It’s another away day for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. Whilst Goodison Park might hold fond memories as a player for our record goal-scorer, the same can’t be said as a manager. Everton vs Chelsea is usually a watershed fixture. When Chelsea do well at the home of the Merseyside club, they tend to win the title. With a chance to return to the League’s summit tonight, it’s a big match against Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Everton vs Chelsea: Recent Form
Chelsea visit Goodison Park in good sprits. Although the midweek draw to Krasnodar was nothing to write home about, they are unbeaten in 18 matches. Furthermore, they recorded a very impressive win last week against Leeds United, and boast the second-best goalscoring record in the Premier League.
In Ed Mendy, they have the man with the most clean sheets too. What is more impressive is the spread of goals. Chelsea have already recorded 13 different goalscorers this season. Last year, Chelsea were over-reliant on the performances of Pulisic, Abraham or Giroud in front of goal. There is a greater spread this year with the emergence of ‘Air Zouma’, and the industry of Timo Werner.
if there were blots on Chelsea’s win last week against Leeds, one was the injury to Hakim Ziyech. The Moroccan has taken to Premier League life with aplomb so far, being integral to Chelsea’s attacking game. Ziyech picked up a minor hamstring injury meaning he’ll miss several games during this crucial condensed period. The other blot was poor finishing, notably from Werner, but other players were guilty of profligacy. Chelsea will have to be clinical, as it is unlikely Everton will be as passive as Leeds in the second half.
As for Everton, after a stunning start, their season has faltered. Only one win in seven games for Carlo Ancelotti – a 2-3 triumph away at Fulham – and a worryingly leaky backline. Everton excel on the front-foot with the quality of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, but the lack of James Rodriguez will have an impact tonight. Additionally, they have toughened up in the midfield by recruiting the tough-tackling and dynamic pair of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
However, there are still defensive concerns. The inability to put a settled backline out due to injuries, particularly at left-back have hurt the Toffees. Losing Lucas Digne is two-fold. Firstly, he is a quality defensive player. Secondly, he provides width with his overlapping runs. It is no surprise Everton’s poor form has coincided with the loss of Digne. As a result, they’ve recently switched to a 3-4-3 formation using Alex Iwobi and Fabian Delph at wing-back to try and create width. Today, however, they’ll likely return to a more compact back four for the visit of the Blues.
Everton vs. Chelsea: Head-to-Head
Chelsea’s stunning 4-0 win over Everton in March was a shock result. Ancelotti’s team were playing well before their visit to Stamford Bridge. Moreover, Chelsea’s record against the Toffees leaves a lot to be desired. The same fixture last season saw a resurgent Everton dominate under Interim Boss Duncan Ferguson. Backed by a vociferous Goodison, they overwhelmed Chelsea with pace and power. Although Mateo Kovacic grabbed his first Premier League goal, it was a disappointing 3-1 loss.
The previous season, Chelsea were frustrated twice. Firstly, Sam Allardyce’s Everton parked the bus in a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. Then, Marco Silva’s Toffees beat Sarri’s Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park. Chelsea dominated the first half completed, but lost composure, going down 2-0 thanks to Richarlison and Sigurdsson’s penalty.
Chelsea have won 73 times against Everton in their history. There have been 54 draws and Everton have triumped 57 times. Everton vs Chelsea will be the 185th meeting.
Player to Watch: Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma is rapidly becoming a fan favourite at Chelsea, having firmly established as 1st choice alongside Thiago Silva. His aerial prowess and physicality this season has been very impressive. However, what really marks him out is his seemingly uncanny ability to find space at corners to power home headers. This has earned the Frenchman the nickname ‘Air Zouma’ amongst the SW6 Faithful. Zouma’s renaissance is great credit to the player. Zouma is one of the League’s top defenders now.
Tonight, Zouma returns to Goodison Park having spent a season on loan in 2018/19. Having regained his fitness towards the end of a difficult spell on loan at Stoke, the Toffees gave Zouma a chance to reset. He made 32 appearances for the Merseyside Blues, scoring twice in the Premier League. Most importantly, he showed his fitness and stamina was starting to return to previous levels after his horrendous knee injury.
Kurt Zouma will have a tough test against Calvert-Lewin tonight. If he can keep the top Premier League marksman quiet, there is a good chance Chelsea will take the three points.
Everton vs Chelsea: Team News & Predicted Lineups
Frank Lampard once again has absentees after managing one game with a fully-fit squad. Both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech are out. Christian Pulisic returns after missing the Krasnodar match. Most encouragingly, Billy Gilmour is back into the fold after his Man of the Match showing against the Russians. Mateo Kovacic may come in for Kai Havertz.
Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kante, Mount, Kovacic; Werner, Giroud; Pulisic
Carlo Ancelotti is facing a mini injury crisis. With Digne sidelined for several months, replacement Fabian Delph is now out too. Captain Seamus Coleman is also injured. This means Ben Godfrey may deputise and youngster Niels Nkounkou may get a chance. Finally, James Rodriguez misses the match, with Andre Gomes replacing him.
Everton Predicted XI: Pickford; Godfrey, Keane, Mina, Nkounkou; Allan, Doucoure, Gomes; Iwobi, Calvert-Lewin; Richarlison
Everton vs Chelsea: Final Details
- Match Date: Saturday 12th December 2020
- Kick-Off Time: 20:00pm GMT
- Where?: Goodison Park, Merseyside
- TV Channels: BT Sport (UK), CBS Sport (USA)
- Referee: Jonathan Moss. Assistants: Marc Perry, Dan Robathan. Fourth official: Lee Mason. VAR: Andre Marriner. Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday.
Written and edited by Rob Pratley