A season that began with the shocking appointment of former Liverpool boss Rafael Benítez could be ending in even more shocking way, with the relegation of one of the Premier League’s ever-presents. In fact, Everton have been a top-flight club since 1954, the second longest active streak (behind Arsenal). No team have spent more seasons altogether in the top flight than the Toffees, having been relegated only twice in their history, for a total of just four seasons in the second tier.
But that number is under serious threat of increasing, and their fortunes have not changed significantly since the appointment of Frank Lampard at the end of January. Super Frank has won just 3 of his 12 league games, and Everton find themselves two points from safety albeit with a game in hand (for a total of six left) as we head into the weekend.
Everton have been okay-ish at Goodison however, just 2 defeats from 8 in all competitions, and will be (should be) fighting tooth and nail to try to survive.
Date / Time: Sunday, May 1, 2022, 14.00 BST; 9am EDT; 6:30pm IST
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Referee: Kevin Friend (on pitch); John Brooks (VAR)
Forecast: Light rain
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); USA Network, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports 3 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Everton team news: January arrivals Dele Alli, Donny van de Beek, and Anwar El Ghazi have not made much impact, though Everton remain a talented team on paper. The likes of Richarlison or Demarai Gray can win games by themselves, while young Anthony Gordon, who set up their equalizer at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, is continuing to impress.
Lampard has stuck largely to a 4-3-3 setup and could be getting striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and defender Yerry Mina back from injury as well. Tom Davies, Andre Gomes, and the aforementioned Van de Beek are out short-term, while Nathan Patterson, Andros Townsend, and Ben Godfrey are out for the rest of the season.
View from the enemy: Royal Blue Mersey
Chelsea team news: The draw at Old Trafford has ended our club-record away winning streak at eight, though the point ensures that we head into the weekend level on games played with Arsenal and Spurs behind, carrying a six and eight point advantage, respectively, into the final five games of the season. It should be fairly comfortable to stay and finish in third, but we do have to keep picking up points.
Andreas Christensen and former Evertonian Ross Barkley could be available after illness, but Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mateo Kovačić, and Ben Chilwell remain out. Chilwell’s on track with his recovery for next season, while Kovačić has returned to training on Friday and should be available for selection next weekend. Hudson-Odoi remains a bit of a mystery that’s steadily growing by each missed game.
Previously: Chelsea have lost four straight at Goodison, and have won just once in our last seven tries in all competitions, since that hilarious 6-3 win in 2014. That’s an absolute classic, and I’m in the mood for a classic.