Life after Marco Silva begins for Everton on Saturday, as they welcome Chelsea to Goodison Park in the Premier League.
An emphatic 5-2 midweek defeat in the Merseyside derby w?as the final straw for Silva, as the Toffees fell into the bottom three.
Duncan Ferguson begins his tenure as interim boss for Saturday’s fixture – the man who received nine career red cards and was affectionately nicknamed ‘Duncan Disorderly’.
Fourth place ?Chelsea are the visitors for the opening match of the Fergie era. Frank Lampard’s side got back to winning ways on Wednesday after suffering back to back Premier League defeats for the first time this season, and a win on Merseyside would put them level on points with third place Manchester City.
Thanks to Opta, here are all the best stats and facts ahead of the fixture.
After three straight defeats, ?Everton have tumbled into the bottom three. Saturday’s fixture is the first time since 7 December 2003 that the Toffees have played a Premier League match in December starting the day in the relegation zone.
On said day back in ’03, David Moyes’ side drew 0-0 with Manchester City?. Wayne Rooney and Francis Jeffers lined up for Everton, City had Robbie Fowler and Nicolas Anelka up top, and Will Young had just knocked Westlife off top spot in the UK charts.
Chelsea have failed to score in their last three Premier League games against Everton (D2 L1). They’ve never gone four consecutive games without a goal against an opponent in the competition, last doing so in the top-flight against Bolton (1958-1960).
However, the chances of Everton keeping Chelsea out appear slim. After a run of six consecutive clean sheets at Goodison Park in the Premier League, Everton have recorded just one shutout in their last six at home in the competition, conceding at least twice in four of those games.
Everton fans will be hoping that Ferguson (voted ninth in the Independent’s ‘?10 Best Self-Destructive Sports Stars’) has attempted to shore up their defence during his very brief time in charge.
Goal Happy Gylfi
Goalscoring midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson is prolific against Chelsea. Against no side has the Everton man scored more Premier League goals than he has against the Blues (5).?
Everton themselves have a good recent record against Chelsea, having won six of their last 10 home league games against the Blues (D1 L3). This is more than they had in their previous 24 against them at Goodison Park in the top-flight (W5 D10 L9).
However, victory on Saturday would mean Everton would have won back to back Premier League matches against Chelsea, following their 2-0 win in this fixture in March. The Toffees have not recorded consecutive league wins over the Blues since November 1994.
Frightening Forward Line
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has been involved in 14 goals in his 14 Premier League appearances this season (11 G, 3 A). Abraham has scored more goals in Saturday matches than any other player this season with nine?.
Teammate Christian Pulisic meanwhile has been directly involved in six goals in his last five Premier League away games, scoring four and assisting two.
Everton: Pickford; Sidibe, Holgate, Keane, Digne; Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson; Walcott, Iwobi, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin
Chelsea: Kepa, James, Zouma, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kante, Kovacic, Mount; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic