Everton have had a completely consistent season: they have lost to Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, the only teams now above them in the table, every time they have played them, and they have not lost to anyone else. Never has a league position been more appropriate than their current fifth place. They are demonstrably less good than every team above them, and demonstrably not worse than any of the teams below them.
The same can’t be said of Chelsea, who last month lost 2-1 at home to then-struggling Brighton, ending an unbeaten league run that stretched back a frankly offensive 33 games. That is the one game that gives Everton some hope, and it was an absolute freak: Chelsea had 30 shots in the game. Thirty! That’s twice as many as Manchester City’s men manage in an average fixture, and comfortably more than the Premier League leaders have managed in any single league game this season (they did, to be fair, manage 27 against Aston Villa on the opening day of the season; the most Chelsea’s men have managed in a single game is 25, and that was against Morecambe in the FA Cup). Brighton meanwhile had three. I supposed it proved that miracles can happen in this game, and Everton will be hoping for another one.
Whatever happens, there should be plenty of entertainment. The last time Chelsea were involved in a goalless game in any competition was at Birmingham in October 2018, getting on for two and a half years ago. Everton’s was comparatively recent, at Brighton in January 2019. Here’s hoping for some fun, and certainly a few goals. Welcome!