The new Premier League season has finally arrived and it is time for another enthralling and exciting calendar year to fight for Premier League glory. Everton welcome Chelsea in their first game of the season to Goodison Park with both the teams going through a transition period. The Toffees will have their first full season under Frank Lampard having scraped through relegation last season. The Blues on the other hand will have their first season without Roman Abramovich with Todd Boehly now replacing the Russian billionaire as the new co-controlling owner along with Clearlake Capital’s Behdad Eghbali.
When and Where?
Date:- 6th August 2022.
Time:- 4:30 PM GMT.
Venue:- Goodison Park.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Assistant Referees: Marc Perry and Scott Ledge.
Fourth Official: Graham Scott.
VAR Official: John Brooks.
Assistant VAR Official: Darren Cann.
Frank Lampard confirmed in his press conference that Dominic Calvert Lewin will be on the sidelines for around 6 weeks after picking up an injury during the pre-season. Tom Davies, Andros Townsend, Andre Gomes and Seamus Coleman are all unavailable and Salomon Rondon is suspended for the game against Chelsea.
As for Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel is yet to have his press briefing to give clarity on his squad’s fitness. Timo Werner missed the last pre-season game against Udinese due to a hamstring issue and hasn’t been pictured in training this week. Armando Broja is back from his ankle after missing 3 out of the 4 pre-season friendlies and featured in training this week.
All eyes will be on Everton on Saturday with Frank Lampard having a point to prove this season. Last season’s 16th place finish after having a bad start to the season certainly didn’t go down well with the Everton faithful. The departure of club talisman Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur for 50 million pounds and the unavailability of Rondon and Calvert Lewin leaves Lampard without a no.9 for the match. Having deployed a 3 at the back system during the pre-season tour, the Toffees look secure with the extra man in defence and the signing of James Tarkowski on a free further improves the quality at the back. It’ll certainly be a test for Lampard to go toe-to-toe with his former club Chelsea who also deploy a similar system given the lack of squad depth and a thin squad for the first game of the season.
Thomas Tuchel has had a busy summer overall with the German given a greater role in the transfer business of the club. The signings of Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling have strengthened his side with more signings expected by the end of the transfer window. The Blues won two out of their four pre-season games even though they looked rusty throughout their tour in the US. Tuchel tried the 4-2-3-1 system which looks to be a system they could adopt this season once their transfer business will finish. The Blues will want to start the season strong at a stadium where they have suffered in recent seasons. Chelsea’s last win at Goodison Park came in the 2017/2018 season when Maurizio Sarri was at the club. Ever since, the Merseyside club have remained unbeaten in their last 6 matches at home against the West London club. Tuchel will certainly want to end the Everton curse this weekend and take all 3 points home though Lampard will have the 35,000 Evertonians backing his side.
The Englishman won the club player of the year award for the second consecutive side last season after a very impressive season for the Blues. The 23-year-old scored 11 times and contributed 10 assists last season helping the Blues secure a 3rd placed finish. The Cobham graduate will be instrumental against Everton in linking up with Havertz and Sterling to cause havoc in between the lines. Mount scored last season against the Toffees in a 1-1 stalemate at Stamford Bridge and will want to add to his tally against Lampard’s men.
The former Manchester City forward has been one of the most lethal wingers in the league for the last 5 years. The 27-year-old will play on the left side of the Chelsea attack and his pace could be a problem for the Everton defence. Sterling has lost just once against the Toffees throughout his career and would want to get on the scoresheet in his first start as a Chelsea player.
Gordon was given his first-team breakthrough in January last season when Lampard took over the reins. Since then, the 21-year-old academy graduate has been one of the first names on the team sheet. He finished last season with 4 goals and 2 assists and could be Lampard’s X factor this season. The midfielder’s dribbling and press could trouble the Chelsea side who failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their pre-season outings.
Everton (3-4-3): Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Mina, Patterson, Allan, Doucoure, Vinagre, McNeil, Gordon.
Chelsea(3-4-3): Mendy, Azpilicueta, Silva, Koulibaly, James, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Sterling.