Everton and Chelsea have respective reasons to go hard on Sunday, who will come out tops? (Photo credit: 90Mins)
Everton vs. ChelseaGoodison Park3:00pm
|Everton and Chelsea have respective reasons to go hard on Sunday, who will come out tops? (Photo credit: 90Mins)
Everton Football Club is determined to leave everything on the pitch and fight for their rights to be counted among Premier League clubs next season, and they seem to mean business.
Who would have thought? After the points deduction, many would expect the Toffees to capitulate and resign to fate. It’s a lot easier to give excuses, but Sean Dyches and his lads have taken things personally; they want to give a good fight.
Chelsea oscillates between greatness and mediocrity this season. They went from picking valuable points off Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, and Arsenal, only to hand the points to midtable and bottom clubs. How do you explain that?
Mauricio Pochettino’s job is safe for now, regardless of how things turn out this season. The club has chopped and shoved managers in recent seasons; it’s time for them to persist with someone and see where it leads.
You won’t expect a classic from this game, but if recent history is anything to bank on, this is one game that delivers the goods. Both sides have it in them to go all the way, and, for different reasons, they need to get a result.
Everton has only suffered one loss in their last five, and that was the game at home against Manchester United. It was a sad development because they played well, created loads of chances, and had two shots cleared off the line with Andre Onana beaten.
In contrast, Chelsea has just two wins in their last five, a run that includes two losses, notably the 4-1 reverse at Newcastle and a game for the record books, the 4-4 home draw against Manchester City. The Blues need a win here to avoid sticky stories.
Amadou Onana is believed to be available for this game, and that could add some quality to the Everton midfield. Pochettino insists that Thomas Nkunku isn’t ready to play despite returning from a long-term injury, while Romeo Lavia isn’t going to play as well.
Chelsea’s fluidity should be better on Sunday. They can welcome back Connor Gallagher from suspension, and Reece James should start the game after being left on the bench for the trip to Old Trafford in midweek, where they suffered a 2-1 loss.
Everton will stifle things in midfield and then use the width where Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil would be immense. Chelsea’s game plan is simple: contain Everton in their half and then hit them on the breakthrough long balls. One must cancel the other out.