England Premier League
Saturday 6th August 2022
Kick off at 5:30pm BST
Venue: Goodison Park
Evertonians could be forgiven for thinking ‘is it that time already?’ as the new Premier League season gets under way. Last season maybe needs to be digested some more by Everton fans who probably found more grey hairs than they bargained for come the end of the season. It was a campaign which almost seen the famous club relegated for the first time in over 70 years and the Toffees were only assured of safety with 3 days of the season to go, and now it’s time to get back on the roller coaster.
There are legitimate worries in the club though who had to sell forward and cult figure Richarlison for £60m to Tottenham. The Brazilian certainly put points on the board for the club last season and scored 10 goals- most of those being important game winners. Everton are clearly restricted by their finances this season and it is expected that a bulk of their signings will be through loans however they have spent £20m on acquiring the services of Dwight McNeil from Burnley. He will join up with his former team mate James Tarkowski who came on a free. Ruben Vinagre has come on loan also and he has some experience in the Premier League with Wolves. There is also talk that former player Idrissa Gueye will re join from his spell at PSG.
As for friendlies Frank Lampard’s side conceded 8 goals in just 3 games and while losing 2-0 to Arsenal isn’t a terrible result perhaps being tanked 4-0 by MLS side Minnesota is. Everton beat Blackpool 4-2 in their next game and for the charity match for Ukraine they beat Dynamo Kiev 3-0 with new signing McNeil scoring twice.
These have been uncertain times for Chelsea and the stable and almost superior standing the Blues had under Roman Abramovich for almost two decades is over. The Russian had to sell under pressure and Todd Boehly is now in charge. There is a feeling that Chelsea may face an uneven season and have rocky periods but we shouldn’t forget the Blues still boast a very impressive squad. True Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have departed for La Liga and that is a hole in defence. However the Blues have brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for a cool £33m which could well be a bargain. Upfront Raheem Sterling comes from Manchester City in what some believe to be a surprise move, has Pep Guardiola made an error selling Sterling to a Champions League rival? Only time will tell. In midfield prospect Carney Chukwuemeka has joined for £20m from Aston Villa. Another story altogether is Romelu Lukaku whose time under Thomas Tuchel’s tactics was nothing short of a disaster and the Belgian has returned to Inter Milan on loan.
Chelsea haven’t played many friendly games certainly not on the level that would test the side properly. They did beat Udinese 3-1 in Italy but also lost 4-0 to Arsenal in America. The Blues last friendly game was again against Udinese but a select 11 and they won that 2-0.
Everton: The Toffees have received a big blow with striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin set to miss a month out due to a knee injury received in training. Salomon Rondon is suspended, serving a ban from the end of last season and cannot play. Seamus Coleman is only 50/50 to play due to a groin injury. Andros Townsend is not due back until October due to his long term knee injury from last season.
Chelsea: Coming into this game only Timo Werner remains a doubt with a slight hamstring injury.
Everton vs Chelsea Head to Head:
Last season Everton won this fixture 1-0.
Chelsea have won just 1 meeting from the past four and haven’t beaten Everton at Goodison Park in 5 years.
The last four meetings in a row have finished under 2.5 goals.
Everton vs Chelsea Prediction:
Everton have got obvious problems up front and the gap that Richarlison’s sale has left has yet to be filled. Farhad Moshiri, club owner, has told fans not to judge the club now but at the end of the transfer window but by then the club could have lost a few games in a row and that will not do confidence any good. Still Everton’s strengths in that time could come from defence and James Tarowski despite being part of a team that went down in Burnley did have a solid season stats wise and he should be able to shore up defence. Yerry Mina on his day can be a good defender but last season he was hampered by too many injuries but he is fit for this game.
With a lack of real quality up front we may not see the prettiest football from Everton but this being the first game of the season and being at home we should see a good atmosphere. Chelsea are dangerous though and they will be looking for revenge after last season. There are goals in this Chelsea side, and if the team can click this may be a difficult opening game for the Toffees.
Everton vs Chelsea Betting Tips:
Chelsea to beat Everton at 1.62
Anytime goalscorer: Raheem Sterling at 2.75