The Numbers Game: Can Everton's home comforts help against Chelsea?

·4-min read

The nerves are starting to jangle on the blue half of Merseyside, with Everton slipping into the relegation zone last week after their derby defeat to Liverpool was preceded by Burnley's win against Wolves.

Frank Lampard's men have six games to rescue their Premier League status, starting on Sunday with a clash against the Toffees manager's former employers.

Chelsea themselves have very little to play for, having pretty much cemented their place in third, which could play into Everton's hands at Goodison Park.

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This is the first time Everton are playing a Premier League game when starting the day in the relegation zone since December 2019, which coincidentally was a 3-1 home win against Chelsea.

With Burnley facing an out-of-form Watford on Saturday, Lampard might need a win just to keep pace with the Clarets.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will also be looking for a strong performance from his team as they continue to prepare for an FA Cup final with Liverpool to come on May 14.

Toffees can make it sticky for Tuchel

It has been a campaign to forget for Everton, even if they end it by staying in the Premier League.

However, it has unquestionably been their away form that sees them in their current mess, with just one win and three draws from 16 away days this season (L12), though one of those draws came at Stamford Bridge in December.

At home, they have the 13th best record in the league, winning seven and drawing two of 16 games at Goodison Park (L7).

Everton have earned seven points from their last three home games (W2 D1), as many as they had in their previous 10 (W2 D1 L7), though have scored just three goals in this run, including a 90th-minute winner against Newcastle United and a last-gasp leveller against Leicester City.

They have a good recent record against Chelsea, though, having won each of their last three Premier League home games against the Blues, last winning four consecutively against them at Goodison Park between 1970 and 1973.

Chelsea v Everton xG
Chelsea v Everton xG

Unlucky thirteen?

Despite coming through the youth system at West Ham, Frank Lampard will always be synonymous with Chelsea.

He scored 211 goals for the Stamford Bridge club, with 147 of those in Premier League games, before overseeing 84 games as manager.

Lampard will be the 10th former Chelsea manager to take charge of a Premier League match against the Blues – only one of the previous nine has won their first such match (D1 L7), with Claudio Ranieri triumphing 2-1 with Leicester in December 2015.

However, Lampard might set an unwanted record on Sunday, where a defeat would make him the first Everton boss in the club's history to lose nine of their first 13 league games in charge. So far he has lost eight of 12, as Cliff Britton did in 1948, before winning his 13th game 2-1 against Sheffield United.

Everton xG against
Everton xG against

Happy Sundays

Many of us may not have loved Sundays as children, knowing school was just a day away, but Chelsea are certainly enjoying them this season.

Tuchel's men have played the most Premier League games on Sundays without losing so far this term (nine, winning six and drawing three).

The Toffees, on the other hand, have played the most on the day without winning (nine, drawing one and losing eight).

Chelsea also have the highest win rate in games played on the first day of a month in Premier League history, winning 30 of their 50 such games (60 per cent). They have also won all four of their previous Premier League games played on May 1.

Chelsea first of the month record
Chelsea first of the month record

Dele can test 'em

When Everton signed Dele Alli from Tottenham in January, it raised a few eyebrows. Could Lampard get the best out of a player similar in style to the former England international who had once been one of the most promising prospects in the Premier League?

Well, so far, no. Dele has only made eight appearances for his new club so far, all from the bench, totalling just 218 minutes, and is yet to register a goal or assist.

It could be a deliberate move by Everton, who signed the 26-year-old on an initial free transfer, though with add-ons built in depending on appearances and achievements.

They should perhaps fork out some of that money on Sunday, though, as Dele does enjoy a game against Chelsea.

He scored five goals in eight Premier League appearances against them while at Spurs, more than he managed against any other opposition.