Everton host Chelsea at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Carlo Ancelotti’s team has one win in their last seven and the Italian comes up against his former club and player in Frank Lampard. Chelsea will be hoping to continue their fine form which has seen them mentioned as title favourites by Jurgen Klopp.
Everton’s form has taken a remarkable nosedive of late. Four wins in a row to start the season has turned into one win in their last seven with five defeats. In their last four matches, they led against Man Utd but lost 3-1 and then beat Fulham 3-2 away. That was followed by a late 1-0 defeat at home against Leeds.
In their last match, they fell behind early to Burnley before Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 11th league goal of the season rescued a point in a 1-1 draw. The Toffees played well in the match and put up 2.0 expected goals. They really should have taken all three points.
Everton Team News
Everton have been having a tough time with injuries. Lucas Digne has been ruled out for a couple of months at left-back and Seamus Coleman has missed some matches with a hamstring problem on the other side.
Carlo Ancelotti used Fabian Delph at left wingback for the last game and he did his hamstring too after 25 minutes. Ben Godfrey ended up moving into a left-back role with Alex Iwobi at right back. The Italian coach will have to find a solution against Chelsea’s dangerous wide players.
The Toffees are not a side under Ancelotti who can absorb pressure and without some options at fullback, that may be a dangerous approach anyway. Everton are expected to try to play on the front foot with their front three and look to get crosses into Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison on the back post. A draw would be a decent result but playing for one from the start is not expected.
Frank Lampard’s side have been in great form and have looked strong at the back. After six wins in a row, Chelsea have drawn 0-0 with Tottenham and 1-1 with Krasnodar in their last four matches. Sandwiched between those draws was a fine 4-0 win at Sevilla and a 3-1 win against Leeds.
Eight clean sheets in 12 matches gives an indication of the importance of new signings Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell in defence.
Chelsea Team News
Frank Lampard did some mass resting for the 1-1 midweek draw with Krasnodar. The only players who started that match who could play in this clash are one of Mateo Kovacic or Kai Havertz. Chelsea will have a fresh side with Olivier Giroud expected to lead the line.
Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi are out with hamstring injuries so Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner could play either side of Giroud.
All focus for Chelsea is on this match having rested so many players in midweek. Lampard’s side will go all out to win the match and will see a draw as a bad result. With the injuries to Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi, the bench could look a little short of impact players to chase the game so the first goal will be key for Chelsea.
Newcastle have lost 2 of their last 4 PL matches
Chelsea have won 8 of their last 10 matches
Chelsea have kept clean sheets in 8 of their last 12 matches
Olivier Giroud has scored 6 goals in his last 5 matches
Chelsea have won their last 5 away matches
Everton have 1 win in their last 7 matches, losing 5
The Toffees have kept no clean sheets in their last 10 PL matches
Everton have lost their last 2 home PL matches
The Toffees have scored in 8 of their last 9 home PL matches
This game will be hard-fought but Chelsea have the quality to win the match in the second half.