Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Prediction: Arsenal vs Everton

Verdict: Half Time Home Win

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

Arsenal head into the make-or-break fixture against Everton knowing that even a victory over Toffees might not be enough to guarantee Gunners a top-four finish. With plenty to fight for, Arsene Wenger and his men will be casting glances towards proceedings at Anfield as well.

Arsenal

Sitting fifth in the table with only a point behind Liverpool, Arsenal are facing a terrible scenario of ending the season without a place in Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in Arsene Wenger’s era. The Gunners did their part with an improved run of performances and straight victories over the past four Premier League rounds, but it might still not be enough to rectify all the mistakes from earlier stages of the season. The north London club have been going through a familiar scenario for far too long now, but the miraculous break into the top four might just not be possible this time out. Liverpool are playing relegated Middlesbrough at home and are expected to win and effectively put an end to Arsenal’s dreams, at the same time announcing what is likely to become a turbulent summer at the Emirates. Under-pressure Arsene Wenger is widely expected to renew his contract, but same thing cannot be said with guarantees for first team stars Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the first place, who might end up leaving Gunners after a disappointing season.

Team News

French defender Laurent Koscielny is expected to be fit despite his Achilles problem, whereas Hector Bellerin is also expected to make an appearance against Everton.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the match as Wenger does not want to risk him ahead of the FA Cup final. Aaron Ramsey shook off his knock against Sunderland and will continue to partner Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park.

Everton

The season is as good as over for Everton who cannot go higher or lower than seventh regardless of the outcome at the Emirates. The Toffees still have something to play for as they are searching for the first win at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League and their first double over Arsenal in the last 30 years. A potential win over respectable rivals would be a great way to finish what has been an erratic season for Ronald Koeman’s men. The Dutch manager has made it quite clear that he expects the club management to support him in his attempts to boost the squad this summer and mount a more serious challenge next term by going all in for European places and ever top-four. The Toffees have already been linked with a couple of players, but Ronald Koeman will be keen to solve his in-squad problems before pouncing for potential signings. Team’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku is widely expected to leave Goodison with Manchester United and Chelsea vying for his signature, whereas Ross Barkley is another player who is causing plenty of interest in the market. Should Koeman succeed in keeping the two stars and boosting his squad with a couple of well-established names, Everton could become quite a force to be reckoned with next season.

Team News

Ronald Koeman continues without Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman and Yannick Bolasie.

On the up side, the Irish international James McCarthy could be making his comeback after a hamstring injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Arsenal look set to miss out on Champions League for the 1st time in Wenger’s era
  • Gunners are coming off from four consecutive victories in the Premier League
  • Wenger’s men conceded only one goal during the last four matches
  • Everton are winless in last seven away matches in the Premier League
  • The Toffees are yet to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium

Conclusion

Arsenal are expected to make a strong start to the match, but the enthusiasm could go down if they receive bad news from Anfield, which is why it would be a good idea to bet on anything related to the first half.

Verdict: Half Time Home Win

Best Odds: 17/20

Bookmaker: William Hill

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