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Everton vs Chelsea – Match Preview

Everton full-back Bryan Oviedo is doubtful following a chest infection, while Aaron Lennon’s hamstring problem will also be assessed.

Kevin Mirallas begins a ban but Gareth Barry and Tom Cleverley should be fit after recovering from illness.

Chelsea will assess John Terry, who returns to the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury.

The Blues will make a late decision on Diego Costa, who went off in midweek with a hip tendon injury.

Editor’s Note: For both sides the F.A. Cup poses their only chance of silverware and whoever loses this tie either at the first time of asking at Goodison Park or in a replay at Stamford Bridge will see their season all but done and dusted before we’ve reached the Easter Holidays.

Both sides you could accuse of underachieving this campaign, Everton definitely and Chelsea certainly. For all the turmoil at Chelsea this season the fact they’ve now overtaken Everton in the Premier League says a lot about how Everton are flattering to deceive.

Last time out Everton threw away a 2-0 lead to West Ham and ending up coming away with nothing after Dimitri Payet’s 90th Minute winner. Again you have to point at poor game management from Roberto Martinez’s side.

Although they were down to 10 men thanks to a sending off to Kevin Mirallas they still had a chance to wrap the game up but Romelu Lukaku’s tame spot kick was well saved by Adrian. This is the third time that they have dropped points due to late goals this season with it happening previously at Bournemouth and today’s opponents Chelsea.

It seems as Everton are picking up the traits of what you would call a Roberto Martinez side, they now seem to be looking very soft at the back and when David Moyes was in charge a strong back line was one of their key strengths now it’s all too easy for opposition sides especially at Goodison Park to take the game to Everton.

The visitors Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from their Champions League disappointment on Tuesday after exiting the competition at the hands of PSG. They lost 2-1 on the night to match the 1st leg result and it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who dealt the killer blow.

Chelsea were arguably on top in the first half and Diego Costa to thank for getting them back in the game after he levelled Adrien Rabiot’s opener. But unfortunately for Chelsea, Costa had to go off injured and that took the wind out of Chelsea’s sails.

They will hope that Costa is available to face Everton in what is a repeat of the 2009 Cup Final. A game that current Manager Guus Hiddink knows very well as it was him who lead Chelsea to victory that Afternoon in his first spell as Interim Manager.

The F.A. Cup now takes on extra importance for the West London side as it now gives them their only real hope of European Football next season. Although 10th in the Premier League and yet to lose in the competition since Hiddink too charge for a second time you have to wonder whether they’ve left themselves too much to do in terms of bridging the gap to 6th.

This Evening’s result could hinge on the fitness of Diego Costa. If he starts I have a feeling that Chelsea win, if he doesn’t then I expect Everton to fancy their chances and continue on their Road to Wembley with a Semi Final appearance at least. Result: Costa Pending

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