Prediction Panel 2007/8: PL 17

The oddly scheduled Thursday fixture has drawn a fair number of complaints - but right or wrong Chelsea need to win to extend the title race down the final furlong. Five points down with four games to go is recoverable but not if Everton win here. Everton want to pressure Liverpool, but David Moyes knows it will be tough to motivate players to chase for an increasingly distant fourth place.

Thursday, 17 April 2008; Barclays Premier League

Everton (5) vs Chelsea (2), KO 20:00

Everton are as close to Liverpool as Chelsea are to Manchester United and regardless of remaining fixtures one or both of these two will have to abandon their chase if they fail to win this game. An Everton will will all but guarantee fifth place and will pressure a Liverpool side that is preparing for a Champions' League game to play a full team at Fulham on Saturday. But Everton have just one win in the last five, a desultary 1-0 win over Derby - and will start a home game as the outsiders. Chelsea's form is marginally better - but Avram Grant's team is fallible. As legs tire this game may indicate just how many Chelsea eggs have been lumped into a basket marked 'Champions' League'.

Chelsea need to win or lose against Everton - no more draws

Form Guide
Two teams on similar runs of form, Chelsea have six wins in the last ten compared to Everton's five. But Chelsea are demonstrating a much better cutting edge than Everton who have bagged no more than one goal in eight of their last ten games.

Everton Last 10; W5, D2, L3, F11, A7

Manchester City 0-2 Everton 25-02-2008
Everton 3-1 Portsmouth 02-03-2008
Fiorentina 2-0 Everton 06-03-2008
Sunderland 0-1 Everton 09-03-2008
Everton 2-0 Fiorentina 12-03-2008
Fulham 1-0 Everton 16-03-2008
Everton 1-1 West Ham United 22-03-2008
Liverpool 1-0 Everton 30-03-2008
Everton 1-0 Derby County 06-04-2008
Birmingham 1-1 Everton 12-04-2008

Chelsea Last 10; W6, D2, L2, F20, A10

Barnsley 1-0 Chelsea 08-03-2008
Chelsea 6-1 Derby County 12-03-2008
Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea 15-03-2008
Tottenham Hotspur 4-4 Chelsea 19-03-2008
Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal 23-03-2008
Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrough 30-03-2008
Fenerbahce 2-1 Chelsea 02-04-2008
Manchester City 0-2 Chelsea 05-04-2008
Chelsea 2-0 Fenerbahce 08-04-2008
Chelsea 1-1 Wigan Athletic 14-04-2008

The panel is split perhaps suggesting a DRAW

Mark Carlton: Draw
Paul Grech: Home
Antony Melvin: Away
Stephen Orford: Draw