As I sit down to begin scripting this preview, the 2022-23 Premier League season is already underway, with the primary aim of the season within the bag as nicely thanks to some horrible set piece defending from Crystal Palace. Best league on this planet, innit?
Chelsea have to wait till Saturday night time to get the ball rolling, as we head up to Merseyside to tackle Everton at Goodison. On paper, Chelsea needs to be favorites. But as soon as that whistle goes, something goes, as traditional.
It guarantees to be a fairly distinctive and probably historic season, with a month-long winter break for a winter World Cup. How that may have an effect on the league season is anybody’s guess. Many are predicting unusual issues — together with a Spurs title problem, even, as a result of Conte — so we higher activate some Kate Bush and preserve operating up that hill.
Date / Time: Saturday, August 6, 5.30pm BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Referee: Craig Pawson (on pitch); John Brooks (VAR)
Forecast: Warm, with a slight breeze
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); USA Network, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Everton team information: Perhaps no team celebrated more durable than Everton after escaping relegation on the ultimate day final season, however the job at hand has solely gotten more durable as nicely following the departure of Richarlison (to Spurs). The solely arrivals of word up to now, middle again James Tarkowski and winger Dwight McNeil have been each a part of a Burnley team not fairly adequate to keep up final season.
Everton are positive to be busy within the switch market this month nonetheless, however as of proper now, they don’t seem to be in nice form, particularly as they’re additionally coping with accidents to striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and midfielders Andre Gomes and Tom Davies . Meanwhile, one other striker, Salomon Rondon carries over a suspension from final season.
Frank Lampard actually has his work lower out for him, and we are able to solely want him good luck — beginning subsequent weekend in fact.
View from the enemy: Royal Blue Mersey
Chelsea team information: Marc Cucurella has turn into our fourth big-money signing of the summer season, though even when registered in time, he is unlikely to play a giant half in tomorrow’s recreation simply but. Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly (changing Romelu Lukaku and Antonio Rudiger / Andreas Christensen) are each anticipated to begin nevertheless, with younger Carney Chukwuemeka most likely a part of the matchday squad of 20 as nicely. With 5 substitutes (from 9) now accessible, there needs to be loads of alternatives for bench gamers to make their impression as nicely.
Much like Everton, though on the different, happier finish of the desk, Chelsea’s job of repeating final 12 months’s end has solely gotten more durable. The prime two have each acquired marquee strikers, whereas the remainder of the highest six have solely strengthened. Of course, it is simple to overlook that we not solely led the league for a couple of months early on however have been “halftime invincibles” regardless of all the things that went on final season — ie by no means trailed in any of the 38 league video games on the half — so if we are able to enhance our capability to shut out groups, video games, and seasons, we’d not have too far to go to get again to the highest.
It’s been a dramatic few months at Chelsea, within the boardroom and within the switch market, however now it is time for soccer to do the speaking.
Previously: We have misplaced 4 in a row at Goodison and have not received there since 2017. Here are some happier opening day highlights as an alternative (which, by some means, lack Mario Stanic’s aim from 2000).