Chelsea v Everton: both managers to bow out with honours even
Chelsea will contest their 69th game of the season against Everton and even though they’re currently enjoying a fine run of form, the Blues may run out of steam at Stamford Bridge.
And recent evidence suggests that both battle-weary sides may be forced to settle for a point as the curtain falls on another eventful Premier League campaign.
Six of the pair’s last 12 league meetings have ended with honours even and the draw at 11/4 offers plenty of appeal.
And despite the Toffees’ traditional away day struggles against the league’s top sides (losing seven, drawing four of their last 11 trips to face the current top-five since 2011), this campaign has seen something of a reverse.
Draws away against Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester City in 2012/2013 have been spirited.
That resilience could see David Moyes end his reign as Everton boss on a relative high.
Meanwhile, his opposite number Rafael Benitez is basking in the glory of a Europa League triumph and an unbeaten run of seven Premier League games (with five victories and two draws) represents the most successful period of his interim tenure.
Given that Everton have only won once in 20 trips to Stamford Bridge since 1992, the 4/6 offered for a Chelsea victory would appear to make sense.
However, the visitors have other statistics weighing in their favour, including five wins from as many of their last final day encounters.
One of those was a 1-0 success against Chelsea two years ago – albeit at Goodison Park– so their 4/1 price is certainly backable.
A jaded Chelsea may still find enough to dispatch of Everton, however the Merseysiders’ will to perform for their outgoing manager could see them snatch a point.
A draw could be disastrous for the Londoners if certain circumstances arise. If that happens then an Arsenal win by a single goal margin in which they score two more than Chelsea would necessitate an historic play-off for third place.
Luckily, Ladbrokes have thought of this too and the 50/1 for this to happen may not be too fanciful.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.