Everton-Chelsea Preview

Dec 10, 2009 - 5:23 PM JAMES PIERCY STATS European Football Writer=

LONDON (SE) - Joe Cole has demanded maximum points from his Chelsea team-mates to help them stay top of the Premier League when Everton visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Chelsea are enduring their worst sequence of results of the season, with two defeats and a draw from their last three games.

The Blues have five consecutive Premier League matches between now and the New Year and fit-again Cole wants to enter 2010 with his side top of the table.

Cole said: "It's been a bit of a bumpy week and we need to bounce back against Everton and get back to winning ways.

"The next five league games are very important. The build-up to Christmas is always a important period and then Christmas as well.

"If we can get to the turn of the year still sitting at the top of the league then we would be very happy.

"Every team in the league is difficult to play against.

"There are no excuses though, we are at the top of the table now and hopefully will be there on January 1."

Carlo Ancelotti read the riot act to his men after the club's poor performance against APOEL Nicosia and Chelsea's Italian boss will expect nothing more then three points.

Last time the clubs met was in the 2009 FA Cup final, when Chelsea triumphed 2-1 at Wembley.

Meanwhile Everton manager David Moyes' injury woes continue with eight first team players absent.

The Toffees came back from 2-0 down last Sunday against Tottenham to gain a vital point.

Although they didn't win the game, a lot of positives came from it, notably the performance of young Irish defender Seamus Coleman.

"He was undoubtedly man-of\2013the-match. His run for the first goal was excellent and he played really well throughout," said Moyes. "He got forward to make a difference for us at times.

"After the game at Benfica, which was difficult for him, the boy has come on a ton."

Everton captain Tim Cahill also paid tribute to Coleman's performance.

"He was fantastic, I've spoken about the young lads stepping up and taking the opportunity to do well and this is their chance. They've got to take it and be consistent."

Moyes is hoping to land LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan on a three-month loan in January to boost his depleted numbers.

Chelsea will be without key man Michael Essien for up to two months after the midfielder picked up a hamstring injury against APOEL.

They will also be without Jose Bosingwa with a knee injury and Salomon Kalou with a thigh strain. Ashley Cole, Michael Ballack and Alex are slight doubts.

Everton are still without long term absentees Mikel Arteta, Victor Anichebe, Phil Jagielka and Phil Neville all sidelined until the New Year with cruciate knee ligament injuries.

Central defence pairing Joseph Yobo and Sylvain Distin could both miss the game with hamstring problems.






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