Chelsea have only won four times at Goodison Park over the past decade, one of which was in the League Cup, and only twice in the last seven visits. But both victories came in title-winning seasons, and we might even remember them fondly. The last was in 2016-17, when Pedro’s SCREAMAH put Conte’s Chelsea within walking distance of the trophy. The previous one was 6-3 (not a typo) at the beginning of 2014-15, which featured, among other things, a heel assist from Mikel John Obi.
Unfortunately, in addition to those two memorable trips, our visits to Goodison mostly ended in frustration, disappointment, and even anger. Our combined score at Goodison since 2015 is 6:12, and that includes a 3-0 win in 2017. Mateo Kovacic’s goal last season was our first at Goodison in three attempts.
Those are the omens we have to overcome against Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton this weekend.
Date and Time: Saturday, December 12, 2020, 20.00 GMT; 3 pm EST; 1:30 am IST (next day)
Venue of events: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Referee: Jonathan Moss (in the field); Andre Marriner (VAR)
Forecast: Cold and wet
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); none (U.S); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal + Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Transmission: BT Sport Live (UK); Peacock (United States); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA) – Peacock is NBC’s new streaming service, which they continue to push in annoying ways, even though Xfinity customers get it for free (it still counts for their data). Others have to pay $ 5 / month or $ 50 / year ($ 10 and $ 100 for the premium version without advertising). Comcast is the parent company of NBC and an investor in Vox / SB Nation. Here is our affiliate link if you want to make our corporate gentlemen happy.
Everton team news: Carlo Ancelotti took over almost a year ago and was able to attract some very good talent to come in the summer, including former Real Madrid superstar “Silent” James Rodríguez and Napoli general midfielder Allan. Watford’s Aboulaye Doucoure also joined, as did young defenders Niels Nkounkou from Marseille and Ben Godfrey from Norwich. They were also able to trade a lot of deadwood, including players like Cuco Martina, Oumar Niasse, Morgan Schneiderlin, Sandro Ramirez and Theo Walcott, while promising but restless forward Moise Kean joined PSG on loan.
And the summer spree seemed to have worked wonders, with Ancelotti winning the Premier League Manager of the Month award in September. Everton were flying high at the top of the league for about a month, before hitting a classic Ancelotti “bad time”. They have now lost four of their last six Premier League games, including the last two at home (to Leeds and Manchester United).
Of course, Everton were in terrible shape this time last season as well, and were in fact under interim management. But while they won’t be all brute force and power like under Duncan Ferguson, Ancelotti’s teams are always dangerous in attack and that’s no different this time around. Richarlison, Silent James and Dominic Calvert-Lewin already have a combined 21 goals in all competitions, with the latter leading the Premier League with 11 goals in 11 appearances, representing more than half of the 20 goals they have scored so far.
View from the enemy: Mersey royal blue
Chelsea team news: Tuesday’s draw made him undefeated at 17 (barring one penalty shootout), and our next no loss will match our longest streak since Mourinho was undefeated at 21 at the start of 2014-15. All of these races eventually come to an end, of course, and you’ll probably feel very frustrating when this one does too.
To help us avoid that, Lampard will hope that the players and strategies that have brought us to this point continue to perform on par with, or even above that. However, we’ll have to get by without Hakim Ziyech or Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Christian Pulisic’s hamstrings are on tornado alert.
With the European matches over until spring, all eyes are now on the Premier League and the title in the making and the fight in the top four / six. We are in the middle of it now; the minimum goal has to be at least to stay there while we navigate the holiday calendar. Titles cannot be won in winter, but they can certainly be lost.
(This game will follow the Manchester Derby, while the three Spurs, Liverpool and Leicester City only play on Sunday.)
Previously: Our last win here was a 3-0 win from Conte’s Chelsea in spring 2017.