I’ll tell you why I love this Premier League campaign so much. Everton are a side slowly realising that, in fact, they’re not really contenders for a Premier League crown despite possessing one of the best squads in the most wide-open league there’s been in some time.
They’ve won just one of their last five, are struggling for goals and giving away cheap possession in their own third of the pitch. They look the polar opposite of composed and organised, despite what was a blockbuster start into a new regime.
Saturday 8pm: Everton v Chelsea
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Now you look at Chelsea. I give them a lot of stick because it feels like a bit like a boys’ club with Lampard the reins, conducting weird induction ceremonies. But now that picture has changed somewhat and while I admit they’re more likely to be streaky due to the players on display, they’ve gotten it together in spite of looking like a bit of a joke early on – particularly in that game against West Brom.
These sides are trending in totally opposite directions, and yet, a win for Everton puts just two points between them again. In a season where nobody wants to flex their muscle too much, it does feel like this game can either be a springboard or a massive crack in a paper-thin identity. Here’s your three best bets.
If you take a look at these teams’ respective areas of emphasis on the pitch, they’re both playing with slightly too much of the ball. Everton and Chelsea are both set up to effective on the break because they’ve got tonnes of pace and central strikers that benefit far more from having to produce a finish on instinct than on methodology.
Look how many big chances Timo Werner has missed when he’s had time to think – and likewise, how many times does Dominic Calvert-Lewin take multiple touches before scoring? The team that wins this game will be the one that doesn’t feel on overbearing need to keep possession, and I believe Ancelotti is better-equipped to do this than Lampard is.
You could very well see a change of style going forward from the Toffees if they’re successful here, and I think they will be. Everton: Draw No Bet give you a bit of insurance if the spoils are shared.
The reason for this Over 3.5 Goals selection is because of how many talented players can score from distance. Chelsea have enough players that can score outside the box to land this bet themselves, and when you factor in Richarlison and James Rodriguez, let alone the host of set-piece specialists and good headers of the ball, it certainly makes this price look attractive. We’re probably due another Kurt Zouma header, aren’t we?
Everton will overload Chelsea’s right side with Richarlison and Digne because Reece James, while a massive prospect, is absolutely the player you want to run at so Chelsea need to make a switch and protect him.
He’s been the creative force through tough times for them so far, and I think the same will ring true when Ancelotti targets the young full back on Saturday so we’re on Richarlison to grab an assist anytime.
Best Bets for Everton v Chelsea
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