Raheem Sterling almost certain to miss Everton clash after Thursday reveal on Chelsea star
Raheem Sterling is “almost certainly” out of Chelsea’s clash with Everton after Gareth Southgate’s England squad was revealed, Nizaar Kinsella reports.
The attacker scored as Graham Potter’s side knocked Borussia Dortmund out of the Champions League last week (7 March) but was then absent from the match-day squad as they won at Leicester on Saturday (11 March).
With the Three Lions squad named for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Ukraine and Italy on Thursday, the 28-year-old’s name was conspicuous by its absence, and Evening Standard journalist Kinsella reports that the England boss has confirmed it is due to injury, meaning he is likely missing when the Toffees travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday (18 March).
Reporting via Twitter on Thursday afternoon (16 March) Kinsella wrote: “Southgate confirms Sterling is not fit, he would have been selected if available.
“Sterling will almost certainly now miss Chelsea’s match at home to Everton this weekend.”
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Given the wild spending in West London since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over the club it is hardly an emergency for the England man to missing from their squad.
But from an Everton point of view it is one less problem to worry about for a player who has been involved in 192 Premier League goals to not be involved.
Sean Dyche has proven that he can get his side to battle for wins at Goodison Park but a trip to West London is a different matter entirely.
Despite a good record at Goodison Park, Stamford Bridge is not the happiest of hunting grounds for Everton, and you have to go back to a penalty shoot-out win in the FA Cup on 19 February 2011 the last time they came away from the home of Chelsea victorious, and haven’t won outright since 26 November 1994 at the stadium.
But if Dyche can keep grinding out the wins at home then a draw, which the Toffees have managed their fair share of away in this fixture, would not be the worst outcome.
Potter’s side are arguably at their lowest ebb since Jose Mourinho self-destructed on the way out of his second spell in charge, but have found some form just in time to face Dyche’s relegation-threatened side, with three wins in a row in all competitions.
Still, it’s Everton’s first visit there under the former Burnley boss and an early goal in the mould of Dwight McNeil‘s first-minute screamer against Brentford last week would make the home crowd uncomfortable, and an upset win would massively boost the survival hopes.