“It’s not a must-win situation for Everton but it is a must-compete,” says Mary Waltz. “I don’t know if they can win without James but they have to show their owner that all the cash he is splashing is not going to waste. COYB.”
“Four centre-backs and, without the energy of Seamus Coleman and the killer passes of James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne, the only change of pace in the side comes from Richarlison’s runs,” weeps Gary Naylor. “Everton will have to make the set pieces count tonight, or we might hear what 2000 people whistling sounds like.”
The Manchester derby ended 0-0, and it was a bit of a stinker.
James Rodriguez is out with a calf injury for Everton, while Chelsea are without the injured trio of Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Everton may play a back three, with Ben Godfrey and Alex Iwobi as wing-backs, though I think Carlo Ancelotti might return to a back four.
Everton (possible 4-2-3-1) Pickford; Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey; Doucoure, Allan; Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin.
Substitutes: Olsen, Kenny, Gomes, Davies, Tosun, Bernard, Gordon.
Chelsea (possible 4-3-3) Mendy; James, Zouma, Thiago, Chilwell; Mount, Kante, Kovacic; Havertz, Giroud, Werner.
Substitutes: Kepa, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Gilmour, Anjorin, Abraham.
Referee Jon Moss.
at 2.41pm EST
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Everton v Chelsea from Goodison Park. It’s still too early to say whether Chelsea are serious title contenders, but a win here would put them top of the Premier League overnight and there are literally 19 worse places to be.
They will be strongish favourites against a Everton side that has lost their way since winning the first seven games of the season in all competitions. At that stage they were being talked about as outsiders in the title race; one win in the last seven has seen to that. And yet, if Everton win tonight they will move within two points of Chelsea.
In short, nobody knows anything, not in 2020-21. But it’ll be fun finding out.
Kick off 8pm.
at 2.00pm EST