Date: Saturday 18th March 2023
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Today’s late game sees us back at Stamford Bridge, taking on Everton.
We had a decent win against Leicester last weekend, and whilst we didn’t manage a clean sheet, we did manage to score 3-goals. So that was 3 wins out of three, leaving us feeling relieved, if not entirely joyous. The shine is taken off somewhat with the reality that we’re still 10th in the table and there’s much more damage to still be undone. We have a 29-year unbeaten record against the Toffees at home, so they might not relish the trip to Stamford Bridge as much as most teams have this season.
Like us, Everton also come into the game off the back of a win last weekend, also like us, they have been struggling away from home this season. They haven’t won away in 11 games now and sit 15th in the table ahead of the weekend’s games.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have only lost one of their last 14 top-flight fixtures in the month of March……no prizes for guessing who we lost to though!
Going into today’s game, Graham Potter says “Where we are now is to focus on Everton. There are three points up for grabs against a tough team, a team that has gone in the right direction with Sean. They play to their strengths and that’s all we can focus on. We don’t worry about what we’re going to do in May or June. We’re going to focus on tomorrow.
Sean is a fantastic coach firstly. His record at Burnley and to do what he did there was a fantastic achievement. Now you can see the effect he has had at Everton. They play to their strengths, are incredibly motivated, and have clarity in all the phases. So we’re under no illusions, we know how difficult the game is. It’s a fantastic test for us at home in front of our supporters and off the back of three wins. We’ll have to play well.”
Everton manager Sean Dyche, meanwhile, says “Starting point, I wouldn’t say I’m relaxed, I just work on the realities on what the challenge was. I don’t think I’m relaxed about it. I’m more interested in the strategy, it’s not about being relaxed, I’m on the detail but to bring clarity, it’s better to be in a calmer state than all over the place. Players have different values and capabilities. There’s always something that makes them a good player, I don’t judge groups, this is a talented group and it’s about maximising the talent. That’s mine and the staff’s job. Whatever the league programme tells you, you’ve got to play them all. I spoke about that mentality, we’ve got to be clear-minded and bloody-minded.
The whole team’s mentality is to score goals, that’s definitely improved. The intent, the bodies in the box, I’ve shown them clips. We looked a handful at set-pieces then you build it into playing. If you miss a chance, that’s the way it grows. The mentality to score is growing amongst the group, if Dwight can chip in that’s great. If you ask them to all to defend, you ask them all to score.”
For Chelsea, Armando Broja (ACL), Edouard Mendy (finger) remain out, Thiago Silva (knee), Mason Mount (abdominal) and Cesar Azpilicueta are also still side-lined, along with Raheem Sterling (hamstring). Reece James (illness) could come back into contention and N’Golo Kante (thigh) could finally make the squad again.
For Everton, Andros Townsend remains a long-term absentee, Nathan Petterson (knee) is close to returning and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (hamstring) is given as doubtful,
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Fofana, Koulibaly, Cucurella, James, Kovacic, Fernandez, Chilwell; Mudryk, Havertz, Felix
EVERTON (Possible line-up): Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Keane, Godfrey; Iwobi, Onana, Gueye, Doucoure, McNeil; Gray
Chelsea 1-1 Everton (16th December 2021)
- Everton are without a win in 27 top-flight games away to Chelsea.
- Chelsea haven’t done the double over Everton since 2016-17.
- Chelsea have won successive league games.
- Chelsea have scored five goals in their last two league and cup games.
- Everton are without a win in 11 consecutive away games in all competitions.
- Everton have gone 11 league games without a win in London.
- Everton have two wins and two clean sheets in their past 30 top-flight away games.
- Everton have won three of their seven league games under Sean Dyche.
Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-0 Everton