Three straight wins in all competitions have kept the wolf from the door for Graham Potter. A visit from Everton should make that four, right? Let’s find out. With the help of the Opta supercomputer, we preview Chelsea vs Everton at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Chelsea vs. Everton: The Quick Hits
- Chelsea given a 53.7% chance of taking all three points on Saturday.
- Win would see the Blues leapfrog Fulham into ninth place and keep faint hopes of European football alive for next season.
- Everton’s wretched away form to continue as they get sucked back into relegation skirmish.
The month of March has been a far happier hunting ground for Graham Potter and Chelsea. After winning just one game out of 11 in all competitions in January and February, the Blues have now embarked on a run of three consecutive wins in all competitions. League wins against Crystal Palace and Leeds, were sandwiched by a home win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Have they finally turned a corner?
Maybe. But maybe they’ve just been helped by a soft schedule. After all, Leeds are currently 19th and Crystal Palace are on the longest run without a win in the division. Chelsea have been exceptionally good at beating the teams they “should” this season and have massively struggled against higher-quality opposition. Potter’s side have not won a single game this season against any of the current top 10 (P11 D5 L6), whilst they’ve won 10 of the 15 games against the bottom half of the league.
It’s good, then, that they welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. And not only because the Toffees are in 15th place and fighting for their lives. Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 27 Premier League home games against Everton (W15 D12) in a run that extends all the way back to a 1-0 loss in November 1994. Against no side have they ever had a longer unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge in their top-flight history.
For Everton, travelling hasn’t been their strong suit. 68% of their points this season have come at Goodison Park, including a vital three in their last league game against Brentford.
On the road, they’ve been poor for a while. Sean Dyche’s side have won just two of their last 30 Premier League away games (D8 L20), while also keeping just two clean sheets in this run. Since the start of last season, the Toffees have won fewer away games (three) and earned fewer points on the road (18) than any of the 17 ever-present sides.
Everton haven’t tasted an away win since October 2022 against Southampton.
Now, it’s clear that Everton’s home form is going to be crucial to their survival this season – Dyche and the Goodison Park faithful won’t care a bit about their away form should they stay up – but it does show how unlikely an away victory would be here.
Everton 0-1 Chelsea: 6 August 2022 (Premier League)
The reverse meeting between these two sides came on the opening day of the 2022-23 season. Seven months in football is a long time. Both teams had different managers in their dugouts, with Frank Lampard in charge of Everton and Thomas Tuchel overseeing matters for Chelsea.
Édouard Mendy was still first-choice in goal, with Kepa Arrizabalaga on the bench – presumably in perpetuity. Even Chelsea’s goalscorer that day, Jorginho, has since left the club after joining Arsenal on loan.
Tuchel’s side had 15 shots in this match. They’ve only registered more than that in a game this season on four different occasions.
A win here and Chelsea will complete the league double over Everton for the first time since 2016-17.
As mentioned, Chelsea have hit somewhat of a purple patch. They’ve won their last two Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 15 combined (D6 L7) and last won more consecutively in September/October – a run of four which included Graham Potter’s first three games in charge.
The goals have also started returning, with the Blues scoring five in their last two games (2-0 vs. Borussia Dortmund and 3-1 vs. Leicester), as many as they had in their previous 12 in all competitions. Chelsea’s woes in front of goal in early 2023 were relentless – by the end of February, they’d scored just four goals from a total of 13.5 xG.
But since then, they’ve scored six goals from 5.0 xG. Might their luck have turned? Might the xG gods have stepped in and corrected course?
For Everton, the arrival of Sean Dyche has been a boon. The Toffees have won three of their seven Premier League games under him so far (D1 L3), as many as they had in their 20 matches under Frank Lampard this season (D6 L11).
Players to Watch
Chelsea: Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz is looking to score in three consecutive appearances for Chelsea in all competitions for the second time, previously doing so in March 2022. The German is the Blues’ top scorer in all competitions this term (8). His outrageous volleyed lob for Chelsea’s second goal against Leicester from Enzo Fernandez’s scooped through pass was a surefire sign of his growing confidence.
Everton: James Tarkowski
Dyche will once again be relying on his sturdy centre-back James Tarkowski if Everton are going to have any hope of salvaging a result from this one. The Englishman was immense against Brentford, completing all three of his tackles, making seven clearances and winning nine of his 13 duels. No player on either side outproduced him in any of those categories.
Chelsea vs Everton Prediction
The Opta supercomputer sides with Chelsea in this one, giving the Blues an estimated 53.7% of victory. The draw (26.5%) is the next likely result, with Everton given a 19.8% chance of pulling off an upset.
Everton fans will be more concerned about the long run, however. In our season-long predictions, despite currently sitting in 15th the Toffees have a 49.1% of relegation. That’s the second-highest projection, behind only Southampton (77.9%). Bournemouth (45.5%) are next in the running for a spell in the Championship next season.
But the battle for relegation is exceptionally close, with Leeds United (43.9%) and Nottingham Forest (40.4%) also in the mix.
Dyche will see this game as a free hit. While that won’t loosen his side up from an attacking point of view, it might allow them to play with clearer minds. Chelsea have stuttered and mis-fired plenty of times in front of goal this year, and Everton will be looking to frustrate them once again.