3 minutes: Abdoulaye Doucoure gets his head from the right wing on a cross in CHelsea’s penalty area, but he was unable to send his weak effort on target. Edouard Mendy leads the ball wide.
2 minutes: Everton advanced and Vitally Mykolenko grabbed the ball on the left wing, but couldn’t get a cross in. He plays the ball backwards.
1 minute: Chelsea get the ball rolling, their players wear white shirts with light blue stripes, white shorts and socks. Everton are wearing their usual home kit of blue shirts, white shorts and white socks.
Not for long: Led by Craig Pawson and his match officials, Jordan Pickford and Cesar Azpilecueta lead the two teams out of the narrow Goodison Park tunnel. In the Sky Sports studio, former Everton striker Duncan Ferguson confidently tips his old club to take all three points. “Chelsea won’t win at Goodison,” he says.
Thomas Tuchel speaks: “It helps that the big day is coming and that’s why the focus is completely on Everton,” he says of his preparations. “That helped us calm down, calm down by working hard and focusing.
Asked about what Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly bring to Chelsea, he says “personality and quality”. He adds that the duo has “proven it for big clubs, Raheem has proven it time and again in the Premier League.”
Frank Lampard speaks: “The fans have helped – they’re here for the game again, we can’t expect it every time, but it’s great to see,” he told Sky Sports. “We were in a difficult position last season and we don’t want to be there again, but we know one thing: Everton must be a team and a club that fight the right way on the pitch.”
Those teams: There are four debutants in the starting line-up, with James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil starting for Everton, while Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling make their first official start in the Chelsea livery.
Nathan Patterson, signed with Rangers last season, is at Everton right-back in what is only his second start for the club, having undergone ankle surgery not long after his arrival. Ben Chilwell is back for Chelsea after a long spell on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Mina, Godfrey, Mykolenko, Gray, Doucoure, Iwobi, McNeil, Gordon.
Subscribers: Holgate, Keane, Allan, Begovic, Alli, Gbamin, Ruben Vinagre, Warrington, Mills.
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly, James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Sterling.
Subscribers: Cucurella, Arrizabalaga, Kovacic, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Chalobah, Gallagher, Ziyech, Broja.
Referee: Craig Pawson (England)
Today’s match officials
- Referee: Craig Pawson
- Assistants: Marc Perry and Scott Ledger
- Fourth official: Graham Scott
- VAR: John Brooks
Everton have brought in old boys Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski from Burnley to Goodison Park, while Ruben Vinaigre is also on loan from Sporting Lisbon. All three are available for selection today.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury sustained in training earlier this week, while Salomon Rondon will miss this afternoon due to a suspension he took over from last season. Seamus Coleman, Tom Davies, Andre Gomes and Andros Townsend are also out with several injuries.
After the loss of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, and with Marcos Alonso also heading for the Camp Nou, Chelsea have brought in Kalidou Koulibali and Marc Cucarella to bolster their defences.
Further up front, Raheem Sterling and Carney Chukwuemeka have arrived hoping to fill their shoes with goals. He is rumored to be on his way back to RB Leipzig, but Timo Werner’s enthusiasm is Chelsea’s only doubt about his fitness, as he is suffering from a hamstring injury.
Goodison Park is the venue for what those of us with no imagination call the Frank Lampard derby lazy. After keeping Everton afloat last season, the former Chelsea midfielder turned manager is on the hot seat for his first full season as manager at Goodison Park, even he has no shortage of opponents who give him little or no chance to continue the campaign .
Under a new owner who seems eager to throw money like confetti, this promises to be an intriguing first season in the post-Abramovich era for Chelsea. It starts on Merseyside at 5.30pm (BST)| but in the meantime, stay tuned for team news and build-up.