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Everton v Chelsea - Match preview
Published : 10 Feb 2010 14:41:01
Everton face a difficult test on Wednesday as Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea make the long trip to Merseyside from the capital.
David Moyes could have had an easier fixture to look forward to straight after their weekend derby defeat to ten-man Liverpool at Anfield.
Dirk Kuyt's solitary goal ensured they suffered their second defeat this season against their city rivals and, to add insult to injury, diminutive midfielder Steven Pienaar received his marching orders at the death.
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The Toffees were playing against ten men for an hour after Sotirios Kyrgiakos was dismissed for his horror lunge on Marouane Fellaini.
The Belgium star had to be replaced by Mikel Arteta and is unlikely to be available against the current Premier League leaders.
Joseph Yobo (hamstring) is nearing a return to the first-team squad but Tony Hibbert (groin) and Phil Jagielka (cruciate ligament) are definitely out.
Saturday's defeat was Everton's first since they lost 2-0 against Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 29 and in that unbeaten run that secured three wins and five draws.
Defender Sylvain Distin is calling on his team-mates to pick themselves up and learn from their mistakes.
He was quoted as saying: "That's the way it is in England. There's a lot of games and you don't really have too much time to feel sorry for yourself, you have to refocus on the next game.
"It's going to be another big game and it's a big month so we have to turn the page and learn from our mistakes and carry on."
Chelsea have now gone 13 games unbeaten in all competitions as they press on in search of silverware.
They have collected 16 points from a possible 18 in the last month as they continue to turn the heat on their chasing rivals.
Ancelotti is once again without inspirational midfielder Michael Essien who picked up a knee ligament injury while on Africa Cup of Nations duty.