Chelsea vs Everton

17/03/2023 110comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

An unchanged line-up would see Ben Godfrey continue at left back in place of Vitalii Mykolenko

Everton travel to West London tomorrow to face Chelsea in the late afternoon kick-off, hoping to end their longest away hoodoo of the Premier League era and maintain the gap between themselves and the relegation zone.

The Blues haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 1994 when Paul Rideout was leading the line but any kind of positive result this weekend would come as a big boost in their survival hopes heading into the international break.

Depending on how results go for those teams sitting below them heading into this match week, Sean Dyche’s side could find themselves back in the bottom three when they kick off but, by the same token, they could also move up as many as three places if they can pull off what would be an unexpected win over Chelsea and the sides above them all lose.

After a slow start to life as the Londoners’ head coach which saw them drop to 10th place in the table, Graham Potter has finally managed to string a run of results together, with League wins over strugglers Leeds and Leicester either side of a Champions League triumph over Borussia Dortmund that put them into the quarter-finals of that competition.

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Potter has a number of injury concerns, with Armando Broja, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta ruled out while Raheem Sterling is unlikely to be fit until the resumption of domestic League play on 1 April.

Mason Mount, Reece James, Edouard Mendy, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and N’Golo Kanté, meanwhile, are all rated 50/50 to be ready for this weekend but Potter has a squad that is more than big enough for him to cope, with the likes of Kai Havertz, Mykhailo Mudryk, Wesley Fofana, Joao Felix and Enzo Hernandez among the options are his disposal.

For his part, Dyche admitted in his pre-match press conference that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will not be involved, with Everton’s medical staff electing to use the fortnight’s break for internationals to continue the striker’s individualised work in preparation for the home game against Tottenham which isn’t until 3 April.

Calvert-Lewin did not train with the first team and Dyche, who has demonstrated a penchant for continuity in his line-ups, is expected to name an unchanged team. If so, that would mean Ben Godfrey retaining his place at left-back, Michael Keane preferred at centre-half alongside James Tarkowski and Demarai Gray playing up front.

Having seen off two of the Premier League’s most in-form sides in Arsenal and Brentford in recent weeks, albeit it at home in front of their own fans, and put in an encouraging attacking display at Nottingham Forest last time out, Everton should travel with a degree of confidence that they can cause Chelsea problems and come away with something from this weekend’s contest.

It may have needed a strike of free-kick specialist James Ward-Price but bottom club Southampton took all three points from Stamford Bridge a month ago so a repeat from the Toffees isn’t out of the question. If Dyche’s men can frustrate Chelsea and capitalise either on the break or from set-pieces, they could set themselves up for success on a ground where they eked out an unlikely point last season with an even more threadbare team.

Kick-off: 5:30pm, Saturday 18 March 2023
Referee: Darren England
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Last Time: Chelsea 1 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Tarkowski, Godfrey, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Doucouré, McNeil, Gray


Reader Comments (110)

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Christopher Timmins
1 Posted 17/03/2023 at 07:40:23
Agree with the starting eleven, if it's not broken don't fix it. I am expecting a strong performance and there is no reason why we can't keep a clean sheet and take something from the game.
Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 17/03/2023 at 08:18:43
I'm going into match mode and have been listening to music.

After last week's emotional rendition of Elton John's "I guess that's why they call it the Blues" in the Winslow, that's been getting a few plays.

A few quotes from the lyrics; not in any particular order. just snippets.

Don't wish it away. Things can only get better. I simply love you more than life itself.

And the great Ray Charles.

I can't stop loving you. I can't stop wanting you.

We can do this Everton.

Apologies for the emotion. I'm in the zone ahead of tomorrow and I've still got more than 24 hours surrounded by many Chelsea fans even before I get close to Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

John Bourne
3 Posted 17/03/2023 at 08:28:24
Danny @ 2

I will be with you in spirit at least, you are my benchmark for what it means to be an Everton fan.

I came across a photo of the 1969-70 squad yesterday, the team I first watched at Goodison; it brought back so many memories.

I was in awe of those players, I still am.

If we are talking music, how about Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House?

Rob Halligan
4 Posted 17/03/2023 at 08:58:27
See you down there, Danny. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace start the search for a new manager.

It’s definitely not Patrick’s Day, is it!!

Jerome Shields
5 Posted 17/03/2023 at 09:17:17
There is a definite problem at Everton with the training and rehabilitation of players. This many weeks on and Calvert-Lewin training alone and not with the first team.

One wonders about the out-of-avour Holgate and Mina on the bench. Holgate should be fighting for this place and Mina should be told to take a holiday to get him out of the road. Both their attitudes are, at the very least, in question.

Dyche will play the same team and depend on the same subs to keep the game plan going. The rest will only play if someone is injured.

Dyche's sides have shown progressive improvement; hopefully this will continue at Stamford Bridge. Both McNeil and Gray are providing threats. Maybe Onana and Iowbi may also step up to the mantle. Maupay is favoured more than Simms but needs to provide more of a scoring threat.

Chelsea's style of attack has suited Everton in the last, Keane has usually done well. Midfield will need to be a hard fought battle and a performance from Doucoure is needed.

Liam Heffernan
6 Posted 17/03/2023 at 09:32:56
Danny, a song that comes to mind is Pete Townshend's Brilliant Blues, it could easily be about the demise of Everton – he even says the colour of the Mersey is grey.

If we get relegated, this song will unfortunately haunt me. But Maybe a couple of more wins and we really will be the Brilliant Blues.

Liam Heffernan
7 Posted 17/03/2023 at 10:06:10
Happy St Patrick's day to all blues from a rainy Limerick, may we have the luck of the Irish tomorrow.
Rob Baker
8 Posted 17/03/2023 at 10:13:49
Dominic Calvert-Lewin should be ready for the 14th May, one day after the end of the season.
Derek Knox
9 Posted 17/03/2023 at 10:22:37
Liam, 'raining in Limerick?' Get away ! :-)

Happy St Pat's mate, and to all blues in whatever corner of the Globe you are.

It won't be easy tomorrow, and again it is a televised game, I just hope we get a decent referee if there is one out there. (?) A pity in many ways we weren't playing them a few weeks ago when nothing was going right for them and Potter's head was being called for, a bit of an upturn in fortunes for them, but still hopeful we can fashion something whichever route one we play.

Like in Cupdraws, you have to up your game to suit the opposition, and we need the points more than they do.

COYB 👍💙💙💙

Dave Lynch
10 Posted 17/03/2023 at 10:22:56
Liam @6,

He actually says... "the colour of the river is grey" – referencing the Thames.

Brian Harrison
11 Posted 17/03/2023 at 10:57:00
I certainly feel more confident going to Chelsea with Sean Dyche in charge. He might not have been many people's choice as manager but the improvement he has brought to the team and individuals is there for all to see.

Apart from the Arsenal game, we have been competitive in all the games since Dyche took over. It's also worth remembering he is doing this without a recognised striker.

Had we sacked Lampard before the World Cup, as we should have, and installed Dyche and allowed him time to assess the team and time to address the appalling state Lampard had left the club in, I think we may have been mid-table by now.

I, like many, thought a few weeks back that, even with the improvements Dyche has implemented, it still might not be enough to keep us safe, but at least he has given me some hope that, against all the odds, he just might do it with the backing of our magnificent fans.

Obviously Chelsea's form has improved over the last few games but I am sure Dyche, even without a recognised striker, will cause them problems when we have possession. I think the biggest thing he has done is to get more men in the box when we attack; under Lampard, we hardly had anybody in the box, hence why we are the lowest goalscorers in the league.

Hopefully, over the coming weeks, we may be able to get some of the injured players back and competing for places. I know many have complained about Dyche being reluctant to make changes during a game, but I think, when he looks at his bench, his options at present are very limited.

I never predict scores but I think it will be a lot closer than many think and, if we get something out of the game it will give everybody a massive lift going into the International break.

Christy Ring
12 Posted 17/03/2023 at 11:16:56
Happy St Patrick's Day to fellow Blues from a wet County Laois, hoping for a rub of the green tomorrow.

I think Palace sacking Vieira was a massive mistake, and could come back to haunt them. What's the chances of them bringing back Big Sam?

Tony Everan
13 Posted 17/03/2023 at 11:22:48
Christy, Happy St Patrick's day to you and our Irish blues. I haven't seen the betting but I was thinking they may go for Benitez.

Just looking… Roy Hodgson 2/1 fav, surprised me.

Paul Washington
14 Posted 17/03/2023 at 12:24:04

Re songs, if you can, have a listen to It's got to be the Blues by Paul Jones (Manfred Mann) – it says it all. Would make a good terrace chant as well.

Liam Heffernan
15 Posted 17/03/2023 at 12:32:41
Thanks, Dave,

I always thought it was Mersey. Great song though. COYB.

Paul O'Neill
16 Posted 17/03/2023 at 13:07:31
If we're on a song theme, maybe we should avoid Elvis Costello's ‘I don't want to go to Chelsea'!
Bill Gall
17 Posted 17/03/2023 at 13:24:43
For all the faithful away fans. your song should be "On The Road Again" – Willie Nelson.

Happy St Patrick's Day to all our supporters and may the happiness continue into tomorrow.

Joe Hurst
18 Posted 17/03/2023 at 13:43:27
Happy St Patrick's Day, Blues!

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 17/03/2023 at 13:47:20
I imagine Calvert-Lewin will be an afterthought come the summer when we really need to be investing in some new forwards with the money we have got.

We've had to get used to life without him in the team and certainly Everton can no longer plan a long-term strategy around such a player.

It's almost like thinking you could have built a team around Fabian Delph.

Mal van Schaick
20 Posted 17/03/2023 at 14:40:47
If we have the same attitude that we had against Brentford, by defending well and putting pressure on the ball when Chelsea have it, I would be happy with a point, but ecstatic with three.
Eddie Dunn
21 Posted 17/03/2023 at 15:49:06
Happy Paddy's Day to all our Irish brothers and sisters. On the Crystal Palace vacancy -I wonder if Frank L will throw his hat in the ring?
Paul Kossoff
22 Posted 17/03/2023 at 16:13:16
DLC is taking the piss now. He's got in to a mindset that it's easier not to play than to play. Still take the full wage though.

Maybe we should just call him Waldo, actually I don't care where he is anymore. Joke of a club that will possibly take us down through lack of goals for relying on another Sturridge another sick note. Remember weeks ago Dyche said he didn't know what's wrong with him. Shame on Dyche for not insisting on bringing in another striker, he's also fell in line with the Kenwright narrative, don't rock the boat. Hopefully we get at least a draw against Chelsea , Coyb. Ps, bring back Latchford, Dixie, Gray, anyone with a pair of balls.

Denis Richardson
23 Posted 17/03/2023 at 16:16:19
Well this is for me one of 3 hit and hopes in a row. I hope we can pick up at least two points but would not be surprised if we lost all 3 them. As long as we beat Fulham after, all will be right.

With respect to tomorrow, I'd gladly take last years' result now. Chelsea blowing hot and cold but have quality all over, just not joined up. Fingers crossed we can keep it tight and frustrate and cause them some problems.

Eddie 21 - I'd love it if Lampard got the Palace job, that would guarantee one of the three bottom places! Amazing how they've fallen this year.

So ridiculously tight at the bottom, can't remember another season like this with so many teams in danger. Palace in free fall, Leicester in free fall, Bournemouth just won't bloody die! If we weren't in the middle of it, it would be fascinating to watch.

Here's to the barcodes winning this evening.

Barry Hesketh
24 Posted 17/03/2023 at 16:32:36
Given our poor record at Stamford Bridge, ie, the number of years without a victory at that stadium, not counting the penalty shoot-out victory, we may have to rely totally on other results to keep our heads above water this weekend.

Everton's wait for another Premier League win at Stamford Bridge is their longest such drought in the competition but just how does their record away to Chelsea stack up?

When Sean Dyche's men step out against Graham Potter's side on Saturday afternoon, an incredible 10,340 days will have passed since Everton last secured 3 points in this corner of west London courtesy of Paul Rideout's 39th minute header past Dmitri Kharine on 26 November 1994.

It was new manager Joe Royle's first away game in charge of the Blues. It's a sequence that goes back even longer than the club's record-breaking silverware drought which stretches to when another headed goal from Rideout in the capital secured the FA Cup at Wembley the following May when they defeated Alex Ferguson's Manchester United 1-0.

Winless at Stamford Bridge

Come on Blues, 3 points tomorrow would be as welcome to the fans and the club, even if I have to say, it seems unlikely.

Jack Convery
25 Posted 17/03/2023 at 16:53:38
This is the coupon buster. Get on it! COYBs.
Jerome Shields
26 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:11:29
Happy St Patrick's day to you all..
Tom Bowers
27 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:13:23
It doesn't matter who Everton are playing, home or away, the result depends on how Everton play given the lack of real firepower.

Sure, Chelsea, like Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal, have the better squads and will always be difficult to get points from but 100% commitment and resolute defending might always do the job.

If they play like they did at The Emirates, then you know what may happen and then they will have to heavily depend on the results from other games to keep the status quo for this weekend.

Dale Self
28 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:23:11
Canned Heat, Bill.
Jay Harris
29 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:29:32
I love the way these journos cherry-pick their statements like "a team hasn't won at Stamford Bridge in almost 20 years" when the truth is a lot of those games have been draws which is a pretty good result.

It's a bit like Crystal Palace haven't won at Bournemouth since 1938 (I dont know if that's the case) when the reality is they haven't been in the same division for 50 or 60 of those years.

Typical media sensationalising everything.

Anyway, I will be more than satisfied with any points we pick up at Chelsea. There is no doubt they have the better players but we (hopefully) have heart, desire and a Dyche masterplan.

Joe McMahon
30 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:33:57
Jay, we did win there with Roberto (by the rules) 2-3, but John Terry scored in the 8th minute of injury time. He was 3ft offside and the goal stood! No Bias for Sky/BBC favourites at all of course.
Jim Bennings
31 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:37:40

Even though we have had a lot of decent draws at Chelsea in the last 20 years or so, the fact is we still haven't won there since 1994… what are the journos meant to say?

Pete Neilson
32 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:37:49
We’d won this game in 2016 until the ref decided to ignore the offside law and the allotted injury time. To rub it in he even advised Terry he’d add on a bit extra. Close but no cigar. Shows it’s not just Chelsea we’re up against. Here’s hoping we go one better tomorrow.

You beat me to it Joe!

Allen Rodgers
33 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:48:26
We beat them in the cup in 2011 when Johnny Heitinga put Ashley Cole off his stride in the penalty shoot-out. Great day!
Tony Everan
34 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:53:45
Joe & Pete,

I'm still seething about that seven years later. Funes Mori I think put us ahead. The John Terry offside was so blatantly obvious, it was a farce. An absolute disgrace of a referee and linesman.

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 17/03/2023 at 17:58:23
John @3, thank you for the kind compliment. To me, being Everton is just a birthright.

You could and should pass that onto Rob Halligan, Peter Mills, Neil Copeland, Brian Murray, the Abrahams, Brent Stephens, John Austin, Jim Burns, John Hurst Mike Summers, Rob Hooton and anyone else I've missed. The list is endless. The community is bonded by what we love and have followed all of our living memories.

Our support is second to none and will be there in force tomorrow.

I, like the thousands watching in the ground or on the screen at home, go with expectation to win. I don't care for past results. It's about tomorrow.

Andy Kings' and Graeme Sharp's screamers to end the derby droughts. Oviedo's winner at Old Trafford.

Anything is possible.

Right now, I'm off to celebrate St Patrick's night given my Irish roots. Second-generation Liverpool Irish on one side who still thought they were Irish even though they grew up in Garston and Speke. My Belfast-born Grandfather on the other side.

Tomorrow, I'll meet with as many of you as possible for hair of the dog and cheer those Blue Boys on.

Believe. Spirit.

Dave Williams
36 Posted 17/03/2023 at 18:00:59
What has happened in the past with different players and managers has no bearing on tomorrow. They are better than us but, if we work and fight like we did last week, we are in with a chance. A point would do nicely.

I'd go for an unchanged team and put a rocket up Onana – if he lets the first half pass him by, bring on Garner.

Danny O’Neill
37 Posted 17/03/2023 at 18:09:34
I forgot John Raftery, who I will meet tomorrow.

A fine Evertonian and gentleman.

Andy Meighan
38 Posted 17/03/2023 at 18:22:46
After Dyche's first game, Calvert-Lewin was rated as touch and go for the derby, 9 days later. He hasn't kicked a ball since.

So what's the real story? Is he out for the season or is he going to be available after the International break?

We really need someone to come out with the truth because this is becoming as embarrassing as our record at Stamford Bridge.

Personally, I hope we sell him come the end of the season and, with the money we get for him plus the Gordon and Kean, we get 3 strikers in plus 2 attacking midfielders.

They're out there alright – our scouting network might have to work that little bit harder. Not too much to ask, is it. I reckon £100M would bring ifive good players in – £20M each. Not rocket science, is it?

Dale Self
39 Posted 17/03/2023 at 18:34:32
Ok so Dyche was not so good v Chelsea (1-4-9) but was even v Potteur(4-9-4). We have a decent chance of staying in the game and that Chelsea side has hardly settled into form worthy of fear.

An optimist would emphasize that Dyche gets more from using Everton players in his system than Potteur gets from the players at Chelsea in his. I will advance that proposition.

Steve Shave
40 Posted 17/03/2023 at 18:41:11
We can win this, we will need a bit of luck, we will need to be united but we can do it and should go with the attitude we can.
Jeff Armstrong
41 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:03:25
Who the hell is Potteur???
Dale Self
42 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:10:32
Rob 4, it is Paddy's Day though, apparently that is who is running training until Woy or whoever arrives.
Kunal Desai
43 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:11:17
Confident here we come away with atleast a point. There difference is suspect.
Michael Kenrick
44 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:12:33
There's something definitely a bit odd about that Dale lad, Jeff.

He thinks he's cleva by changing people's names. Still, we have to put up with all sorts on here.

Dale Self
45 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:14:20
Sorry Jeff if that is offensive to play with someone’s name. First I'm a rude uncooth Yank, second Graham insulted us when he was being courted by big clubs last year.

I’ll stop if that is really over the line. Otherwise fuck that guy.

Dale Self
46 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:16:44
Not as clever as your post moving Michael.
Colin Malone
47 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:19:57
For all his work rate. Iwobi is no good on the wing. Give him a go up top, with Gray on the wing.
Michael Kenrick
48 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:23:51
Maybe you could try to post on the right thread, Dale?
Billy Roberts
49 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:50:31
Dale @ various, keep up the good work mate, an absolute TW star in my eyes mate.
You are the often overlooked contributer amongst many superb Americans wether you are on the wrong thread or not !!!
Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 17/03/2023 at 19:58:49
Rob #4, am I the only one who thinks Palace did something idiotic that could drop them below us?

I thought Viera was doing a splendid job with them, and I'm verrrrrry happy to see him gone.

Mike Connolly
51 Posted 17/03/2023 at 20:07:15
Mike I think Palace are after that magical bounce when a new manager comes in, just to get enough points to safety
Pete Neilson
52 Posted 17/03/2023 at 20:16:24
Like us Palace aren’t scoring many. Guess they’re hoping to find a different approach with the same squad. Having said that after they play Arsenal they have a run of games against other clubs fighting to stay up, including us.
Paul Birmingham
53 Posted 17/03/2023 at 20:24:13
Happy St Patrick’s Day, to All, and safe passage to those going the match tomorrow.

A good pub, often used was The Chelsea Potter, down the Kings Road, before the game, and no door men, but friendly, by match day standards in West London. Also some decent old style pubs in West Brompton.

Everton are capable of winning tomorrow, and if the improvement continues, as of the last few games, then a point or more is achievable.


Dom Kearney
54 Posted 17/03/2023 at 21:02:01
Happy Paddy's Day, fellow Blues! From a Belfast Toffee living in London.

We have not won there since 1994 – cannot believe that!
Surely it's about time we won there!!

Neil Copeland
55 Posted 17/03/2023 at 21:05:25
Paul, absolutely mate.

Taking my daughter tomorrow, she hasn’t been for a while and her first away game. Funnily enough, her very first game was the 2-0 FA Cup 6th Round win against Chelsea. Hope fully she will bring us some luck.

More than capable of winning this one, need to keep it tight and try and nick a goal.


David West
56 Posted 17/03/2023 at 22:29:39
I'm having 1-0 to the Blues. We may need to start thieving Arsenal's chant if Dyche can pull a few more "One-nils to the Everton"!

I just have a feeling Chelsea and Potter have had their little revival, now it's time for a setback for them.

Just stay in the game tommorow, them 3 in midfield will have to put another shift in.

Hoping Onana wants to prove a point to Chelsea after the transfer rumours and puts in a MotM performance.

Believe!!! We are going to win at the Bridge one day… why not tomorrow??

Brian Wilkinson
57 Posted 17/03/2023 at 23:42:58
I am going for a Michael Keane goal, hopefully in the right net and not ours. The lad's due a goal, hopefully 1 if not all 3 points.

What odds Keane to score and Bill to attend with a pre-arranged camera zoom on him, and the missing photo of poor old Bill brought up by the commentary team.

Jeff Armstrong
58 Posted 18/03/2023 at 00:18:37
As always, just bizarre, Dale. Sorry for engaging with you, I know I'm in the minority, but up the Toffs.
Paul Birmingham
59 Posted 18/03/2023 at 00:52:29
Neil, all the best, mate. Have a safe journey to and from the game.

I've got loads of very vivid memories of Chelsea – good, very bad, bad, and brilliant – over the last 45 years.

I've seen Everton win at Chelsea in 1984, a Friday night, first game of the season. Zico's brilliant free-kick into the away end and his 2nd free-kick disallowed. In 1987, Branch's match in 1994, and Baines brilliant free kick, to equalise, and Phil Neville's penalty win in 2011. The away kit was decent that year.

Many on-the-pitch calamities, a few unlucky defeats, Southall off, Rats in goal, and the years have flown by.

League Cup semi-final, I was there, 2007-08, but we lost on aggregate when we were ahead. I recall Lescott scored at the Bridge and spewed the game late on and Joe Cole broke away for a winner at Goodison Park, for the only goal in the return.

A bit of action as was often at London games in the 1980s and 1990s, and a lesser degree in the last 20 years.

In between, generally some good draws, spawny losses, and being cheated when we had Bobby Brown Shoes in 2015, when it took the bending of fair play to the lowest level in any match I've seen in the Premier League. That game for me was the benchmark in very piss-poor standards and officials in the Premier League.

That was a good fairly well-balanced Everton Team... Fellaini, he was good.

I haven't been to Chelsea for what will be 4 years but tomorrow, Neil and your daughter and all Evertonians, have a great day, and safe travel to and from the match.

Truly scary where the years go but every day is a good day and we are blessed that we are Evertonians!

“What's Our Name?”


Steve Brown
60 Posted 18/03/2023 at 04:45:45
Mike @ 50, I agree.

It very rarely works switching manager at this stage of the season. The Athletic posted a good article last week that showed clubs generally do worse after the change.

Plus Viera has done a good job overall.

Steve Brown
61 Posted 18/03/2023 at 04:48:08
Dale @ 45, you should call him by his correct name.

Pooter of the Premier League.

Danny O’Neill
62 Posted 18/03/2023 at 06:44:03
Happy with that prediction, Brian @57.

Maybe a replica of his Pele-like finish with the outside of his boot at Palace last season.

Okay, I'm exaggerating and getting a bit carried away with myself. I always do on match days.

Looking forward to it and meeting up with fellow blues once we sort the location out and as long as I don't get lost and wander into a Chelsea pub mixing with the natives as tends to happen with me.

Safe trip for those travelling down from Merseyside, those from other parts of the country. For me this is relatively straight-forward.

Let's go and do this. See you there. For those watching from around the country and the globe, be there with us and the team. All about the team today. The politics can wait until tomorrow.

Lee Courtliff
63 Posted 18/03/2023 at 07:03:44
Just read the link posted earlier about how long it's been since our last League win at Stamford Bridge. Not that I needed reminding, as I was there with my Dad and Uncle as a 13-year-old kid. Full of wide-eyed enthusiasm and positivity!

I'm finding it harder and harder to reach anything like those levels recently. But, you've got to keep going.

Shithouse 1-goal victory after we've had approx 15% possession!! COYB.

Robert Tressell
64 Posted 18/03/2023 at 07:56:44
Fairly simple approach to today's game; keep doing what we've been doing.

Organised in defence; bodies forward in attack.

Ernie Baywood
65 Posted 18/03/2023 at 08:00:42
It's hard to believe we'll get anything from Stamford Bridge. Recent decent results (by way of grind) might have convinced us that we're better than we are. We're still pretty awful.

But it's not like we rest for this one and target the next couple of matches. They're tough fixtures too. We don't get to pick and choose.

So why not... go and be aggressive and see what happens. We've got a free swing at this one, thanks to a couple of decent results of late.

Eddie Dunn
66 Posted 18/03/2023 at 08:16:37
We now have a set-up that can frustrate the opposition and Chelsea are not the free-scoring unit of a few years ago. I fancy a draw.
Phil Lewis
67 Posted 18/03/2023 at 08:23:30
Without Calvert-Lewin, our attacking options are minimal.

I would persist with Gray as a 'false 9', setting up a completely defensive formation in the hope of containing Chelsea and pinning our hopes on scoring from either a breakaway or set-piece.

Predictable? Yes. But given our current form and situation, I believe these tactics to be our most realistic chance of gaining a result.

Matt Byrne
68 Posted 18/03/2023 at 08:32:56
Just watching 97-98 Premier Years.

Forced to sell our best players in Speed and Kanchelskis, we are on the brink, relying on the inspiration of Duncan Ferguson to save us. He himself would be sold soon after.

Fast forward 25 years, it's just like last season; just replace Dunc for Richarlison. Kenwright was influential then and would own the club within a year. He's conned us ever since.

Selling our best talent, letting Goodison fall into disrepair and relying purely on Moyes's ability to spot top talent for little money.

But what am I complaining for? All other Premier League clubs look to us and say "What would Everton and Kenwright do?" Plus, we've had good times.

Well, yes, if you're like me and over 45. Our younger fans are surely the best in the country. Everton are easily the biggest club to achieve the least this century.

Thanks for nothing, Bill. The sooner we have a clear-out in the boardroom, the better.

Jamie Evans
69 Posted 18/03/2023 at 08:41:39
Problem with games like this, we will compete until or if we lose the first goal. Then it will more than likely be game over.
Richard Lyons
70 Posted 18/03/2023 at 08:42:35
Green and blue victories today, please. Grand Slam and a step away from relegation. I just know it's going to happen!


Danny Baily
71 Posted 18/03/2023 at 08:53:02
Any win today would be a massive step away from relegation.
John Raftery
72 Posted 18/03/2023 at 09:24:21
Thanks, Danny (37).

Those who sit near me in the Park End don't question the first but have questioned the second! That might be owing to my horse racing tips! See you later.

Rob Hooton
73 Posted 18/03/2023 at 09:26:46
Looking forward to the match today, my dad and I will be sat with the chavs by the half way line so really hope we have plenty of reasons to sit on our hands!! I’ll be in the same seat as the 1-1 draw last season thanks to a Chelsea friend lending us his season tickets, been a while since I got to a game with my dad and we are well overdue something to cheer about on the road.

I fancy a draw (as we often get at Stamford Bridge) and reckon we can nick a win with a bit of luck - hopefully the ref is a Fulham fan or something and we get the rub of the green for a change!

Hope to meet Danny and others before the match, won’t be wearing my colours today as we need to be ‘undercover’. I’ve lived down here so long that I sound like a local, my dad is definitely from Liverpool though.

Keep doing what we’ve been doing and we have a chance, lots of improvement evident under Dyche so far - in particular with chances created.

Guinness was half price in our local club yesterday so hair of the dog needed.

Danny O’Neill
74 Posted 18/03/2023 at 09:29:33
It wasn't the case last season, Jamie. They scored first but it wasn't game over. It never is. Then Branthwaite got on the end of that beauty of a delivery from Anthony Gordon to pretty much make that corner of the Shed End explode.

I was in that bottom corner. Forget pitch invasions, I thought there was more risk of the players invading the lower section of the away supporters!!

Leighton Baines' 200 or whatever-minute free-kick (it felt more like 300 minutes), to take us to penalties and give Phil Neville his grandstand moment.

Kangaroo Tim with his leap and overhead kick to rescue a point late on.

Incompetent officialdom cost us the 3 points in one of Martinez's seasons when the Ref not only seemed to play until Chelsea scored to level, but didn't give what I still maintain was a blatant offside. It would be interesting to see what VAR would have made of that one.

My worst experience at Stamford Bridge was the League Cup second leg. Right in front of my eyes, I was screaming for McFadden to pull it back for an easy tap in. Can't remember who the forward was, but it was on a plate and we'd have been 2-1 up. But he went for glory from a difficult angle and fluffed his lines as James often did. A talented, but inconsistent and frustrating footballer.

Then the 6-foot something Lescott gets bullied by the 4-foot something Wright-Phillips to put one in our own net in the final minutes of the game to make it 2-1 to them. That was a bitter pill to swallow.

Yes, it's a tough place to go to. Most Premier League grounds are. But we can get something. And even if they score first, it's not over until the final whistle.

Rob Hooton
75 Posted 18/03/2023 at 09:58:19
Danny, I was also at that game and still don’t understand how Wright-Philips won that header! I’m still pissed off about it now.
Danny O’Neill
76 Posted 18/03/2023 at 11:14:43
I correct myself, I think that was the first leg.
Richard Lyons
77 Posted 18/03/2023 at 11:46:43
Danny, the incompetent officialdom you refer to was corruption, in my opinion.

We would have qualified for Europe with a win, but Chelsea needed to draw or win in order to be undefeated at home for the whole season. Because they obviously bunged the ref, Blackburn snuck in by virtue of beating Spurs 3-0 away from home – also a highly suspect result.

I think that's what happened anyway...

Rob Hooton
78 Posted 18/03/2023 at 11:54:04
Just realised there's a train strike today, plus issues on the District Line currently. Gonna be a mare getting there and back, but still easier compared to what most Blues will be going through today to get there and back I suppose.
James Hughes
79 Posted 18/03/2023 at 12:05:23
Fancy the boys to dig out a draw today 1-1 it won't be pretty but then it hasn't been for a while.

Thankfully the game is on at the same time as the rugby so I won't have to witness England being spanked!


Derek Knox
80 Posted 18/03/2023 at 12:07:18
Danny @ 74, "Incompetent Officialdom" – spot on there, brother.

I often wonder are there any decent ones out there? The amount of times points have been lost or won by virtue of an incorrect decision, not just referring to us by the way, but witnessed it across the board. Coupled with certain sides getting favour, it is all wrong.

We have the best league in the world with the worst officials!

Garry Martin
81 Posted 18/03/2023 at 12:10:54
Win, draw or lose, no result would supprise me.

However, I do think that Sean Dyche has created an atmosphere of creativity and ensuring only players offering 110% input for 90 minutes in every game get their place.

Martin Mason
82 Posted 18/03/2023 at 12:15:58
Bogey grounds are very important for us as we usually do badly on them. They have a good coach and some very good players but luckily for us they are also in a deep transition of ownership and finances.

As an independent, I'd go for Chelsea to overcome a plucky Everton… but as an Evertonian, I desperately want us to win which we can't do as we don't have those amazing players that score goals.

So, I'm going for an honourable and creditable 1-1. I'll be really happy with a good performance too.

Brian Wilkinson
83 Posted 18/03/2023 at 12:45:39
We went there a few seasons back with a very weakened squad and quite a few kids in the team. No one gave us a hope in hell, we came away with a draw, was it Branthwaite who scored for us?

Anything is possible, keep 11 players on the field and we have a fighting chance. We just have to hope that, for once, we are not talking about the VAR or a shocking decision going against us.

Bill Fairfield
84 Posted 18/03/2023 at 12:48:59
Kavanagh as the VAR doesn't auger well. COYB
Danny Baily
85 Posted 18/03/2023 at 13:22:41
Brian 83, that was last season!
Joe McMahon
86 Posted 18/03/2023 at 13:23:11
Brian @83, correct and that was with Rafa!
Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 18/03/2023 at 13:27:32
On my way in to central London. Quick pit stop at 'Spoon's Baker Street to refresh and then I'll navigate my way to Parsons Green to meet with a few before we march on to Stamford Bridge.

I'll be off this until after the match, but those who have my number, just text or WhatsApp me.

See you all there.

Jeff Armstrong
88 Posted 18/03/2023 at 14:11:01
Derek 80, spot in about the refs, I cannot name one who is competent.

I don't want to sound like an arl arse but, in years gone by, you could name a few decent refs: Gordon Hill, Pat Partridge, even Howard Webb wasn't too bad, but this current crop are a bunch of wet wipes.

Alan McGuffog
89 Posted 18/03/2023 at 14:37:07
And don't forget Clive Thomas, Jeff.

Please... don't shoot me, I speak in jest!

Dale Self
90 Posted 18/03/2023 at 14:46:46
Thanks Billy 49 and Steve 61. I think I dropped a tear in my morning coffee for that Billy. Honestly though if I do something that cannot be excused for being a low-rent Yank let me know, it is likely negotiable.

And thanks for that last bit Jeff. I really dont mean to outright annoy anyone, okay occasionally Ian and sometimes Soren (ha!) and now Michael it’s just a bit of fun and I probably lack the style to make it work.

Brent Stephens
91 Posted 18/03/2023 at 14:53:00
Dale @ various - outrageous!
Martin Mason
92 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:00:22
Give the refs a break, for fuck's sake, they are in general absolutely superb doing a brilliant job on the pitch but they make mistakes and are unfortunately judged by experts in armchairs with the benefit of playback, slo-mo and close-up.

Oh yes and all of them football experts having read Roy of the Rovers twice. Grow up guys, the system can be improved but we must allow the people who know what they are doing to improve it. God save us from armchair experts in all sports.

Dale Self
93 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:10:39
I saw that, Brent.
Mike Gaynes
94 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:11:19
Dale, just keep being yourSelf. I wouldn't want you to start getting Self-conscious.
Kevin Molloy
95 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:13:44
Amazing to think after our recent form that we could well be back in the drop zone if results aren't helpful this weekend. And our next games ain't easy.
Joe McMahon
96 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:16:35
Kevin, I do keep thinking Pickford pushing the ball back into play vs Forest to score may come back to haunt us.
Christy Ring
97 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:22:54
Martin #93 In all fairness the refereeing in the Premiership has been abysmal, I don’t know how you can say superb and brilliant, why was there so few Premiership refs picked for the World Cup? Regarding the armchair experts, they’re the retired refs who’s human errors have ruined VAR
Jeff Armstrong
98 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:26:44
Dale my fault mate, had my grumpy head on last night, my apologies, keep posting as you wish, don’t need to keep ass h’s like me happy.
Kevin Molloy
99 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:27:37
Joe let's hope not! I think a loss there though would have been a total disaster. if you'd have offered me a point before that game I would definitely have taken it. The teams I am watching aint soton and bournemouth, it's Palace and Forest. Even crappy Leeds are putting up a fight, so I might have to find a third dud to hope we finish above, maybe Leicester, but that really is pushing it.
Paul Kossoff
100 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:43:51
Christopher 1. "If it's not broken don't fix it?" It is broken and does need fixing. This bunch have took us to the bottom of the premier league, no one else did. Why do you expect a different outcome from the same team that have been an embarrassment all season and last. I have no faith in them anymore. If we keep the score down I'll be surprised.
Mike Gaynes
101 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:45:00
Joe, Pickford was at full stretch. No way to perfectly steer that rebound. He needed defensive cover from his mates, not a better save.
Martin Mason
102 Posted 18/03/2023 at 15:47:23
Christy@97. No, your opinion is that it has been abysmal. Please put that opinion in context in relation to your knowledge of and experience in refereeing at Premiership level. The refs I see week in and week out work at an incredible level but they are held to ridiculous standards by people like you hence VAR, and then you whine about VAR. God save us from armchair experts.
David West
103 Posted 18/03/2023 at 16:25:46
The way results are going today anything from this match is a bonus.

Wolves just gone 3-1 so hoping for a comeback er praying!¡!!

Christy Ring
104 Posted 18/03/2023 at 16:31:14
Martin#102 Try and read my response correctly, I haven’t criticised VAR, I criticised the former refs for their human error, using VAR. Howard Webb was brought in to improve the refereeing, so why was he brought in, if they were doing such a brilliant job as you say? Why was there so few refs picked for the World Cup? Regarding your incredible referees, do you not think Everton have been hard done by, with some decisions this season, and Riley had to apologise to us last season after the City game, give specsavers a shout.
Barry Hesketh
105 Posted 23/03/2023 at 16:17:52
According to 'The Bobble' on his twitter feed:

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has flown out to Dubai for warm weather training. Calvert-Lewin has travelled with his personal physio, as he bids to return to full fitness after the international break

Joe McMahon
106 Posted 23/03/2023 at 17:01:12
Barry, I can't help thinking we have to forget about Calvert-Lewin, it's not like he's Sergio Aguero or Salah.

It has to be about the development of Simms and identifying two new strikers for next season, as I think we'll stay up (just about).

107 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:13:15

108 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:13:31

109 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:13:32

110 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:13:32

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