‘They should’: BBC Sport pundit reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Everton
Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Chelsea FC's home clash with Everton in the Premier League on Thursday night
Mark Lawrenson is backing Chelsea FC to heap more pressure on Rafael Benitez with a 2-0 victory over his Everton side at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
The Spaniard has found himself under pressure at Goodison Park following the Toffees’ stuttering form this season, with Everton having only won five games so far this term.
Everton have lost four of their last five games in the top flight, with the Toffees’ only points coming in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal earlier in the month.
Chelsea FC, meanwhile, will need to win this game to keep up the pressure on title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool FC.
The Blues currently find themselves five points behind the Citizens, who have played a game more than Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Former Liverpool FC star Lawrenson can only see this game going one way, and he is tipping Chelsea FC to claim a comfortable home victory.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “Rafael Benitez is back at another of his former clubs but he will not expect a warm welcome at Stamford Bridge – and I can’t see him picking up any points either.
“The very least you usually expect from a Benitez side is that they are solid at the back but, defensively, Everton have been poor of late and it is hard to see them keeping Chelsea quiet.
“Chelsea have not been at their best at either end recently, but they should still have too much for the Toffees, who have lost four away games on the trot going into this one.”
Meanwhile, Antonio Rudiger’s future at Chelsea FC continues to be a talking point, with the defender’s contract set to expire in the summer.
Former Blues star Chris Sutton has urged the south west London side to do what they can to tie the German down to a new deal following his strong performances this season.
“How much would it cost to replace him? On that basis, I think they have to give him the money if he wants that money,” Sutton told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I think he’s a superb defender second to Virgil van Dijk in the Premier League. He has that aggression. I think he’s decent enough on the ball. He’s composed. When you talk about absolute leadership on the pitch, I think he epitomes that. He’s a real driving force.”