Everton vs Chelsea: Paul Merson gives first Premier League prediction of the season

Chelsea will start the Premier League season with an away clash against Everton at the Goodison Park on Saturday evening.

Frank Lampard’s side defeated Chelsea 1-0 at Goodison Park last season, back in May, as the Toffees fought to stay in the Premier League.

Ahead of this weekend’s clash, Paul Merson is backing Chelsea to win the tie 2-1, but the pundit believes it would be a difficult game for Chelsea.

“Both these Premier League teams struggled in pre-season,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

“Everton’s a hard place to visit, but they’ve been really poor over the past month.

“Chelsea should play Kai Havertz through the centre – he brings it together for them. I don’t think he’s going to score more than 20 goals for them.

“Chelsea will have to rely massively on Mason Mount and their midfield to score, and they’re not renowned for that. Raheem Sterling has scored goals for Manchester City, but playing for Chelsea is a different kettle of fish.

“I don’t know where the goals are coming from at Chelsea, and that’s my problem with them.

“With Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen gone, they are weaker than they were last season. Koulibaly has experience behind him, but he’s played in Italy – their football is not as quick and electric as Premier League football.

“Everton will make it hard for them, and Tuchel will need to grind out a result here.

“Chelsea haven’t been great in pre-season, but I think they have a little too much for Everton this weekend.”