John Heitinga has told Chelsea they will be up against a confident and motivated Everton team at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The Blues have lost just once in seven games and disposed of league leaders Manchester City in their last home game.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have not won in four and suffered the chastening experience of watching a three-goal lead evaporate in the second-half of their game against Manchester United at the weekend.
Heitinga is unsure whether that will affect Andre Villas-Boas’ team, but insists there is no shortage of belief in the home camp.
“We will have to wait and see (if the Man United game affects them),” he told evertontv. “But, look, they started really well against United and scored some good goals. Sure, in the end it is 3-3 but they are a big team with quality players and we will need to be at our very best to beat them.
“But we are confident at the moment, the team is confident and we are looking forward to it.
“It is up to us. I am looking forward to the game as it is a game against a big team. They have maybe not done so well in the past few weeks so maybe we can surprise them and win at Goodison.
“In the past we have beaten them so we know we can do it, but everything has to be right for that to happen. The first thing we need to do is work really hard and if we do that then the football will follow.”
The Chelsea game comes in the midst of an important spell for the Blues, with a big FA Cup tie against Blackpool following quickly on its heels.
Heitinga knows the season has reached a defining stage and he has set his sights on extending a run of form that has seen him excel week in and week out at the heart of the defence.
Injuries to Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagileka saw Heitinga take on the responsibility of being the Blues’ main centre-half and his consistency and leadership have been exemplary.
Heitinga added: “I feel very happy and know that I must continue to do me best every single game and I will do that again on Saturday. Everybody knows centre-half is my best position and my favourite position and I am used to playing here. We now have a very important month and we need to pick up points and look up the table, but if we can carry on as we are then I am sure we will be able to do that.”
Tickets for next Saturday’s match against Chelsea at Goodison Park are still available, call 0871 663 1878 or click here to secure your place.