Preview: Chelsea v Everton

Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday with both sides in desperate need of points after enduring difficult months on the pitch.Chelsea v Everton

Chelsea entered November flying high on top of the English Premier League standings, but after just one win and a draw from their past five league games, they have now been overtaken by Manchester United and sit second on 29 points – level with third-placed Arsenal.

The London club’s predicament is so bad that striker Didier Drogba this week described the form slump as the worst he has seen in his six years at the club.

Everton are also desperate to make an impression in Saturday’s clash – although for altogether different reasons.

After an indifferent start to their campaign, the Merseyside club have just 16 points from their 15 games and sit only two points outside the relegation zone – well below expectations for a side that finished eighth last season.

And coming off a 4-1 thumping at home from West Brom, points are at premium for David Moyes’ men.

The Scot does have selection concerns ahead of the trip to London, with key Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta certain to miss out after being sent off against West Brom.

But at least his squad is healthy, with Phil Neville ready to resume after a knee injury and only long-term casualty Leon Osman certain to miss with an ankle injury.

For Carlo Ancelotti, the news from the physio room is also good with big defender John Terry back at training this week and almost ready to resume after the nerve complaint that has caused him to miss the past four games.

Frank Lampard is also back on the training pitch, but is rated as a long shot to line up against Everton.

Chelsea will, however, welcome back Michael Essien from a three-game suspension, and his creative spark will be welcomed in midfield by a Chelsea side that has scored just once in their past three Premier League games.

History points to Everton being competitive however, after holding Chelsea to a draw at Stamford Bridge last season, and scoring a 2-1 at home over the champions in their other most recent meeting.

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