By George Overhill

6th Aug, 2022 | 5:10pm

Stan Collymore predicts Everton Premier League final position ahead of Chelsea clash

Stan Collymore has predicted how the 2022/23 Premier League table will look in May, including an improved campaign for Everton.

After a turbulent season last term that saw the Toffees escape relegation in the penultimate game with an emotional comeback win against Crystal Palace it has been a mixed summer.

The important free transfer signing of James Tarkowski was offset by the sale of Richarlison, while frustration grew in the market and around the club’s ownership, until an explosion of activity in the past two weeks has seen two new signings arrive and more on the way.

That looks to have been enough to convince Collymore that Frank Lampard’s side are in for a better campaign this year, and should at least be comfortably clear of the drop zone come the end of the season.

Writing on his personal Twitter account on Saturday lunchtime (6 August) he put Everton in 13th place, improving three spots on 2021/22, and well clear of his relegated threesome of Southampton, Fulham and Bournemouth.

Lampard welcomes his former side Chelsea to Goodison for the opening game, having won the corresponding fixture last year, but with a big hole in attack.

Improvement

It’s hardly a glorious finish but in comparison to the turmoil that the club went through for most of last season, with the Rafael Benitez reign and the relegation battle, it is far preferable.

Much is going to depend on what the manager and Kevin Thelwell can do in the transfer market in terms of bringing in a striker in the final weeks of the window.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury has added to an already problem position following the exit of Richarlison, and loan move for Ellis Simms.

Defence has been improved, and could yet be further if Wolves captain Conor Coady arrives, while midfield has suddenly turned into a strength with the imminent arrivals of Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana.

A positive result against Chelsea, which has proven to be eminently possible at home in recent seasons, would set things up well for what everyone will hope is a much-improved season.

Recent developments have lifted the expectations considerably after what had been a frustrating window, so if that gap in attack can be filled there has to be optimism that even better could be achieved than Collymore’s prediction.