Everton host an in-form Arsenal on Tuesday as Ronald Koeman hopes for his team to recapture their early season form.
Everton’s form has fallen harder than Humpty Dumpty. After a stellar start to the season, the Toffees have seen a remarkable reversal in their fortunes. Ronald Koeman’s side have recorded just 1 win in the last 10 outings, and a 3-2 defeat away defeat to Watford have worsened things for Koeman with Everton fans criticizing the former Southampton manager.
Arsenal are on a really remarkable run. The Gunners dispatched Stoke City 3-1 over the weekend and were temporarily atop the Premier League table. Arsene Wenger would hope his side carries their good form into the game but would be equally wary of the quality that Everton possess, despite the recent contrasting run of form.
A win here for Everton would not only arrest the rut the Toffees currently find themselves in, but also serve the purpose of giving the club, the squad and the fans a kick in morale for matches to come. Arsenal, on the other hand, would love to keep their impeccable run going further into the season and would also keep the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the table.
The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the fixture and the news surrounding the matchup.
Team News & Tactics
Ronald Koeman is set to be without three players again with Matthew Perrington, Yannick Bolasie and Muhamed Besic all still out on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Arouna Kone will be assessed before kick-off and shall be included in the squad only if he passes the late fitness test.
Elsewhere, Ross Barkley may be restored into the starting lineup as a number 10 while the absence of Yannick Bolasie means that Aaron Lennon is likely to be handed a start. Romelu Lukaku is set to lead the Toffees’ front-line and the Belgian, along with Idrissa Gueye, have been the only bright rays in the recent dark times at Goodison Park.
Probable Lineup ( 4-2-3-1 ): Stekelenburg; Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines; Barry, Gueye; Deulofeu, Barkley, Lennon; Lukaku
Shkodran Mustafi is set to be on the sidelines for the whole of December after having sustained an injury over the weekend, which means a likely start at the centre of the defence for Brazilian Gabriel Paulista. Mathieu Debuchy and Per Mertesacker are the other two absentees in the defence for Arsene Wenger.
Elsewhere, the likes of Santi Cazorla, Yaya Sanogo and Chuba Akpom are confirmed to be on the sidelines with injuries while Danny Welbeck is also set to miss the fixture, even though the former Manchester United striker has returned from his injury, with the game coming too early for the England international.
Aaron Ramsey is also a major doubt for the game with a hamstring problem which means that Wenger is likely to deploy the duo of Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin as the double pivot in the midfield.
Probable Lineup ( 4-2-3-1 ): Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Xhaka; Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi; Sanchez
1. Arsenal win @ 1.85
2. Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 1.75
1. Everton have won just 1 fixture of their last 18 outings against Arsenal, with the win coming in a 3-0 result in April 2014.
2. Arsenal are yet to lose on a Tuesday in the Premier League since their defeat to Liverpool in 2006, winning 10 and drawing 7 of them.
3. Everton are Arsenal’s favourite opponents with the Gunners having won against Everton 29 times, more than against any other side.
4. It is the battle of the undefeated with Everton yet to be beaten at home this season while Arsenal are yet to lose on their travels in the current campaign.
5. Romelu Lukaku has had a hand in 12 of Everton’s last 15 goals in the Premier League, scoring 9 and assisting 3.
Everton 2 – 3 Arsenal
Everton are in a dire state. Their results have just not been up to par and the Toffees’ faithful may be set for further disappointment if Ronald Koeman is unable to pump his squad up in time.
Everton are in need of a spirited performance and it may just arrive on Tuesday against Arsenal. Romelu Lukaku remains a threat for the Toffees and the goals are set to flow in at Goodison Park. But Arsenal’s recent form may just be enough for them to tiptoe over Everton and secure another win to keep their run going.
The real fear that lingers is how many defeats will the Everton board witness before they put an end to Koeman’s career – a career that had a brilliant start with promise of greatness but seems to falling short of expectations.