Arsenal could consolidate their position at third with a win over Everton at Goodison Park although the Gunners need massive improvements on their away form.
When it comes to a top four place, Arsenal are the club that are well placed to achieve one considering their end of season run in. Tottenham’s win over Crystal Palace at their new stadium ensured they temporarily climbed above their North London rivals, although a win for Arsenal against Everton will ensure they take back that position.
Arsenal come into this game with all the confidence in the world, but their away form will be worrying every fan concerned. The Gunners have been imperious at home, although on the road, they have only won five games all season. While it is still not as bad as last term, they would rely on their impressive record against Everton to try and see this one out.
Everton are enjoying one of their best spells in the Premier League this season after recording back-to-back victories only for the second time all campaign when they beat West Ham United last weekend. Marco Silva’s men are on an impressive run themselves, losing just once in their previous five games after losing four of the last five prior to this spell.
Their primary source of confidence would be their last clash with a ‘Big Six’ side as they beat Chelsea 2-0 at home, thus ending a 25-game winless run against such an opposition, although they face an Arsenal side against whom they have lost seven of the previous eight games, and have lost the last four in a row. Beating Arsenal would only improve on their end of season finish, although it’s a tough ask.
Team News & Tactics
Everton boss Marco Silva does not have too many worries with his squad ahead of the Arsenal game. Only Yerry Mina is a doubt and might not feature at all against Arsenal. But all eyes will be on former Arsenal star Theo Walcott, who is set to play from the bench if Silva is to announce an unchanged side.
An unchanged side could mean Dominic Calvert-Lewin will once again feature from the start. The likes of Bernard, who also scored against West Ham should be part of the Starting XI. He will be supported in attack by prolific attacking duo of Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Andre Gomes, who is in the middle of deciding his future has done no harm to disrupt his game time in the starting lineup and will thus, feature.
Silva will go with his trusted formation of four at the back, and while Mina’s presence in the defence will be felt, the manager has the likes of Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane to cover for his absence. Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne will also start as part of the defence, and both will want to enhance on their recent good form.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gueye, Gomes; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin
After limping off against Newcastle United last weekend, Aaron Ramsey has given Arsenal a boost by returning to full training. The Welshman, who has scored six goals in the previous five games against Everton, does look like he’ll play a part after all. Laurent Koscielny is another of those players struggling with injury. The defender is yet to report to training, and the general feeling is that he’ll be missing from the lineup.
Unai Emery does have the option of playing the combination of Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Nacho Monreal in central defence. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac will continue their roles as wing-backs. Granit Xhaka is also another player who is yet to return to training since the international break, and from the look of things, he is likely to miss out.
Lucas Torreira will be serving the last of his three-match ban and with Ramsey seemingly available, the soon-to-leave midfielder will be partnered by Matteo Guendouzi in midfield. Mesut Ozil could be retained in the lineup, and forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette could all start in a fluid attack. Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are options from the bench against Everton.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Leno; Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Kolasinac; Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang
- Everton have lost seven of their last eight Premier League meetings with Arsenal (W1),
- Everton last lost five consecutive games against the Gunners between May 1998 and April 2000.
- Arsenal have beaten Everton 97 times in league matches – more than any side has beaten another in English Football League history.
- Arsenal have scored more Premier League goals against Everton (107) than any side has against another in Premier League history.
- Everton’s victory against Chelsea in their last home game ended a run of 25 Premier League games without a win against ‘Big Six’ sides.
Player to Watch
Arsenal have undergone some major overhauls over the last few seasons, although there remains one player who is such a weapon against Everton. Aaron Ramsey has scored a career-best six goals in the previous five games against the Toffees, and the Welshman would like to stretch that record before he eventually leaves the North Londoners.
Ramsey has shown his importance in the last few matches and provided some much-needed balance to Emery’s side. Yes, he does not have much time at Arsenal, but the Welshman’s spirit and commitment shows that he is ready to give his all for the side. Arsenal will need Ramsey at his best against Everton as the team pushes on for a top-four finish.
Everton 1-2 Arsenal
Everton have a dismal record against Arsenal in the run into this game. The Toffees have lost their last four games against the visitors and have not beaten the North London side in seven of their previous eight ties. That makes Arsenal a clear favourite, although their away form might be a source of concern.
With the top-four race intensifying and Arsenal on top of the others in terms of securing a place, Emery should lead his charges to a decent victory at Goodison Park. Everton have the firepower to trouble the Gunners, but when we consider the overall quality of Arsenal’s team, the North London side will take three points here.