The relegation battle in the English Premier League is on pace to be quite extraordinary.
There are nine teams within five points of one another and no club looks to be a foregone conclusion to go down.
Southampton is currently propping up the table with 22 points, but the Saints are just five points behind 12th-place Crystal Palace.
Everton have been in, or around, the relegation spots for almost the entire 2022-23 campaign and escaped the drop with a dramatic win on the penultimate day of last season.
But the Toffees look like they may be turning a corner under new manager Sean Dyche.
Can Everton take a massive step towards survival with an upset over Chelsea on Saturday afternoon?
Everton vs. Chelsea pick
1:30 p.m. ET, USA Network
The results for Everton under Dyche may not leap off the page, but a 3-1-3 (W-D-L) record in seven matches looks pretty impressive in the context of how their season was going.
The Toffees were just 3-6-11 in their first 20 contests of the campaign. And things look even better when you look under the hood.
In Dyche’s tenure, Everton has played to a -0.8 expected goal difference in seven matches.
That is bang-average, but when you adjust for the competition over that seven-game span, it looks better.
It sparkles even more when you consider that Everton had the second-worst expected goal differential in the Premier League before switching managers.
Stylistically, this matchup should suit Everton.
A big, physical side that is leaning into the personality of their manager, they should be able to make life very difficult on a Chelsea team that is built to keep the ball on the carpet and dominate possession.
That style of play will suit Everton just fine as the Toffees would rather their opponents have the ball so they can pressure them into mistakes and then strike quickly on the counter or a set piece.
Chelsea’s statistical data points to an improvement as we head down the stretch, but the Blues are just 4-4-4 since the World Cup with a +1 goal difference.
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They’ve played some very low-event matches under Graham Potter (they’ve had 19 total goals scored in their last 12 games), which means the margins will be quite thin in this contest.
That’s not a great thing for a favorite at this price.
With the international break looming and very little for Chelsea to play for in the league, this is a tricky spot against an opponent that will fight tooth and nail for every ball.
Take a shot on the Toffees at a great price on Saturday.
Everton vs. Chelsea prediction
Everton +600 (FanDuel)