Arsenal host Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday in the English Premier League. A possible five-point lead at the top of the table is at stake for the Gunners. They were beaten by the Toffees just four weeks ago and won this fixture 5-1 last season. Everton are the league’s lowest scorer with 17 scores in 24 matches.
The Gunners had two impressive wins on January, 2-0 at Tottenham and 3-2 versus Man Utd. A serious blip followed though as they went winless in four matches in all competitions (three in the league). A 1-0 FA Cup loss at Man City preceded a 1-0 loss at Everton after a set-piece goal was conceded.
A 1-1 home draw with Brentford saw them somewhat robbed by VAR before playing really well but losing 3-1 at home to title rivals, Man City. Mikel Arteta’s have bounced back like possible champions. They scored two injury-time goals to win 4-2 at Aston Villa having trailed twice. Last time out, they limited Leicester to one shot in 90 minutes to win 1-0 at King Power Stadium.
Arsenal Team News
Arteta has two injuries for this match, both long-term problems. Gabriel Jesus and Mohamed Elneny are out for this match. Up front, Leandro Trossard could get another start as a false nine with Eddie Nketiah remaining on the bench.
The rest of the side picks itself except in the holding role where Thomas Partey is fit again. Jorginho will come under pressure for his place but could start this one with Partey used as a substitute.
The Gunners will be hugely motivated to take three points. A draw would feel like a loss and they’ve been counting on this game in hand for a while.
Arteta’s side will attack and should the scores be level, an extra attacker could come on to chase the win. At the same time, they will be wary of Everton’s set plays and threat on transitions.
Everton were on a run of one win in 12 when Frank Lampard was sacked. He has overseen six losses in seven so Sean Dyche took over, aiming to keep the Merseyside club in the top flight. He immediately made a difference as a well-drilled side won 1-0 at home against Arsenal in a deserved victory.
A relatively 2-0 defeat at Liverpool followed as they barely laid a glove on their cross-city rivals. They bounced back to make it successive wins at Goodison by beating Leeds 1-0, limiting their fellow relegation strugglers to just 0.27 xG in each half. Last time out, they lost 2-0 at home to Aston Villa after leaking twice in the final 30 minutes.
Everton Team News
Sean Dyche has a fair number of injuries for this match, but many are fringe players: Andros Townsend (out long-term), James Garner, and right-back Nathan Patterson. The big one is Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front. He wasn’t back in training yet before the last match and is unlikely to be risked for this clash.
Young forward Ellis Simms and Neil Maupay will battle for the number nine role, with the latter expected to start. Michael Keane, who worked with Dyche at Burnley, is fit again and could be an option to replace Conor Coady after the latter’s recent form struggles.
The Toffees would certainly a point from this match. A point would take them level with Leeds albeit not out of the relegation zone.
It’ll be a hard-running setup as it was in the win against this opponent four weeks ago. Everton will be compact defensively and look to load the box on crosses and set-pieces as their main attacking avenue.
Arsenal have won 11 of their last 14 home EPL matches (two draws)
Arsenal scored 2+ goals in 11 of their last 14 home league matches
Arsenal have lost just 1 of their last 26 home EPL games against Everton (W21, D4).
Everton have won just 2 of their last 28 away EPL matches (lost 19, drew 7)
Arteta vs Dyche matches have seen Under 1.5 goals in 5 of their 6 meetings
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Everton’s last 5 EPL matches
Arsenal absolutely have to win this match with City breathing down their necks. A tight match is predicted but the Gunners are facing the league’s most goal-shy team. A narrow victory to nil looks like the most likely outcome.
Best Bet: Arsenal win and under 3.5 goals at 2.00
Alternative Bet: Arsenal clean sheet at 1.83
Value Bet: Arsenal win and under 2.5 goals at 3.25