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Chelsea v Everton preview: A 14/1 shot to win the Man of the Match award

Everton travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime and here are the three players that could decide who comes out on top

by Josh Powell | February 21, 2014

Straight from the Twitter world @ManOTheMatchBet joins the Paddy Power Blog ahead of the crunch tie between Chelsea and Everton. He’s got our traders worried after they saw the profit line on his website, but there’s nothing we like more than a bit of pandemonium in the office.

Michael Owen is currently sunning it in Dubai, but hopefully, (yes, really!), he will be back to co-commentate on Everton’s trip to Chelsea this weekend (BTsport, Saturday, 12.45pm)

The co-commentator has bored us to death in 24 Premier League games this season and has never given the Man of the Match award to a defender. So when analysing his games that’s eight players you can pretty much safely rule out of the equation for the award.

Chelsea are unbeaten in the league at home this season (13 wins and two draws), so the Blues’ midfield is the first place to start when considering the Man of the Match bet.

Jose Mourinho wink

The Pensioners are the odds on favourites at 4/7 to win the game and take Jose Mourinho’s incredible unbeaten league record at Stamford Bridge to 72 matches. Eden Hazard is the 9/2 favourite to pick up the Man of the Match gong, but he has put in two below par performances by his high standards in the defeat to Man City and draw with West Brom. The midfielder has 12 goals and five assists this season so could easily bounce back to top form, but he is likely to be up against the excellent Seamus Coleman at right-back who bagged me a 16/1 winner in last week’s FA Cup encounter with Swansea.

Nemanja Matić at 14/1 looks good value. The Serbian has taken to the Premier League’s style of football like a duck to water, and put in a Man of the Match performance in his first league start against Man City at the Etihad. Chelsea won that tight game 1-0 in which Matic made four tackles, two interceptions and eight effective clearances. He also posted the best pass accuracy of any Chelsea player. The Everton game could follow a similar pattern to the City match and suit Matic’s style of football.

Secondly Oscar presents an opportunity at 15/2. Last season he appeared to have a ‘transitional period’ getting use to the pace of the Premier League, but has taken the bull by the horns this year bagging six goals and two assists already. He always catches the eye and possesses plenty of quality to decide a match.

Thirdly it is worth taking a chance that Everton may snatch a point to take back to Merseyside, and therefore Gareth Barry at 16/1 makes up the trio. Barry is a great passer and organiser in his deep role for Everton averaging 71 passes a game with a success rate of 86 per cent. He has made 54 tackles this season as well as chipping in at the other end with 25 key passes. If the Toffee’s are going to take any points from this game, he will be the orchestrator.

Chelsea v Everton Selections

N Matic 14/1
Oscar 15/2
G Barry 16/1

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