Everton vs Chelsea: On the opening weekend of the 2022–23 Premier League season, Saturday’s match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park will be one of the most intriguing games.
In the race for a Champions League slot, Chelsea finished third, five points ahead of fifth-place Arsenal, while the Toffees finished in 16th place and narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship.
Everton vs Chelsea Match preview
The upcoming season will be a chance for Everton to improve on what was a very challenging 2021–22 campaign, in which the team finished 16th in the Premier League standings, just four points above the relegation zone, and faced the possibility of sliding into English football’s second tier.
The only real plus for the Toffees last season was that they managed to finish above the bottom three teams, with Frank Lampard’s addition in January helping to secure survival. The Toffees are still one of only six English clubs that have never been relegated from the Premier League. However, they had been predicted to be potential European challengers.
Despite a 5-1 loss at Arsenal to complete the 2021–22 season, Lampard led the team to safety with 39 points and a record of 11 victories, six draws, and 21 losses from 38 games.
In the current transfer market, Everton has only been able to sign three players: James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil from Burnley, the former of whom was available for free, and Ruben Vinagre, who joined the club on loan from Sporting Lisbon.
This Saturday, Lampard will be itching to get revenge on his old team, and a win against the Blues would set them up well for games against Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Brentford, and Leeds United before the month is through.
Chelsea, on the other hand, managed to finish third in the Premier League last season despite the off-field troubles involving their ownership; as a result, they will participate in the Champions League once more this year.
The Blues have added four players to their roster this summer—Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemeka, and Gabriel Slonina—but Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter Milan on loan means they are still lacking a center forward.
Two important defenders, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, left the team this summer on free transfers, and head coach Thomas Tuchel was not happy with the team’s preseason.
The London giants will enter this match off of a 3-1 victory over Udinese last Friday, but on their preseason tour of the United States, they lost to both Charlotte FC and Arsenal, with the Gunners defeating them 4-0, which drew harsh criticism from Tuchel.
The team is under pressure to start the season well because Chelsea will host Tottenham Hotspur in their second game the following weekend. However, it is unclear whether the capital club is fully prepared for the return of competitive play.
During the pre-game press conference on Thursday, Everton manager Lampard disclosed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be out for six weeks with a knee injury sustained during training.
Salomon Rondon’s suspension prevents him from starting in the heart of the defense, thus Demarai Gray might fill in with assistance from McNeil and Anthony Gordon. Yerry Mina is healthy and available and should start there.
Due to the club’s injury woes, Lampard doesn’t have many options in that position, therefore Allan might return to center midfield despite his recent fitness concerns. Seamus Coleman, Tom Davies, Andre Gomes, and Andros Townsend are all still out of the lineup.
With Michael Keane perhaps leaving the lineup if Mina is considered fit enough to play at the start of the game, Tarkowski will make his debut in a back three.
Koulibaly will likely make his Chelsea debut at the back, and Sterling may line up with Mason Mount and Kai Havertz in a front three.
The Germany international is not anticipated to be considered for a start as Timo Werner is a fitness doubt for the Blues due to a hamstring ailment and there is intense speculation around his future.
Cesar Azpilicueta will also require Tuchel’s decision, although despite rumors about his future, it is thought that the Spaniard will stay at Stamford Bridge.
In the centre of the field, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante are anticipated to start, with Reece James and Ben Chilwell playing as the wing-backs.
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Godfrey, Mina, Tarkowski; Patterson, Doucoure, Allan, Mykolenko; Gordon, Gray, McNeil.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, T Silva, Koulibaly; James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz, Sterling.
Everton vs Chelsea Prediction
Leading into the new season, Chelsea are not quite where they want to be, but Everton are also lacking in the final third due to Calvert Lewin’s injury. We anticipate a very close game and wouldn’t be shocked to see a draw, but Chelsea should have just enough to win.
The score will see is Everton 1-2 Chelsea.