Out of the Premier League’s relegation zone, Everton will now be hoping to pull themselves away from the threat of the drop, beginning against a Chelsea side they’ve enjoyed fruitful times against at Goodison Park in recent years. We look ahead with our data-powered Everton vs Chelsea prediction and preview.
Everton vs Chelsea: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer is predicting a Chelsea win at Goodison Park, with the visiting Blues winning 42.4% of the pre-match simulations.
- Everton have won four of their last five home Premier League matches against Chelsea, although they did lose 1-0 last season.
- Chelsea are hoping to avoid their first back-to-back defeats of the season.
A few weeks back, doom and gloom was surrounding Goodison Park. Everton’s 10-point deduction sent them plummeting to the bottom of the Premier League table. An angry fanbase threatened all kinds of retribution against the football authorities.
The team themselves though have rolled up their sleeves, got to work, and dug themselves out of the relegation zone at the earliest opportunity, accomplished on Thursday thanks to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle that brought them many reasons to smile.
Dwight McNeil continues to prove his relationship with Sean Dyche is as strong as ever, with his 200th club appearance in all competitions seeing him score his 16th goal, 14 of which have come under Dyche at either Everton or Burnley.
Abdoulaye Doucouré has shown his best form in an Everton jersey in Dyche’s reign, having scored 10 in 30 appearances under him. His previous 69 appearances for Everton came under four different managers (Frank Lampard, Duncan Ferguson, Rafael Benítez and Carlo Ancelotti) and resulted in just four goals. And summer signing Beto finally broke his Premier League duck by ending a 30-pass sequence against Newcastle; only Manchester City have scored a goal following a longer passing move in the Premier League this season (3).
So, that’s Newcastle seen off. Now the challenge of Chelsea awaits. And London sides have enjoyed their trips to Goodison Park in recent times, having won their last three Premier League away games against Everton, who haven’t lost four in a row at home against sides from the capital since April 1993.
With every positive this season for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, a negative is just around the corner. An impressive home win against Brighton last Sunday was followed up with defeat on the road against Manchester United on Wednesday, and the manner of that loss will be even more concerning.
Chelsea saw 18 shots fly at their goal in the first half of the match at Old Trafford, the most they have faced in the first half of a Premier League game that Opta has on record since 2003-04 (775 matches), while the 28 they faced in total is their joint most on record, having also faced 28 vs Liverpool in May 2016.
Despite United registering an xG of 4.17, Blues goalkeeper Robert Sánchez only let in two goals. However, Chelsea have conceded 24 goals in their 15 Premier League games this season, their joint most at this stage of the season along with in 2015-16. And, unsurprisingly, the 194 shots they have faced is also the most they’ve conceded at this stage of a season that Opta has on record.
That has contributed to them losing 17 Premier League games in 2023, more than they did in 2021 and 2022 combined (16). And you have to go back to 1993 for the last time they lost that many in a single year (20).
One shining light though has been Cole Palmer. He’s scored five and assisted two more in eight Premier League starts, while the 21-year-old has had a hand in five goals in his last four away appearances in the competition (3 goals, 2 assists).
But maybe fortunes are about to change for Chelsea. There has been some suggestion that Christopher Nkunku and Roméo Lavia might be fit to take their place in the squad for this game. It may come too soon for the pair, who will make their debuts for the club if they do take part, but it will be a positive nonetheless for Pochettino to have two more big-money buys available over the busy Christmas period.
Either way, Conor Gallagher returns from his suspension, and it’s more likely that Reece James will return at right-back having been a substitute for the defeat against Manchester United. However, that lengthy injury list will continue to affect their hopes, with Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Lesley Ugochukwu and Noni Madueke all still sidelined.
It’s a quick turnaround for Everton and there will be some concerns over knocks that Seamus Coleman (who now has the outright most appearances as an outfield player for the club in the competition at 353) and Jordan Pickford picked up against Newcastle, although Dyche has been quick to allay those fears.
James Garner missed out in midweek through illness and must still be considered a doubt here, while Amadou Onana and André Gomes could also miss out again.
Everton vs Chelsea Head-to-Head
Recent years have seen the Toffees taste victory on many occasions in this fixture, having won four of their last five home Premier League matches against Chelsea, although they did lose 1-0 on the opening day of last season under Frank Lampard.
If Chelsea are able to win consecutive away games at Everton, it’ll be the first time since they did so in 2006-07 (3-2 under Jose Mourinho) and 2007-08 (1-0 under Avram Grant).
One thing that has begun to return to fixtures between these two sides is goals. Only three of their last 14 Premier League meetings have resulted in both teams scoring, but these have all come since December 2019, including their last meeting.
The fact this game is taking place on a Sunday will fill some Everton fans with dread having lost 104 of their 246 Premier League games played on that day of the week, including 11 of their last 15 such home league games. In the competition’s history, only Tottenham (105/336) have lost more Sunday games than the Toffees.
Chelsea themselves have only won one of their last eight Premier League away games played on a Sunday (D2 L5). But when it comes to playing sides below them in the table, the Blues have lost just two of their last eight such away Premier League games (W3 D3), and they will be hoping to avoid back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season.
It is worth pointing out that Sean Dyche has lost his last five home Premier League games against Chelsea, although these were all during his time as Burnley manager. The only managers to lose six in a row at home against an opponent in the competition are Eddie Howe against both Liverpool and Manchester City, Steve Bruce against Chelsea, and after Crystal Palace’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, Roy Hodgson has now lost six in a row at home against the Reds.
And Maurico Pochettino has enjoyed his adventures against Everton previously. The Argentine is unbeaten in his last 12 league games against them (W7 D5) since a 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park with Southampton in December 2013.
Everton vs Chelsea Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Vitali Mykolenko: 68.8 (out of 100)
James Tarkowski: 65.5
Dwight McNeil: 65.0
James Garner: 64.6
Idrissa Gueye: 64.5
Thiago Silva: 73.8 (out of 100)
Raheem Sterling: 69.8
Conor Gallagher: 69.0
Nicolas Jackson: 66.9
Enzo Fernández: 65.9
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of Sunday’s kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Everton vs Chelsea Prediction
The Opta supercomputer believes that Chelsea will bounce back from their midweek disappointment and deliver a blow to the rebounding Everton, taking the three points in 42.4% of the 10,000 simulations conducted ahead of the weekend.
However, the chances of an Everton victory can’t be written off, with a 28.4% chance of collecting the victory themselves, while a draw comes in just shy of 30%.
Our latest season-long Premier League predictions see Everton maintaining their current position outside of the relegation zone, with a 23.3% chance of finishing in 17th place and a 22.1% chance of finishing one spot higher. Chelsea’s scope of finishing positions take them as high as fourth (0.3%) and as low as 17th (0.1%), although our supercomputer has them as most likely to finish in 10th (21.2%).