Frank Lampard’s Everton welcome his former team – Chelsea to Goodison Park in their opening match of 2022-23 Premier League season.
Having scraped survival at end of last season, Everton will be looking to start this campaign with a win to boost morale.
Chelsea meanwhile will head to Goodison Park looking to begin their new era under Todd Boehly’s ownership with victory.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is ruled out for Everton until mid September with a knee injury.
Asmir Begovic (ankle) and Yerry Mina (knock) are both doubtful for selection.
Andros Townsend (knee), Andre Gomes, Tom Davies (both unspecified) and Salomon Rondon (suspension) remain absent.
Chelsea could have Armando Broja available after he recovered from a knock to his ankle and Achilles during pre-season.
Ross Barkley and Timo Werner (both hamstring) are doubts.
- Everton have lost two of their last five meetings against Chelsea (W2, D1, L2).
- Chelsea are winless in their last five visits to Goodison Park (D1, L4).
- Everton have kept clean sheets in three of their last four home wins over Chelsea, except for a 3-1 win in December 2019.
- Everton are unbeaten in their last ten opening weekend fixtures of a new season since their 2011-12 opener at Tottenham was postponed due to riots (W4, D6).
- Chelsea have won three of their last five opening weekend fixtures in last five seasons (W3, L2), during which they scored exactly three goals during each of those victories.
Following a season full of inconsistency and injury woes, Everton certainly would of been hoping for a fresh start yet injuries seem to be a recurring theme and Calvert-Lewin’s injury and Rondon’s suspension means they’re without a central striker which is a huge worry.
Chelsea meanwhile enjoyed a solid but quiet season in third place amidst off-pitch drama but they’re now under new ownership, who have invested well in players like Sterling and Koulibaly, whilst Chukwuemeka and Cucurella seem like quality players brought ready for the future.
Thomas Tuchel’s Blues though should be aware of Everton’s fierce opening weekend form over the last decade, which is a fair concern on top of their recent away form at Goodison Park but the Toffees’ missing central strikers should give them some extra confidence.
I am though expecting a difficult game if Everton fans get behind their squad like they did last season to lift their motivation, which could well make up for the absence of no available striker but I expect Chelsea to dominate if get on the front foot and the first goal will be crucial.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Chelsea
Result: Everton 0-1 Chelsea