Chelsea's potential starting XI for opening day fixture vs. Everton
As far as narrative goes in the list of Premier League opening fixtures for the 2022/23 season, Chelsea facing Everton and Frank Lampard at Goodison Park is probably up there in terms of an explosive storyline.
The Toffees beat the west London giants in early May last season, a win that kept Everton up in the Premier League and arguably kept Lampard his job with the Merseyside giants. And now, ahead of the 22/23 campaign, Chelsea will be looking for revenge.
After their pitiful bid to challenge for the title, Thomas Tuchel will be looking to deliver on the expectations set by him on new owners Todd Boehly, with the German manager arguably on his last chance to fight for the Premier League if Chelsea traditions are anything to go by.
Indeed, an away trip to Everton will be a tough test for Chelsea, yet what could the Blues’ starting XI on the day look like, with Tuchel expected to make several signings between now and the opening fixture of the season.
Kalidou Koulibaly forms new cornerstone in Chelsea’s defence
With Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger both leaving Chelsea this summer, a new centre-back is a must for Tuchel’s side, and according to the latest reports, Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly is a top target for the Blues.
One of the best centre-backs in world football at the prime of his career, Koulibaly could be an excellent signing for Chelsea and a great replacement for Rudiger, who developed incredibly under Tuchel during their 18 months working together.
With the opening fixture against Everton coming along fast, though, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Koulibaly was the only new defensive signing for Chelsea at this time, meaning Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah start at the back with Edouard Mendy in goal.
Denzil Dumfries signs but starts on the bench to face Everton
Rumours are currently rife of Romelu Lukaku returning to Inter Milan on loan, with defender Denzil Dumfries reportedly being touted as an option to leave in the other direction and join Chelsea as an option at right-back.
Whilst the Netherlands international is a solid player who would start for many top clubs in Europe, there’s no denying that Reece James is still Chelsea’s undisputed right-back if Dumfries was to join, with the England star simply too good to drop in this XI.
As for the rest of the midfield, a fully fit N’Golo Kante starts alongside Jorginho, who is now looking likely to remain at Stamford Bridge despite reports that the Italian could return to Serie A, with Ben Chilwell, back to fitness, starting in the left-wingback position over Marcos Alonso.
Ousmane Dembele replaces Christian Pulisic in the Chelsea attack
After splashing out on a club-record fee for Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker looks set to return to Inter this summer in what could possibly be one of Chelsea’s worst signings to date, meaning Kai Havertz will likely retain his unorthodox role as the Blues leading man up front.
With Mason Mount coming off another incredible year for the Blues, the England international is a shoo-in to retain his spit for Chelsea against Everton, with fans hopeful that the Cobham graduate can once again enjoy another productive year in terms of goals and assists.
Completing the attack is Ousmane Dembele, who remains strongly linked with a move to Chelsea and could replace Christian Pulisic out on the wing, with the American international seemingly hinting in recent weeks that he is open to leaving Stamford Bridge after another frustrating season for the former Borussia Dortmund star.