Everton host Chelsea at Goodison Park on Sunday in a crucial match for their chances of staying up and avoiding relegation. Frank Lampard faces the club that sacked him 16 months ago and goes up against his replacement Thomas Tuchel. The Blues have been outstanding in away matches of late but have had little rest since playing on Thursday. Everton beat Newcastle and Man Utd and drew 1-1 late on against Leicester in their last three at home.
Frank Lampard has overseen 12 matches as Everton boss in the league, losing eight of those. However, his side have been quite good results-wise at Goodison Park. Since Benitez was sacked and Lampard took over, six matches at home have brought three wins and a draw.
Their last three on their own turf saw 1-0 wins against Newcastle and Man Utd before a late Richarlison goal rescued a point against Leicester. Their most recent match saw a 2-0 loss at Liverpool although the Toffees felt they deserved a penalty in the match which was not given.
Everton Team News
The Toffees have a plethora of injuries, as is common under the current coach. Ben Godfrey has a muscle injury but it’s hoped that Yerry Mina may feature after being left out to protect him against Liverpool. Otherwise, Mason Holgate will partner Michael Keane.
Donny van de Beek, Nathan Patterson and Andre Gomes are all injury doubts whilst Tom Davies and Andros Townsend won’t play again this season. Dominic Calvert-Lewin could return to the squad but may only be on the bench with Richarlison leading the line again.
Consecutive wins for Burnley have seen Everton drop into the relegation zone. Even a draw would not get them out of the bottom three so this is a must-win for the club. Motivation will be super high, the crowd will be pumped and a physical, high tempo display is expected.
Lampard has been quite defensive in some recent matches, not least against Liverpool, but will attack more in this one. He could also go to a back three to match up to Chelsea and to try to be more solid.
The Blues are in some curious form. Their last eight matches have seen three home losses whilst they’ve also played really well to win 3-2 at Real Madrid and completely dominate Man Utd in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. After losing 3-1 at home to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, Chelsea bounced back to win 6-0 at Southampton prior to a 3-2 win in the Bernabeu (to lose 5-4 on aggregate).
Tuchel’s side regained focus to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final but have been complacent since then. A poor 4-2 home loss to Arsenal followed and a late goal was needed to beat West Ham 1-0 at home in a poor performance. Chelsea had 21 shots, nine corners and 65% possession in their last match but could not win at Old Trafford after missing clear chances.
Chelsea Team News
Thomas Tuchel is set to remain without left wingback Ben Chilwell, midfielder Mateo Kovacic and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi due to injury. After playing on Thursday, some rotation may be needed in this one with older legs like Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante prime candidates for a break.
Andreas Christensen remains a doubt due to illness but Trevor Chalobah will hope to for a game in the back three. Ruben Loftus-Cheek could play in midfield and the front three could be freshened up with Romelu Lukaku, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech all options to come into the XI.
Chelsea are up and down on this front right now. They looked disinterested against Arsenal and West Ham but were fully focused at Man Utd and produced a very good display. It’s not clear which version will arrive for this match.
Tuchel’s side will play to win the clash as any more dropped points could put pressure on them in the top four race – the German coach will want to seal a top-three finish as soon as possible.
Everton have won 3 of their last 6 home matches
Everton have lost 8/12 PL matches under Lampard
Everton have seen Both Teams to Score No in 6 of their last 7 home PL matches
Chelsea have won their last 9 of their last 10 away matches (all comps)
CFC have kept 6 clean sheets in their last 10 PL matches
Chelsea have lost 3 of their last 8 matches
This should be a good match. You have one super motivated team against one who look a bit complacent but that tends to excel on the road. It’s a difficult match to call and the first team to score but come out on top.
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