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Everton Vs Chelsea – Saturday 6th August, 17:30

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This Premier League encounter sees Lampard come up against his former club which should add some extra spice to the first game of the season. In the off-season Everton has lost Richarlison to Spurs and only brought in Vinagre from Wolves and Tarkowski, McNeil from Burnley, I see this season being a bit of a slog for Everton and my early controversial prediction is Lampard won’t see Christmas and that Everton will be around the relegation zone. This team is very much like last year and I just don’t see Lampard galvanising this group into the top 10. Chelsea has splashed the cash adding Sterling but have lost the services of Lukaku. With a world-class manager at the helm, they should still be a shoo-in for a top 4 finish and with a solid start to the season could even push for greater honours. This group are young and hungry with a leader to match. 

Everton’s pre-season consists of 2 wins and 2 loses they were away at Arsenal 2-0 and a very disappointing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Minnesota, then came an away win at Blackpool 2-4 and a 3-0 home victory over Dynamo Kyiv. It’s safe to say the preparation could have been better, could these performances be an insight into what’s coming, it wouldn’t be a shock as I have touched upon.

Chelsea have played 5 friendlies all away from Stamford Bridge beating Club America 1-2 the only game they won on their tour of the states, drawing 1-1 with Charlotte and then losing the penalty shootout 5-3, then came Arsenal who whooped them 4-0. This was followed by back-to-back wins in a double fixture 1-3 & 0-2 against Udinese. Unlike Everton I trust Chelsea will be firing on all cylinders and raring to go heading into this one, but Goodinson park isn’t an easy place to go regardless of the home team form and for that reason, I don’t predict a walkover for Chelsea, far from it.

From the 60 PL H2Hs Everton have won 13 times, 12 of which were at home, to Chelsea’s 27 wins, 10 being at Goodison, with 20 draws. Everton have won the previous 4 home meetings.

Key stats

* Only 30% of the last 10 H2Hs have seen BTTS 

* Everton are unbeaten in their last 5 home games Vs Chelsea

* 33% of PL H2H ended in a draw

As the Toffees have been a bit of a bogey side for Chelsea of late, were going to stick with that trend and go for a 1-1 draw. Sterling to score anytime and under 2.5 goals.

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