Everton host Arsenal at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday. The hosts have beaten Chelsea and Leicester in their last two matches. On the other hand, Arsenal are in terrible form with no wins in six matches in the league and only one win in nine. Can Mikel Arteta get a crucial result at his former club?
Everton have seen improved results after an alarming run of form which saw one win and four losses across seven matches. Their spell included defeats to Southampton, Newcastle, Man Utd, and Leeds. Everton then drew 1-1 at Burnley.
They turned their form around by beating Chelsea 1-0 at home and winning 2-0 at Leicester in a fine performance. Those wins have seen them move into 5th position.
Everton Team News
Everton have had injuries to deal with at fullback as both Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman have been injured. The latter could return for this game but is unlikely to start as Mason Holgate has been playing very well as right back.
Carlo Ancelotti suffered a blow in their last match as Allan went off with a hamstring injury and will miss this match. Jean-Phillippe Gbamin and Fabian Delph are also missing in central midfield. James Rodriguez is expected to be missing on the right flank but Alex Iwobi has been in excellent form.
Everton’s turnaround in results have come from a much more pragmatic approach. Ancelotti has been using four central defenders in his back four with Holgate at right-back and Ben Godfrey at left-back. Alex Iwobi’s defensive nous has arguably been positive in their last two matches due to backs-to-the-wall setups.
Against Arsenal, the Toffees to sit back, mark and press aggressively in midfield and then spring counters through Iwobi, Richardson, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. They also have a massive team height-wise and can look to target set plays. Expect Everton to go for the three points at home.
Arsenal are a bit of a shambles right now. They sit in 15th place, just five points above the relegation zone. Mikel Arteta’s side have one win in their last nine league matches and have failed to score in six of those matches. They only have one clean sheet in their last six matches in the league.
A 3-0 home loss to Aston Villa was followed by a 0-0 draw at Leeds and a 2-1 home loss to Wolves. They then tamely lost 2-0 at Tottenham then saw a 1-0 home loss to Burnley. That defeat came after Granit Xhaka’s red card.
In their last match, Arsenal drew 1-1 at home to Southampton. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised to end a six-match scoring drought and Arteta’s side held on for a point. That was despite playing the final 30 minutes with ten men after Gabriel was red-carded.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal are without Gabriel at center-back and Granit Xhaka in midfield due to suspensions after red cards. Hector Bellerin returns to the reckoning after suspension but Thomas Partey remains out injured in central midfield.
David Luiz is likely to replace Gabriel in defence alongside Rob Holding whilst Bellerin is likely to reclaim his place at right-back despite Ainsley Maitland-Niles playing well against Southampton.
Arsenal need a win but this is a difficult away game. Mikel Arteta would probably take a draw if you offered it to him right now. The Gunners played a lot more direct than usual against Southampton in terms of getting the ball into their front players with early passes. A conservative approach is expected with a back five out of possession with Kieran Tierney on the left of a back three.
Arsenal have lost 6 of their last 9 PL matches
Arsenal have kept 1 clean sheet in their last 6 PL matches
Arsenal have failed to score in 6 of their last 9 PL matches
Everton have kept consecutive clean sheets after 10 PL matches without a shutout
Everton have scored in 10 of their last 11 home PL matches
Everton have won their last 2 PL matches
This could be an abrasive game but Everton have a set game plan for teams who want to take the initiative. They are favourites to beat an Arsenal side currently in a genuine crisis.
Best Bet: Everton win to zero at 2.90
Alternative Bet: Everton to win by 1 goal at 3.10
Correct Score Tip: Everton 1-0 Arsenal at 7.75