In their first game of the 2022–23 season, Chelsea travels to Goodison Park in the north to take on Everton. Thomas Tuchel, who doesn’t hold back when speaking to the media, criticized a lack of “commitment physically and mentally” after his team lost 4-0 to Arsenal in a preseason friendly. Tuchel made an “urgent appeal” for additional “class players” a fortnight before his team’s trip to Merseyside, while acknowledging he had an expanded involvement in recruiting earlier in the summer. Here is the starting lineup Tuchel may assemble from Chelsea’s ostensibly depleted roster.
Everton will play Chelsea in their season opener on Saturday night after narrowly avoiding relegation the previous year. In this matchup in May, the Toffees, led by Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer Frank Lampard, secured three vital points. That day at Goodison Park, Thomas Tuchel’s Blues waded through smoke plumes and spent a large portion of the season’s last third fumbling through the uncertainties brought on by the club’s high-profile sale. Here’s all you need to know about their match this weekend after neither team fully experienced the summer reset they both anticipated.
The expected Chelsea lineup vs Everton (3-4-3)
- Edouard Mendy (GK) – Kalidou Koulibaly, a member of his international squad, is positioned in front of Mendy, who could be able to calm the nervous distribution that had started to creep into his play.
- Cesar Azpilicueta (CB) – Chelsea’s captain (for now) hasn’t downed tools during preseason as he continues to lead the squad out with the armband intact, which stands in sharp contrast to the backwards reasoning most sportsmen follow when they seek a move.
- Thiago Silva (CB) – Silva made his senior debut while Concorde was still readily available for purchase, now in into his second decade as a professional player.
- Kalidou Koulibaly (CB) – Since Laurent Charvet in 1998, Chelsea’s summer acquisition from Napoli will be the first player to wear number 26 who is not named John Terry.
- Reece James (RWB) – Everton has defeated Chelsea’s goal-scoring (and producing) wingback more frequently (three times) than Manchester City and Manchester United combined (both twice).
- N’Golo Kante (CM) – Kante missed 14 games due to injuries in his first four Premier League seasons. He missed 16 appearances last season due to fitness issues.
- Jorginho (CM) – As the season progressed, the team’s vice-playing captain’s time decreased, but persistent fitness concerns over Mateo Kovacic might lead to his selection for the first game.
- Ben Chilwell (LWB) – Chilwell may get his first Premier League appearance since November after a difficult recovery from a torn cruciate ligament.
- Mason Mount (RW) – The 23-year-old recorded double figures in Premier League goals (11) and assists (10) last season, making him the first Chelsea player to do so since Eden Hazard in 2018–19.
- Kai Havertz (ST) – Since Everton’s robust defense roughed up the de facto center-forward in Romelu Lukaku’s absence on his previous visit to Goodison Park, he has said that he prefers to “sneak around” center-backs.
- Raheem Sterling (LW) – Tuchel used the term “awful” to describe playing against Sterling in the kindest possible way. He won’t soon have to go through it again for the 50 million time now.