While having plenty of exciting attacking options at his disposal, Frank Lampard has also highlighted the threat England and Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin could present when we meet at Goodison Park this evening.
Speaking ahead of our Premier League fixture, our head coach discussed the respect he has for the Toffees talisman, who is competing with our own No.9, Tammy Abraham, for a Three Lions spot
Abraham has impressed again for the Blues this season, with five goals and six assists in all competitions, while Calvert-Lewin is Everton’s top scorer, and Lampard believes having two young strikers in form is a real positive for the national team.
‘It’s an exciting battle and I’ve professed my love for Tammy enough as my player,’ the boss said.
‘What I do respect about Calvert-Lewin is his career feels like a career he has worked for. I know that sounds simple but it’s not a straightforward path. Not everybody gets into their first teams at 17 or 18, other than the Wayne Rooneys and Michael Owens of the world.
‘Other players have to find different ways and he has shown himself last season, and particularly this season, consistently as an all-round striker with every part of his game, a real threat.’
Looking at his own team in general, Lampard is impressed with our set-piece play, both in the attacking and defensive phase. We currently rank first in the league for corners leading to goals with eight, and have only conceded three goals from set-pieces this season.
‘Set pieces are easier to nail down because you balance off work and personnel,’ he explained.
‘We have seen that, and we have always worked and focused the lads on wanting to improve them. Once you get the work and the personnel then you move onto the mindset of it, and trying to be the best you can.’
We head into Saturday’s Premier League clash in strong form, comfortably defeating Leeds in our last league game, and hoping to keep up with the pace at the top of the table with another three points. Goodison Park has not always been a happy hunting ground for the Blues though and Lampard was quick to highlight last season’s defeat as a marker for how far his side has come since.
The last time Chelsea visited Everton, current assistant manager Duncan Ferguson was the caretaker coach and led the Toffees to a 3-1 victory.
‘I think we’ve progressed. It was an experience for the players and one we didn’t handle very well on the pitch..
‘We were very aware of what we were going into with the nature of the game, Everton’s position and Duncan Ferguson in charge. It felt like a physical game and they beat us on that front.
‘We’ll have to show that on the pitch [this time] and it would be wrong of me to cite just the physical nature of this Everton team because they are technically a very good team.’