Chelsea meet Everton at Stamford Bridge for what is an important match for both teams. Graham Potter has been under continual pressure at Chelsea but managed to steady the ship with some recent wins. He will be desperate to continue their momentum. Everton meanwhile, are embroiled in a relegation dogfight and will be giving it absolutely everything to try and get points.
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Chelsea finally look a bit more settled. Graham Potter likes a 3-4-3 system and the quartet of Chilwell, Cucurella, Koulibaly and Fofana should stay the same. Reece James missed the previous fixture due to illness but will almost certainly re-appear at right wing back.
The front three of Havertz, Mudryk and Joao Felix looks like the best option for the Blues right now. Players such as Thiago Silva, N’golo Kante and Raheem Sterling are all doubtful with injury.
The main Everton absentee continues to be striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Demarai Gray will play upfront whilst he is on the sidelines. Everton have a thin squad, but in general their injury situation is favourable. Manager Sean Dyche is likely to set up in a compact 4-1-4-1 type of system. Everton will make themselves as hard to break down as possible with a rigid defence.
Chelsea are typically involved in low scoring games. They have averaged just 1.04 goals in each future and conceded 1.27. These numbers correlate quite closely to their xG and xGA metrics. Potter’s men only average 11.77 shots per game although have done well to only concede 11.12 at the other end. The Blues need to improve their 3.81 SOT average which is not really good enough for a team of their quality and stature.
Chelsea fixtures have middling to high numbers for corners. They have obtained 5.50 themselves per match and conceded 4.81. Cards have been on the high side though at an average of 4.27 in each contest. Chelsea have been a fairly dirty team this season and picked up several cards.
Everton average a measly 0.74 goals per game and 1.41 against. Their xG for is a terrible 1.09 and their xGA is a disappointing 1.65. The Toffees have lacked a cutting edge in the final third although have generally been more solid defensively since Sean Dyche took over. Two poor offensive stats which stick out are 3.41 SOT from just 10.19 shots on average in each game.
Cards are also high in Everton matches at an average of 4.30 per game. They concede a lot of corners, nearly 6 in each fixture which is a high amount. Part of that could be down to the no-nonsense defending that Sean Dyche has integrated into the players. ‘If in doubt knock it out’.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Joao Felix averages nearly four shots per 90 mins and has certainly been trying his luck since joining Chelsea. His SOT ratio of 1.67 is not too bad either. Kai Havertz is more selective with his shooting (2.24) but still generally hits the target once per game overall. Only one other player on this list averages more than one shot per 90 mins and that is right back Reece James (1.16).
Everton have desperately struggled to score goals this season and their shooting stats reflect it. Demarai Gray does average exactly two shots per 90 mins with a decent accuracy ratio over 45% but nobody else even averages more than 0.50 SOT! Their accuracy has been poor but also there has been a general lack of shots.
The trio of Keane, McNeil and Iwobi generally shoot just once in each game. It would be a surprise if Everton had many attempts here.
Player Goals and Assists
Chelsea have certainly lacked goals this season. Kai Havertz has been in better form recently though and leads their charts netting six times. Chilwell has two goals and two assists, but he’s also missed a lot of matches due to injury this season. He scored last week vs Leicester.
The Blues might overload the wide areas here so Reece James could also be a candidate to score or assist. Chelsea are set to miss both Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling who have been two of their main providers this season.
The Everton goalscoring charts make for bleak reading. Demarai Gray has scored 4 times and Dwight McNeil has netted 3 times, including the winner vs Brentford last week. However, apart from Alex Iwobi’s 6 assists then nothing else really stands out for the Merseyside outfit.
Chelsea average close to 60% possession and are expected to have a large proportion of the ball here. Key midfielder Enzo Fernandez is the most likely to rack up numbers. He averages close to 90 passes per 90 mins and is at the heart of the Chelsea engine.
Centre backs Wesley Fofana and Koulibaly both average over 70 passes per 90 mins and are other candidates to get involved heavily.
Everton only average 44% possession and are a direct no-nonsense sort of side under Sean Dyche. He will likely set them up quite deep here and it is unlikely that they will get much more than 35% of the ball.
Midfielder Idrissa Gueye is perhaps the most likely to rack up any sort of passing numbers but there’s no guarantee that any Everton players will even have more than 30 attempted passes in this fixture.
The big Senegalese centre back Kalidou Koulibaly has racked up 7 cards and averages 1.32 fouls per 90 mins. He is the enforcer of the back three and will not hesitate to get rough and tough if needed. It’s the same in midfield with Kovacic who is going to lock horns with the likes of Onana.
It is noticeable the high foul rate that Kai Havertz has (2.29), and he will press from the front often giving away some cheap free kicks. He operates in a false nine role sometimes so might end up dealing with Gueye more than the centre backs.
Midfield duo Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana are the two most fouled players, generally around twice per 90 mins. Both are fiercely competitive and will both get stuck in but also capable of winding up opponents.
Demarai Gray might find himself isolated at times but does dribble on average over 3 times per 90 mins. At times he might find himself on the break and draw a foul or two.
Matchups to watch
Kalidou Koulibaly vs Demarai Gray
Kai Havertz vs Idrissa Gueye
Mateo Kovacic vs Amadou Onana
Midfielder Amadou Onana is the prime candidate to go into the book here. He will regularly get fire up and get stuck in and is capable of doing something silly. He averages close to two fouls per 90 min as well. James Tarkowski is next on the cards list and will typically foul at least once per game.
As the clock is ticking down and if Everton are winning or drawing then watch out for Jordan Pickford potentially picking up another time wasting yellow card.
Joao Felix has all sorts of tricks up his sleeve and it’s no surprise to see him get fouled several times per 90 mins. He is a matchup nightmare and could pop up anywhere in the front three positions. Argentinian World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez has been running the show for Chelsea recently and Everton are going to have to do a job on him.
The Everton fullbacks are going to be overloaded with the likes of Chilwell, James and also potentially Mudryk as well. Coleman and Godfrey will have their hands full.
Matchups to watch
Amadou Onana vs Enzo Fernandez
James Tarkovski vs Joao Felix
Seamus Coleman vs Chilwell & Mudryk
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