Chelsea will open their Premier League journey with a trip to the Merseyside as they are scheduled to take Everton on Saturday at Goodison Park.
Everton survived the relegation scare last season as Frank Lampard managed to plug the gap at the very last moment. The Toffees remained very positive prior to their Premier League opener but Lampard knows it would be very difficult to sort out the mess they created last season.
They should have been more active on the transfer market in the search for the right players but Richarlison’s £60million move to Tottenham Hotspur hogged all the limelight.
They have had some shrewd acquisitions in Dwight McNeil, James Tarkowski and Ruben Vinagre but they have a tough task to cut out in the transfer market as the 4-0 defeat to Minnesota United indicated some massive loopholes in the ranks.
Everton registered the least away points last season and they also conceded the most number of set-piece goals. There would be not much food for thought when it comes to challenging the top six but they can definitely reach their target by climbing up small steps.
The appointment of new director Kevin Thelwell has sent a good message to the supporters and his combination with the current manager could be key to Everton’s success.
There was unrest by the fans during the last season and the club was supposed to deliver high this season. Owner Farhad Moshiri has requested the fans to wait till the transfer window is closed to determine their business.
Lampard arrived in January and brought in some stability despite the horrific run last season. The former Chelsea midfielder will be given a free hand in his first full season on the Merseyside and his priority would be to play crisp free flowing football.
Chelsea finished third last season and secured Champions League football despite confusion regarding the ownership. This will be their first season without Roman Abrahimovoc who has sold his beloved club to American businessman Tedd Boehly.
The Blues had registered their interest in a number of players but in a strange manner Barcelona came down to secure all their targets. The likes of Raphinha and Jules Kounde were the subject of interest for Thomas Tuchel but they had to shift to other targets.
The arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling and Marc Cucurella has marked the summer transfer window successful so far and there could be more players arriving at the Stamford Bridge.
Preseason hasn’t been that great and Tuchel might find it a bit difficult to get the tone right at the start of the season. Conor Gallagher has returned from his successful loan spell at Crystal Palace and he could be the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
Armando Broja too was pretty sharp at Southampton last season and he has added another dimension to Tuchel’s already impressive armoury. But Everton are on a four match winning streak at Goodison Park and it would be a tricky test for the London giants.
The departure of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger means Tuchel has to reshuffle his defence and Koulibaly could be his leader in defence.
The 4-0 defeat to London rival Arsenal dent a massive barrier to their preparations and they need to grab all their chances this term. They are poised to host the North London giants Tottenham Hotspur in the second match of the season so a good start is necessary.
Everton vs Chelsea
Date: 6th August 2022
Time: 10:00 PM IST
Stadium: Goodison Park
Everton vs Chelsea
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is facing an extended spell on the sidelines while Seamus Coleman, Andros Townsend, Andre Gomes and Tom Davies are not ready for this match.
Kalidou Koulibaly should be handed a debut in this match. Timo Werner is doubtful and he is likely to be not in the starting lineup.
Everton Possible Lineup
Pickford; Godfrey, Mina, Tarkowski; Patterson, Doucoure, Allan, Mykolenko; Gordon, Gray, McNeil
Chelsea Possible Lineup
Mendy; Azpilicueta, T Silva, Koulibaly; James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Havertz, Sterling
Chelsea should register a comfortable victory over the Toffees.
Everton vs Chelsea Fantasy XI No. 1
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Koulibaly, Tarkowski; Kante, Kovacic, Doucoure, Allan; Havertz, Sterling, Gray
Everton vs Chelsea Fantasy XI No. 2
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Koulibaly, Tarkowski, Mina; Kante, Kovacic, Doucoure; Havertz, Sterling, Gray