Chelsea v Everton: Matic expecting closer encounter
Nemanja Matic knows a repeat of Chelsea's rout of Everton in August is unlikely when the two sides meet at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Matic was among the goalscorers as the Premier League leaders hammered Roberto Martinez's side 6-3 in an exhilarating encounter at Goodison Park.
Chelsea have gone from strength to strength since that resounding victory and head into the midweek encounter with a seven-point lead at the top of the table after they won 2-1 at Aston Villa on Saturday and Manchester City could only draw 1-1 with struggling Hull City.
Everton are down in 12th spot following their goalless Merseyside derby draw at home to Liverpool, and head to the capital looking for a first triumph at Chelsea since 1994.
It would be a surprise if Everton's long wait for a win at Stamford Bridge ends this week, but Matic is not expecting Everton to be so frail this time around.
The Serb told Chelsea's official website: "Now at home we have to win. We know that it is also going to difficult but if we want to be champions we have to win. Everton is not the kind of team to concede six.
"They did against us but not again so we just want to win, it doesn’t matter if it is with six goals or 1-0, we just need three points."
Jose Mourinho claimed that a seven-point advantage at the summit is "nothing" after Chelsea's victory at Villa Park and former Benfica man Matic echoed his manager's sentiments.
He added: "We have many games to the end and only seven points lead, because Manchester City are a very good team, they will fight to the end and we will see at the end.
"We are in a good way at the moment and we will try to keep like this but it is a long way to go."
Diego Costa scored twice in Chelsea's resounding win at Goodison Park, but the Spain striker will not inflict further misery on Everton as he serves the final game of a three-match ban.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas is set to return after missing the last two games due to a hamstring injury, but it remains to be seen if Filipe Luis (calf) is available to return.
Former Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku will be eager to make an impact in his first appearance at Stamford Bridge since his big-money move to Everton last July.
Martinez will be hoping Leighton Baines (knee) is able to return after the left-back missed Saturday's derby, but Aiden McGeady will miss out due to a knee problem sustained in training.
The game may come too soon for Steven Pienaar (knee), while Leon Osman (foot) and Tim Howard (calf) are still sidelined.