45+4 min: From that corner, Chelsea win yet another one, with Yerry Mina putting the latest inswinger behind. Everton eventually clear their lines.
45+3 min: Mykolenko sticks the ball out for what I think is Chelsea’s 11th corner. It’s the first one on the left side and Ben Chilwell sends the ball into the mixer. It breaks to Reece James, whose shot goes out for … you’ve guessed it – a corner.
45+1 min: Into added time we go and there’ll be at least eight minutes of it following that long delay for the injury to Ben Godfrey, who was stretchered off earlier with a bad ankle injury.
43 min: Raheem Sterling gets the ball in the net for Chelsea but has his effort ruled out for offside. It’s good news for Everton in general and Jordan Pickford in particular – England’s finest had fumbled an N’Golo Kante shot into Sterling’s path.
41 min: Everton attack on ther break and Demarai Gray tries to pick out Anthony Gordon in acres of space. Cool as a cucumber despite being the only defender back, Thiago Silva sticks out a leg to intercept the pass.
40 min: A Mason Mount cross into the Everton penalty area is volleyed clear by Mason Holgate, who’s been keeping busy since coming on for Ben Godfrey.
38 min: Anthony Gordon pulls the ball back from the byline trying to tee up Doucoure but Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva combine to scramble it clear before he can unleash a shot from seven or eight yards.
35 min: Kalidou Koulibaly is very unlucky to escape a booking after grabbing a fistful of Anthony Gordon’s shirt and dragging the youngster to ground as he tried to get away from him. He’s penalised by Craig Pawson, who keeps his yellow card in his pocket.
32 min: Yerry Mina slides in to block a Kai Havertz attempt to square the ball across the face of Everton’s goal. Corner for Chelsea. From that they win another, then another, with Holgate putting the ball out twice in quick succession. On the third occasion, it’s Nathan Patterson who heads the inswinger clear.
30 min: Alex Iwobi is penalised for bringing down Raheem Sterling by shoving the Chelsea striker in the back. Free-kick for Chelsea, almost in line with the right edge of the penalty area. Nothing comes of it as Everton head clear.
28 min: A looping Mykolenko cross from the left finds the head of Anthony Gordon but the Everton No10 is leaning backwards and unable to steer his header anywhere near the Chelsea goal.
27 min: Kai Havertz is dispossessed on a run down the right wing before he can deliver a cross to Raheem Sterling, who was waiting in the middle.
25 min: A headed chance from Doucoure before that Tarkowski effort means Everton are having the better of proceedings but the deadlock remains unbroken. For now, they have a Chelsea corner to defend. They do so with a minimum of fuss.
22 min: Demarai Gray wins a corner for Everton and James Tarkowski brings a smart save out of Edouard Mendy with a firm header, forcing the Chelsea goalkeeper to tip the ball over the bar.
20 min: Koulibaly gets an important touch on a cross from Demarai Gray cross to prevent the ball dropping into the path of Dwight McNeil who was lurking behind him. In front of Koulibaly, Anthony Gordon leaped highest but was unable to get a touch to the ball.
19 min: From that corner, Chelsea win another and then a third in quick succession. The ball breaks to Mason Mount on the edge of the box and his low drive is saved by Pickford, diving low to his right. The ball was going wide but the Everton goalkeeper wasn’t taking any chances.
17 min: Ben Godfrey is carried away by the stretcher-bearers, prompting more applause from Everton’s fans. Mason Holgate comes on in his place and has a corner to defend. It turns out Pickford didn’t keep the ball from going over the line after all.
15 min: There’s a minute’s applause for a young Everton fan named Izzy O’Connor, who died recently aged 15. May she rest in peace.
15 min: The pause in play continues as Godfrey continues to receive treatment down by the Everton goal.
13 min: Having hurt himself attempting to clear up a defensive mess of his own making, the unfortunate Ben Godfrey is given oxygen and is about to be stretchered off with what looks like a serious ankle injury. Hopefully it’s not too bad and he’ll have as speedy a recovery as is possible.
11 min: Ben Godfrey looks to have hurt himself quite badly in that collision and is currently receiving treatment. Mason Holgate begins his warm-up.
10 min: Jordan Pickford sprints back to prevent a no-look Ben Godfrey backpass from going out for a corner. He hacks the ball clear but only as far as Havertz, who steers the ball into the side-netting, colliding with Pickford and the backpedalling Godfrey in the process.
9 min: Chelsea enjoy a period of sustained possession that ends abruptly when Nathan Patterson outmuscles Kai Havertz and robs him off possession in the Everton left-back area.
7 min: There’s nothing much to report in these early stages as the teams take time to size each other up.
5 min: Correction: the stripes on Chelsea’s away kit are not “light blue” they are – consults notes – “ice cold lion print”. Do lion’s have stripes? I always thought they were more of a zebra thing.
3 min: Abdoulaye Doucoure gets his head to a cross into the CHelsea penbalty area from the right touchline but is unable to steer his weak effort goalwards. Edouard Mendy shepherds the ball wide.
2 min: Everton advance and Vitally Mykolenko picks up the ball on the left touchline but is unable to get a cross in. He plays it backwards.
1 min: Chelsea get the ball rolling, their players wearing white shirts with light blue stripes, white shorts and blue socks. Everton wear their customary home kit of blue shirts, white shorts and white socks.
Not long now: 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 don’t win at Goodison,” he states.
Thomas Tuchel speaks: ““It helps having the big day coming and so the focus has been fully on Everton,” he says of his side’s preparations. “That helped us to calm down, calm down doing hard work and focus.
Asked what Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly bring to Chelsea, he says “personality and quality”. He adds that the duo have “proven it for big clubs, Raheem has proven it in the Premier League over and over again.”
Frank Lampard speaks: “The fans have helped – they’re here before the game again, we can’t expect it every time, but it’s great to see,” he tells Sky Sports. “We ended up in a difficult position last season and we don’t want to be there again but one thing we know is that Everton has to be a team and a club that fights on the pitch in the right way.”
Those teams: There are four debutants in the starting line-ups, with James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil starting for Everton, while Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling make their first official starts in the livery of Chelsea.
Signed from Rangers last season, Nathan Patterson lines up at right wing-back for Everton in what is only his second start for the club after undergoing ankle surgery not too long after his arrival. Ben Chilwell is back for Chelsea following his lengthy spell on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Mina, Godfrey, Mykolenko, Gray, Doucoure, Iwobi, McNeil, Gordon.
Subs: Holgate, Keane, Allan, Begovic, Alli, Gbamin, Ruben Vinagre, Warrington, Mills.
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly, James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Sterling.
Subs: 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 Burnley old boys Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski to Goodison Park, while Ruben Vinaigre is also in on loan from Sporting Lisbon. All three are available for selection today.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert- Lewin is facing six weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury he picked up in training earlier this week, while Salomon Rondon misses out this afternoon through a suspension he’s carried over from last season. Seamus Coleman, Tom Davies, Andre Gomes and Andros Townsend are also out with various injuries.
Having lost Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, and with Marcos Alonso also looking to be on his way to the Camp Nou, Chelsea have brought in Kalidou Koulibali and Marc Cucarella to bolster their defence.
Further up front, Raheem Sterling and Carney Chukwuemeka have arrived in the hope of filling their boots with goals. Rumoured to be on his way back to RB Leipzig, enthusiasm’s Timo Werner is Chelsea’s only fitness doubt as he’s suffering from a hamstring injury.
Goodison Park is the venue for what those of us with no imagination are lazily labelling the Frank Lampard derby. Having kept Everton up last season, the former Chelsea midfielder-turned-manager is in the hot-seat for his first full season in charge at Goodison Park, even he has no shortage of detractors who give him little or no chance of seeing out the campaign.
Under new ownership who seem happy to throw money around like confetti, this promises to be an intriguing first season in the post-Abramovich era for Chelsea. It kicks off on Merseyside at 5.30pm (BST)| but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.