Preview: Everton vs Arsenal – prediction, team news, line-ups

Preview: Everton vs Arsenal – prediction, team news, line-ups

Arsenal will resume their Premier League campaign with a tricky trip to Goodison Park, where they will face bottom-half underachievers Everton in Sunday’s enticing encounter.

The Merseysiders have had precious little to cheer about so far this season, but fans eager to witness their side in action against last season’s runners-up can buy Everton tickets from Seatsnet.com ahead of the clash.

The Toffees have endured a massively underwhelming start to the 2023/24 campaign as they find themselves languishing in the bottom three of the division’s rankings.

Sean Dyche’s side are one of only five teams in the English top flight yet to register a victory this season, picking up just one point from their opening four Premier League fixtures.

They failed to muster a positive result in each of their first three games, posting defeats against Fulham, Aston Villa, and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Their fortunes seemed to be headed in a similar direction when they fell behind 1-0 to Doncaster Rovers in the first half of their Carabao Cup second-round encounter against the English fourth-tier side. 

However, late goals from summer signings Beto and Arnaut Danjuma spared their blushes, although their performance did little to inspire confidence in their ability to turn their ill fortunes around.

Their solitary point so far came from a 2-2 draw against newly-promoted Sheffield United just before the international break.

Nevertheless, they will fancy their chances of breaking their abysmal start to the campaign when Arsenal come visiting, considering Dyche picked up his first win as Everton gaffer at home to the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s side have been less than spectacular so far, but they have gotten the job done at every turn, with a 2-2 draw at Fulham the only blemish to their near-perfect record.

The frustrating draw against their local rivals came after back-to-back narrow victories over Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace, winning 2-1 and 1-0 respectively. 

However, the Gunners looked to have turned an exciting leaf following their thrilling triumph over Manchester United before the international break.

Marcus Rashford and Martin Odegaard cancelled each other out in a matter of seconds before late goals from FIFA Men’s Player of the Year nominee Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus sealed a vital win for Arsenal.

Riding the momentum of the exciting victory, Arteta’s side will unquestionably be looking to build on their previous success when they travel to Merseyside. 

However, Goodison Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners over the last few years, going five visits without a victory (D1, L4).

While there will be an element of doubt at the back of their minds, Sunday’s trip presents Arsenal with a golden opportunity to snap their Goodison Park voodoo, with Everton lacking any form of attacking cutting edge.

Match Preview

Everton have been somewhat unfortunate in both of their home games thus far, but their performances haven’t been as lacklustre as the results suggest.

They are underperforming with regards to expected goals (xG) – more than any other Premier League side this season – netting approximately five goals fewer than their xG predicts (2 goals scored, 7.3 xG).

However, bagging their first goals of the season at United could serve as a morale boost for their attackers, potentially adding the missing firepower and clinical edge in the final third.

Both of Everton’s home defeats have come by a 1-0 scoreline, and only three times in their storied top-flight history have they lost each of their first three league games at Goodison Park.

Facing Arsenal could boost their confidence in avoiding an unwanted record as they have emerged victorious in four of their last five home league games against the Gunners (D1), including a three-game winning streak.

Dyche has won just two of his 16 Premier League games against Arsenal (D3, L11), with his sides scoring just seven goals in those games and never tallying more than one per match.

One of his two victories came in his debut as Everton gaffer, and Dyche will fancy his chances of thwarting his Spanish counterpart again with the full force of the club faithful behind the Toffees.

Arsenal will have a bone to pick with Everton, considering they haven’t won at the stadium since October 2017, picking up just one point in five visits, including February’s defeat that derailed their title aspirations.

Since the start of last season, the Gunners have kept more away clean sheets than any other side in the Premier League (11).

They have also won a joint league-high 13 games on the road, with only defending champions Manchester City (17) conceding fewer goals than the Gunners (18).

However, Arsenal’s recent away record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, having emerged victorious in just two of their last six fixtures away from the Emirates (L2, D2) stretching back to last season.

That said, their last clash with Everton ended in a four-goal mauling, and recent performances from the Toffees suggest they could be powerless to resist another emphatic defeat.

Martin Odegaard could be the man to watch, with only Erling Braut Haaland (17) and Harry Kane (16) scoring more Premier League away goals than the Arsenal skipper since the start of last season (10).

Interestingly, the majority of Odegaard’s goals for Arsenal have come away from home, accounting for 56% of his total Premier League goals (14/25).

Team News

Summer signings Beto and Danjuma have already made their presence felt for Everton, and both are expected to feature in Sunday’s match. 

However, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who performed exceptionally well in this fixture last season, is likely to be unavailable.

Injuries still plague Jack Harrison, Seamus Coleman, and Dele Alli, making them unlikely candidates for the upcoming match, while Dwight McNeil will be eager to earn his first Premier League start of the season.

Arsenal escaped the international break unscathed on the injury front, although the visitors are still without Thomas Partey, who’s set to be out until mid-October with a thigh problem. 

Jurrien Timber remains a long-term absentee as he nurses an anterior cruciate ligament problem, while Gabriel Jesus is vying for his first start of the season.

Everton potential starting line-up:

(4-4-1-1): Jordan Pickford; Nathan Patterson, James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, Ashley Young; Arnaut Danjuma, Idrissa Gueye, Amadou Onana, Dwight McNeil; Abdoulaye Doucoure; Beto.

Arsenal potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard, Fabio Vieira; Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli.

We Say: Everton 0-2 Arsenal

Goodison Park appears to have a strong hold over Arsenal, and although it cannot go on forever, another grind could be in store for the Gunners this weekend.

Given how Everton are playing at the moment, it would be a major shock if Arteta’s side do not end their hoodoo, but they should have no problems maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.

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