Everton welcome Chelsea to Goodison Park on Sunday in a game that will mean little for the English Premier League standings.David Moyes’ side sit in seventh place and will only slip to eighth should Fulham and Chelsea record victories on the English Premier League season’s final day.
But the Toffees have a solid recent history against the Londoners, with Chelsea having not beaten Everton since the FA Cup final in 2009, when Guus Hiddink was in charge of the Blues.
It means Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti is yet to taste victory over Everton.
One Toffees victory and four score draws have settled the five clashes since, with Everton’s triumph coming in penalties in their fourth-round replay in the FA Cup this season.
Each of their past three encounters – the replay, the fourth-round proper and their Premier League reverse – have ended 1-1 (the replay after extra time), with the Toffees scoring late equalisers on two of those occasions to deny Chelsea victory.
Jermaine Beckford stole a point with a late goal for the Merseysiders at Stamford Bridge in the reverse league match in December, after Didier Drogba had netted from the penalty spot in the first half.
Everton turned their form around in the second half of the season, going from relegation contenders to European pretenders.
Of recent note, a draw with Wigan was followed by a win over Manchester City. But their triumph over Roberto Mancini’s men was somewhat soured by a 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion at their last start.
They will not make Europe – sitting eight points behind fifth-placed Tottenham – but had top-four teams fulfilled the final spots in the Carling and FA Cups, Everton would be eyeing off the Europa League next term.
For Chelsea, the match could signal the end of Ancelotti’s reign at Stamford Bridge, with temperamental owner Roman Abramovich likely to be disappointed with Blues’ lack of silverware this campaign.
Absent for Everton will be Louis Saha and Marouane Fellaini, while Chelsea have no fresh injuries.