Arsenal host Everton in the English Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. The Gunners need to win and hope that Norwich can beat Tottenham if they want to finish in the top four. Everton secured survival from relegation in their last match and have nothing to play for in this one.
The Gunners looked odds-on to finish in the top four at one stage. After beating Leicester in March, they were six points clear of Spurs with a game in hand. Unfortunately, six losses in the last 11 mean that they will finish fifth if Tottenham gets a draw at Norwich in their final match.
A run of four defeats in five matches proved damaging, especially losing to Southampton – Saints’ only win in the last 11 matches and right after losing 6-0 to Chelsea – but they bounced back well with four wins in five. Arsenal won at Chelsea and West Ham and home to Man Utd and Leeds. That latter result left them four clear of Spurs with three to play. However, they lost 3-0 to Tottenham and then collapsed in a terrible 2-0 loss at Newcastle on Monday.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal have Rob Holding available again after a red card but Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu are injured at fullback. Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares are set to deputise. Thomas Partey will miss this match in midfield too.
Mikel Arteta has a small squad and not many avenues to change things up. Alexandre Lacazette could come in to start up front and Gabriel Martinelli is set for a recall after some below-par outings from Emile Smith Rowe.
Arsenal will want to finish the season well in front of their fans and take all three points. After that, they can only hope for Norwich to perform a miracle and beat Tottenham.
The Gunners are now particularly attacking or risk-taking early in matches but Arteta will withdraw defenders for extra forwards if chasing the result. Granit Xhaka often moves in a back three when the side is trailing.
The Toffees have secured their Premier League status for next season under Frank Lampard. His 17 matches in charge may only have brought six wins but the side have rallied late in the season and look a much more together club. Their last 11 league matches have seen five victories and they’ve lost just two in eight.
A 1-0 home win against Chelsea was followed by a 2-1 win at Leicester. They then traveled to already-relegated Watford but could only draw 0-0. A 3-2 home loss with ten men to Brentford followed, making their home match against Crystal Palace a crucial one. They trailed 2-0 at half-time but came back to win 3-2 for the first time since the Premier League began.
Everton Team News
With survival secured and the emotion of the match on Thursday, Frank Lampard’s XI is difficult to predict. Jarrad Branthwaite is back after suspension but Salomon Rondon is suspended. Andros Townsend and Nathan Patterson are all out injured and neither Fabian Delph, and Yerry Mina are not expected to be risked.
If changes are made, then Dele Alli and Demarai Gray are the most likely to come in. Allan could also get a start.
The Toffees are much better at home with their fervent support and tend to struggle on the road. With nothing to play for, they could be freed up to enjoy themselves or it could be a tired performance after the relief of avoiding the drop.
Lampard would take a draw in a heartbeat and will probably be okay to play well, not get beaten heavily, and avoid injuries.
Arsenal have lost 6 of their last 11 PL matches
Arsenal have lost 3 of their last 17 home PL matches (W12, D2)
Arsenal have conceded in 6 of their last 7 home PL matches
Arsenal have lost their last 3 matches against Everton (all competitions)
Everton have lost 12 of their last 16 away PL matches
Everton conceded in 15 away PL matches in a row before a clean sheet last time out
Everton have lost just 2 of their last 8 PL matches (W4, D2)
This would have been a very tough match for Arsenal had Everton needed a result for survival, especially considering three losses in a row to the Toffees. However, the Gunners should have enough to win at home in this one with fresher legs and more motivation (slim top-four hopes and final home match of the season).
Best Bet: Both Teams to Score at 1.80
Alternative Bet: Arsenal win and over 2.5 goals at 1.95
Correct Score Tip: Arsenal 2-1 Everton at 15.00