They need points, then, but Chelsea aren’t likely to roll over and hand any to them. They also need a win to further safeguard their third-place spot in the table, and are in decent form having won six out of their last nine games. Boss Thomas Tuchel may have one eye on the FA Cup final against Liverpool, but games like this will give players the perfect opportunity to stake a claim to a Wembley starting place. A 1-1 draw with Manchester United in midweek should really have been a win, though, and they’ll need to be sharper in front of goal against Everton.
Desperate to get one over his former club to aid his current side’s survival bid, Frank Lampard’s Everton prepare for battle against Chelsea in Sunday’s Premier League encounter at Goodison Park. Chelsea represent a very tough task for Lampard’s side, however, as they’re looking to wrap up a top four finish before their FA Cup final with Liverpool in May. Lampard is under immense pressure having lost 2-0 in the Merseyside Derby with the Reds last weekend. And fans will be anxious to secure safety, but Everton have struggled to score or pick up vital wins in the last two months. Thomas Tuchel spoke about who would be available for Chelsea’s clash with Man Utd on Thursday. But it remains to be seen who from the following group will be available for Sunday’s game against Everton.
Thomas Tuchel will be keen for Chelsea to try and put the game to bed as quickly as possible, but could be in for a noisy afternoon at Goodison Park. Ironically, the last time Everton started a Premier League game in the relegation zone saw them run out 3-1 winners at home to Chelsea in December 2019, and Lampard has all the motivation needed to sink the side that lauded him as a player and let him go as a manager. Serving as something of a backdrop to the British teams competing in European semi-finals on Thursday night, Chelsea’s trip to Manchester United saw Thomas Tuchel’s side dominate the lowly Red Devils and take a deserved lead through Marcos Alonso in the second 45. However, the Blues were undone by the right foot of Cristiano Ronaldo not long after Alonso’s equally sublime opener.
failure to take all three points from their game in hand means that their spot in the top three is not fully secure just yet. Chelsea do now hold a six-point lead over Arsenal in the race for third place and have relatively kind fixtures against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United, Leicester City and Watford to come, so ensuring a straightforward route into the Champions League would be a satisfactory end to a messy season for the club on and off the field. Failure to take all three points home from Old Trafford also meant that Chelsea missed out on the opportunity to win 10 games in a row away from home in all competitions.
but only Manchester City have performed better on the road in the Premier League this term, and the Blues do not want to start looking over their shoulder at this stage of the campaign. Chelsea were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge against Everton back in December, and the Toffees have prevailed in each of their last three home clashes with the Blues, and a fourth in the sequence would certainly go a long way to securing their perennial Premier League status. Lampard is dealing with a hefty list of Everton absentees at the worst possible time, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin fighting to return for the contest alongside Donny van de Beek, Andre Gomes, Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey.
Lampard ought to give an update on the quintet in his pre-match press conference, but he will certainly be without Andros Townsend, Nathan Patterson and Tom Davies for the visit of his former club. Allan only mustered a mere two passes in the defeat to Liverpool, and Fabian Delph is sure to challenge the Brazilian for his spot in the middle after that ignominious showing. As for Chelsea, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mateo Kovacic are all continuing their spells out of action through injury, while the illness-affected pair of Ross Barkley and Andreas Christensen were both absent from the draw with Man United.
Barkley is unlikely to earn any minutes against his former club anyway, but Christensen could be back from a stomach problem to boost Tuchel’s defensive options after Reece James and Antonio Rudiger both made their comebacks at Old Trafford. Romelu Lukaku will also be likely to settle for a bench role against his former employers, although Christian Pulisic is still pushing for inclusion from the off over Timo Werner.