Everton puts unbeaten run on the line against Chelsea
Liverpool, England (Sports Network) - Everton brings a seven-match unbeaten streak into its top-five showdown with Chelsea at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The Toffees have won three of their last four contests to move into fifth place and the club finds itself only two points back of third-place Chelsea, which looks to have found its stride over the past few weeks with three successive wins.
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez will be returning to a familiar place on Sunday and the former Liverpool boss should expect an icy reception from the Goodison Park crowd, which has seen their side get the better of Benitez just three times in 14 meetings with the Spaniard.
Everton manager David Moyes has seen his team lose just two times in the first 19 matches of the season, but he knows the challenge that his side faces on Sunday.
"I think it is a great club - they are European champions," Moyes said of Chelsea. "If you go there you have always got a chance of winning games with the quality and level of players they have got.
"I don't think it is any surprise that Chelsea are winning games. "He (Benitez) is doing a very good job. He has inherited a really good team, some very good players. You would expect him to win games."
One of the reasons why Chelsea has won recently is due to a much tighter defense, which has kept four clean sheets over the past six league games, allowing Chelsea to move to within four points of second-place Manchester City with a game in hand.
Manchester United was able to extend its lead at the top of the Premiership to seven points on Wednesday with a thrilling 4-3 win over Newcastle, while Manchester City sustained a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland.
United forward Wayne Rooney has been ruled out for three weeks, meaning he will miss the Red Devils' home contest with West Bromwich on Saturday, while City tries to rebound on the road at Norwich.
Tottenham rolled to a 4-0 win over Aston Villa in midweek and tries to keep that momentum going at Sunderland, which moved seven points clear of the drop zone with its victory over City.
Struggling sides Wigan and Aston Villa square off at Villa Park on Saturday with the Latics trying to snap a six-game winless run, while Villa has been outscored 12-0 in its past two league outings.
Fulham has claimed one point from its past three games and tries to add to that total at home against Swansea City, Reading sits six points from safety in 19th place and entertains West Ham, Southampton visits top-half side Stoke City, Arsenal hosts a Newcastle team that has lost three of its last four games and Liverpool tries to remain in the top half of the league with three points at last-place QPR on Sunday.