Everton V Chelsea at Goodison Park : Match Preview

30 December 2012 10:11
Everton V Chelsea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Late test for Gibson

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson is hoping to prove his fitness in order to feature in Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash against Chelsea at Goodison Park.

Gibson - eligible after his red card in last week's win at West Ham was overturned - was withdrawn at half-time against Wigan on Boxing Day with a thigh strain.

Right-back Seamus Coleman could return after a knock but midfielder Marouane Fellaini completes a three-match ban and defender Tony Hibbert (hamstring) and striker Kevin Mirallas (calf) are out.

Manager David Moyes is looking forward to renewing his rivalry with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.

Benitez, now interim manager at Chelsea, is set to receive a hostile reception at Goodison Park on Sunday from fans who will not have forgotten one infamous taunt in 2007.

The Spaniard referred to Everton as one of the Premier League's "smaller teams" after they held Liverpool to a frustrating goalless draw at Anfield.

Overall, Moyes clashed 14 times with Benitez during the latter's six-year spell with the Reds. Everton only managed to win three of those games, all at Goodison.

"It was always tough because Liverpool had a great team," Moyes said.

"It was always hard to get the better of them. They had a tremendous team, and still have.

"I think he (Benitez) always wanted to be in the Premier League. I think he enjoyed his stint here.

"I think, like a lot of people who come to this country, he enjoyed the honesty and the way the Premier League is played.

"I think he has bided his time to get another job."

John Obi Mikel is an injury doubt for Chelsea.

Midfielder Mikel will have a fitness test on a knee injury along with left-back Ryan Bertrand (groin).

Ramires is expected to return from a knee knock but Sunday's game is set to come too soon for John Terry (knee), while Daniel Sturridge could be omitted from the squad again ahead of his proposed move to Liverpool.

Benitez, meanwhile, has refused to rule out a second coming at Liverpool ahead of his first match on Merseyside as Chelsea boss.

Interim Blues manager Benitez has been linked previously with a return to Anfield and will be a free agent again at the end of the season.

And asked if he could see himself returning to manage his former club one day, he said: "At the moment, I'm really pleased here.

"I want to keep winning and you never know what can happen in football.

"I have a very good relationship with the fans and the city but I'm a good professional and that means I will give 100% for this club."

Source: PA