the game as a missed opportunity to earn three points, the exhilarating finish showed the team's collective moxie.

"We (want) to finish in the top four," Hazard told Chelsea's official website. "The spirit has been good for the last month. Maybe we would have lost this type of game (against Wolves) three months ago, but we drew and it's a good point for us.

"Now, we have a hard game away at Everton and we need to win."

The Blues have totaled seven points in their last three Premier League matches and are 4-2-0 over the last six overall against Everton. The teams played to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge back on Nov. 11.

Whilst Chelsea have a top-four finish in their sights, Everton (10-7-13) would be happy with placing in the top-half of the table, a spot they are currently are trying to reach.

The Toffees fell to 1-1-4 in the league since the beginning of February following last weekend's massively frustrating 3-2 loss at Newcastle. Goals by Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison within the first 32 minutes gave Everton a 2-0 lead, but Newcastle rallied to do all their damage from the 65th minute on and pull out an improbable victory.

"All of us have to look at our performances and see where it went wrong," Calvert-Lewin told Everton's official website. "After a good first half, it is a disappointing way to end the game. We can only try to put it right (against Chelsea)."

Manager Marco Silva feels the defeat was on his team and staff, and it's those same parties who have the chance to make sure the club bounces back against a formidable opponent this time around.

"Overall, the big frustration from last weekend was with ourselves," the Toffees gaffer told the team's official Twitter page. "We played with quality moments in the first half, then we had chances to score a third or fourth at the start of the second half - but we didn't. We have to react differently."

Updated March 15, 2019

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