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3 things Chelsea must do against Everton to bounce back from Man Utd loss


Wednesday brought Chelsea fans another all too predictable defeat in the Premier League.

The Blues travelled to Old Trafford to face a Manchester United side seemingly in woeful spirits and hell-bent on self destructing at every opportunity. However, when the two crisis clubs faced off, it was Chelsea who looked the most disjointed, losing 2-1 to Erik ten Hag’s side.

After a slightly fortuitous but hard-fought victory over Brighton last weekend that had somewhat repaired the damage following a 4-1 mauling at Newcastle United, it was another devastating blow to Mauricio Pochettino and his players.

So, what do Chelsea need to do to get the better of Everton this Sunday after another disheartening defeat?

Craig Pawson

Conor Gallagher was the latest Chelsea player to lose their head / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

After Everton’s 3-0 victory over Newcastle on Thursday evening, Goodison Park will be rocking when Chelsea come to visit. One thing the Blues must do on their trip to Merseyside is keep their cool.

Chelsea have struggled with disciplinary issues this season, amassing 47 yellow cards and three red cards, with Conor Gallagher the latest to be sent off. The midfielder’s ridiculous second booking against the Seagulls almost proved costly, while captain Reece James also saw red during the heavy defeat at St James’ Park.

Earlier in the season, Pochettino even admitted: “There have been too many [yellow cards]. The rules have changed this season. We touch the ball from here to there and get too many yellow cards. That is a tic we need to change. We need to be clever.”

Everton are likely to use their physical advantage against the Blues and the Goodison Park crowd could suck Chelsea into a battle of aggression this Sunday.

The Toffees are in good form and, despite a ten-point deduction, have escaped the relegation zone thanks to some spirited displays. If Chelsea get drawn into a physical duel with Sean Dyche’s side, they could make life unnecessarily difficult for themselves.

Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea have struggled against deep defences / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Chelsea may have spent a gazillion pounds on their attacking options in recent windows, but they have still continually struggled to penetrate low blocks this season.

Looking at two of the home defeats they have suffered this season to Nottingham Forest and Brentford, the former finishing 1-0 and the latter 2-0, the Blues have been unable to break down deep defences. Not only this, but they have been susceptible to quick counter-attacks.

Pochettino is likely to face a similarly low block against Everton on Sunday and his Chelsea side will have to be more adept at breaking through a deep line, without simply taking long-range efforts from outside the penalty area.

Players like Cole Palmer and Raheem Sterling will be crucial in unlocking the Everton defence, while Enzo Fernandez could play a big role in a deeper midfield position. When Chelsea do bypass the Everton defence, they will need Nicolas Jackson to be less wasteful than he has for the majority of the season.

Chelsea FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League

Chelsea must be wary of Everton’s height / MB Media/GettyImages

Chelsea have conceded from headers in their past four consecutive matches, not a particularly good omen when travelling to Goodison Park. While Everton have only scored two headed goals this season, they have one of the tallest teams in the division.

The likes of Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill should be capable of winning aerial duels, with the former having actually won 77.8% of his aerial battles this term in the Premier League. Colwill has also won 74.4% of his contests in the air as well, meaning there is no obvious reason why Chelsea have been so susceptible to crosses into the box.

However, with the likes of Beto, James Tarkowski and Abdoulaye Doucoure, Everton have plenty of height to hurt the Blues’ backline. Perhaps James and Marc Cucurella need to do a better job of denying crossing opportunities in wide areas, while Chelsea’s discipline problem could lead to them giving away unnecessary set-pieces.

Regardless, Chelsea can brace themselves for an aerial bombardment against Everton.

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