Saturday, October 20, 2018

Prediction: Arsenal vs Everton

Verdict: Arsenal win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to make it five wins on the bounce under new boss Unai Emery, Arsenal will welcome Everton to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.

Arsenal

Starting with Unai Emery’s Arsenal side, while there are still undoubtedly still some defensive issues that need resolving, the Gunners’ 4-2 win against Vorskla in the Europa League means they have now won their last four on the bounce. While Emery’s new side have now managed to come away with three points in five out of their last six matches at the Emirates, their defensive issues will still be a huge concern for the former PSG manager. Arsenal are yet to record a clean sheet in any competition this season, this is their worst record since 1989. However, despite their defensive issues, the Gunners have been in fine goalscoring form. Scoring four on Thursday, they have already found the net nine time in January.  After scoring a brace in midweek, one man to watch for Sunday’s hosts will be forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Team News

Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be assessed after hurting his ankle in Arsenal’s Europa League win.

Fellow midfielder Lucas Torreira took a knock to the knee during that game but the Gunners are hopeful he will be fit.

Everton

As for Marco Silva’s Everton side, although it appeared the Toffees were starting to adjust to life under the former Watford boss, the visitors must now bounce back from their very disappointing performance against West Ham last Sunday. Conceding three against the Hammers and slumping to their first defeat of the season, Everton will be glad to see that £40million summer signing Richarlison is available after serving his suspension. The Brazilian international has three for the season and also grabbed a brace while on international duty earlier in the month. Like Arsenal, although Silva’s side do find themselves sat around mid-table, there are some glaring defensive issues. The Toffees are still looking for their first clean sheet of the season and their recent form away from Goodison is also a huge worry. In fact, Everton have now managed to win just three of their last 29 Premier League away matches.

Team News

Everton defender Yerry Mina could make his debut after overcoming a foot problem, while forward Richarlison returns from suspension.

Defenders Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka are both injured, as is midfielder Andre Gomes.

Michael Keane is back in training following a hairline skull fracture, although this game may come too soon for the centre-back.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in 24 home games against Everton in all competitions (W20, D4).
  • Arsenal have won five of their last six Premier League home games.
  • The Gunners have failed to keep a clean sheet in their opening five games of a top-flight season for the first time since 1988-89. They conceded in each of their first eight games during that season.
  • Everton have won three of their last 29 Premier League away games (D12, L14).
  • They’ve also recorded just one win in their past 13 top-flight games played on a Sunday (D2, L10).

Conclusion

On paper, it has all the makings of a game that will guarantee goals at both ends. With neither side able to record a single clean sheet in any competition so far, we fancy both defences will be asked plenty of questions. While we do expect Everton to once again find the net against a leaky Arsenal back line, there own dreadful defensive record, coupled with their woeful away record could mean another tough Sunday for Marco Silva’s side.

Verdict: Arsenal win and both teams to score

Best Odds: 8/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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