Chelsea v Everton

Everton visit the Bridge tonight for an FA Cup fourth round replay, Jose Mourinho’s first replay as Chelsea manager.

The Toffees have continued their good form since holding us to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, recording a draw and a win against Wigan and Manchester City respectively.

Our form during the last ten days has mirrored the Toffees’: a third successive 1-1 draw at Villa Park had many falsely believing the title race was back on; but a fourth straight Premiership win over Liverpool at the Bridge on Sunday dispelled that myth.

In team news, we’ll be without Damien Duff, who pulled a muscle during his five-minute substitute appearance on Sunday. Didier Drogba remains unavailable due to his involvement in the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast (scored the winning goal in yesterday’s semi-final against Nigeria), while Paulo Ferreira is doubtful with a thigh injury and Carlton Cole is struggling with a groin injury.

Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlo Cudicini could be given rare starts, while Joe Cole, who was yesterday named PFA Player of the Month for January, may be preferred to Arjen Robben.

Prediction: Another classic English Cup tie? Let’s hope so. It’s difficult to envisage us losing — the Toffees haven’t beaten us at the Bridge in 11 League and Cup visits, since a 0-1 success on 26 November 1994 — but stranger things have happened. Everton are unbeaten in nine, resilient and tough to beat and it wouldn’t surprise me if the match goes to extra-time. Hopefully penalties will not be required!

Tickets were still available on Monday. The match is also being shown live on BBC One.

Related links:

Chelsea 4 – 1 Everton · Update

It’s nice to be so wrong. A great performance. Robben’s goal was sublime: 3 players, 2 passes, 5 touches, 1 goal… awesome. Shaun Wright-Phillips was his old self, which was a delight to see. John Terry continues to amaze — what a strike! Colchester here we come.

And Charlton did Liverpool at the Valley. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect evening’s football.

Email me via the Contact form if you’d like a copy of the BBC’s goal highlights file (1 minute approx. Real Media video).

Match reports: BBC Sport; Sky Sports; ESPNSoccernet; Sporting Life; Official Chelsea FC Website; The Guardian; The Independent; The Times; Daily Telegraph.

Related links: