We’re back! It’s been a long summer, full of transfer gazumping’s, pre-season overreaction and Twitter hysteria but at long last Premier League football is ready to make its return. We couldn’t be more excited!
First up, Chelsea takes on Everton away at Goodison Park this Saturday afternoon in a fixture which has historically not been kind to the visiting Blues. Indeed, Chelsea have lost their last four away matches against Everton and in those games, have only managed to score once. It goes without saying, that they will have to be on their A game to come away with an opening day three points.
The good news is that Chelsea goes into this one with a near fully fit team. The only notable doubt is Timo Werner, who may still be suffering from a hamstring problem although given his seemingly impending departure, it’s unlikely he would have started anyway. New signings Koulibaly and Sterling both look likely to start, while even Cucurella, who officially signed yesterday, will be available to make the squad.
For Everton, things are less simple. The Toffees start the season with limited options up front due to Calvert-Lewin picking up an injury in training. Rondon is also unavailable although through suspension, while Coleman, Davies, Gomes and Townsend will all miss out through injury.
Things are certainly setting up for an exciting opening day clash here. The mood around Chelsea seems to have picked up since the underwhelming early pre season results and the arrival of Marc Cucurella will only add to the positivity. If Chelsea can beat Everton and get an early three points, it could be a real statement of intent going into this new Premier League season.
Ahead of the match, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social have shared their match predictions.
Maria Dulce (@usernamedulce)
Last week, Thomas Tuchel stated that Chelsea is “not ready for the new season” yet. Undeniably, the team did not have the best possible pre-season – especially considering the 4-0 loss to the London red rivals. However, in the first game’s press conference, the gaffer affirms that the team has indeed progressed “a few steps further”, generating more hope for the season’s first match.
Starting the new season against a depleted Everton should allow the players and staff to continue slowly adapting to the new conditions. As seen with Frank Lampard in 2020, new players mean going through adaptation both individually and collectively. For that reason, it’s good that for the first time in the last couple of years, a newcomer is Premier League-proven. Hence, it would be interesting to see Raheem Sterling in the starting XI, alongside the Mason Mount and Kai Havertz pair – who have repeatedly shown that they work well together.
As for the defence, excellent news keeps coming since the missing wing-back duo of Reece James and Ben Chilwell will be able to feature together again. With these two simultaneously back together in the lineup, the team can take a vertical approach with a high tempo and efficient counter-pressing. Despite not being in the best form yet, Chelsea has got what it takes to make the first out of 38 a win. Thus, my prediction is Everton 1 – 2 Chelsea.
Up the Chels!
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Chelsea
Our away record at Goodison Park really hasn’t been good over the years, having lost our last 4 meetings there. It’s going to be just as tough as it was last season where the atmosphere was rocking. Our first game of the season and they’ll want to put on a show for their fans.
We’ve made some good signings – high profile signings and even more to come. I don’t expect to see Cucurella and Chukwuemeka feature. Although, Koulibaly and Sterling will most likely start. Our first team, despite losing Alonso, Rudiger and Christensen, does still look strong, if not better than last season.
Everton will try stop the CB’s and certainly Jorginho from building any attacks and rhythm in possession. But, if we can play with the discipline and control that I know we can certainly provide when we’re really up for it, then we’ll definitely win.
Losing your first game of the season is never a good look. We have to end the Goodison curse now. I can see us coming out of Goodison with the 3 points and a decent performance with our wing-backs being highly relied upon.
My prediction: Everton 0-1 Chelsea
Rosy Cobb (@WeKnowWWA)
Chelsea starts their season away at Frank Lampard’s Everton, whilst still recruiting heavily and trying to strengthen. The arrival of Raheem Sterling has given Chelsea fans something to cheer, and they will be hoping for an instant impact from the England International who comes with great expectations. Amanda Broja has managed to secure himself a shirt number and first team spot in Tuchel’s team and will be hopeful of securing his chance at Goodison Park, if he manages to get some minutes.
It’s a World Cup year so expect to see players pushing from the first day, looking to stake a claim for their positions.
Everton have lost their talisman Richarlison without bringing in a replacement and with Calvert-Lewin out for the first two months, will be looking to others for goals.
Expecting to see goals in this game, and a comprehensive victory for Chelsea, but can’t see a clean sheet so backing the blues for a 3-1 win!
Prediction: Everton 1-3 Chelsea
Rey Stevinho (@Rey_Blues30)
The new season has arrived and with it the new Thomas Blues. With anticipated eagerness from the fans, we finally get to see Chelsea back on the pitch. Much excitement has risen this last week as current our transfer aims continue to pile up with several names still on the horizon.
Nevertheless, our new acquisitions will grace the the field with Sterling and Koulibaly the main figures to look out for. The departures of key figures such as Rudiger and Christensen has left our defensive flanks a little short handed. But recently we were able to acquire Cucurella to add some mobility to our defense and give us more versatility on the left flank.
Everton away is never an easy game as our last win was with Antonio Conte as head manager. Now that’s a minute. But with it being the first game of the season, Chelsea need to make a statement that they’re much more sharper than they were in preseason. Especially after getting humiliated to our London rivals in the US tour. Lampard will look to hit us on the break with their pace but I predict that we will be able to withstand their gameplay with our experience.
My final predicted score is a 2-1 win to the Blues. CMON YOU CHELS
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Chelsea
Harrison Burridge (@hburridge2)
Goodison Park has been a symbol of struggle for Chelsea in recent years but this time they travel there for the start of a new era under the ownership of Todd Boehly and will be looking to start off on the right foot in more ways than one.
Pre-season has been something of a rollercoaster but the performances against Udinese last week and recent transfer activity has seen the path smoothen. Friday’s new signing Marc Cucurella could well feature alongside other arrivals Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, helping to reinforce the gaps left by those that left the club.
For Everton and Frank Lampard, staying up last season was their main focus, but this time around they will be wanting to move back towards the levels the Toffees have hit previously. Like the Blues, they’ve had an indifferent pre-season and the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin after Richarlison’s departure has blown their early season plans out of the window.
Focusing in on the game itself and I expect it to be a cagey affair as both teams look to settle into the season but the extra energy that the likes of Sterling, Mason Mount and N’golo Kante provide and defensive solidity of Koulibaly should ensure Chelsea have enough to creep over the line.
Prediction: Everton 0-1 Chelsea
Written by Chelsea Extra (@CFCExtra)
Edited by Harrison Burridge (@hburridge2)