Premier League Preview: Everton vs. Chelsea
- Last year’s fixture at Goodison Park ended 6-3 in favor of Chelsea
- Chelsea is off to its worst start in 20 seasons with four points from four matches
- Everton has won just two of its last eight Premier League matches
The Premier League is back in action after the international break, and things kick off at Goodison Park when Chelsea travels to Merseyside to take on Everton (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).
One of the biggest storylines will revolve around Everton’s John Stones, who was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea throughout the summer, and even handed in a transfer request in an effort to force the move. However, Everton refused to sell the young center-back, who will have to be on top of his game against the defending champions.
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While Chelsea failed to get Stones over the summer, one man they did sign is goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who will get the start for the Blues. Thibaut Courtois is scheduled to undergo knee surgery and has been ruled out, which means Begovic will be the man in goal for Chelsea for the foreseeable future.
Everton will look to hand Chelsea a second straight defeat in the league, something that has not happened under Jose Mourinho since 2006. However, the Toffees have been held scoreless the past two matches, and need Romelu Lukaku to haave a big match against his former club.
What they’re saying
Everton captain Phil Jagielka on Chelsea’s recent form: “It’s up to us to make it as difficult a day as possible for Chelsea.
They aren’t on the best run that they’ve ever been on and we need to capitalize on that, use Goodison to our advantage and hopefully make it a tough afternoon for them.”
Jose Mourinho on remaining positive: “You can say the team is under-performing because some players are underperforming. Or you can say some players are under-performing and because of that the team is underperforming. We are strong, we are together, I believe in them, they believe in me. We are positive.”
Chelsea has gotten off to a poor start to the season, and losing a world class goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois won’t help. Traveling to Goodison Park is never an easy feat, but it’s almost a must-win for Jose Mourinho’s men. Expect a tight game, with the Blues coming out on top. Everton 1-2 Chelsea.