Everton vs Arsenal: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Everton have beaten Arsenal just once in the 19 meetings between the teams since the start of the 2007/2008 season, with only five wins in 36 attempts against the London outfit since the turn of the century 16 years ago. In fact, when Arsenal have scored they have lost just twice in the last 25 years when the two sides have met, but this Tuesday evening game will be of vital importance to both sides as Arsenal seek to maintain pressure on table toppers Chelsea whilst Everton desperately seek to turn their season around.
Everton are now on a run of five games without a win after defeat at Vicarage Road against Watford last weekend, causing major concern for Ronald Koeman despite his side scoring twice for the first time in their winless streak. However, they are unbeaten at home so far this season, despite all of their last three games at Goodison Park ending with a 1-1 draw. With just one clean sheet in their last 12 games, Arsenal will fancy their chances of scoring.
Arsenal are on the opposite kind of run and are unbeaten in the Premier League since their opening day defeat to Liverpool at the Emirates. The Gunners have scored 12 goals in their last three games in all competitions and are in red hot form heading into this weekend’s game. The only concern for Arsene Wenger will be that his side have not kept a clean sheet themselves since a 0-0 draw with a very defensive minded Middlesbrough in October.
Everton predicted starting XI Arsenal predicted starting XI
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Kevin Mirallas is likely to be the only victim for Ronald Koeman as he seeks to turn around their dreadful run, with Ross Barkley likely to be given another chance in attack in favour of the Belgian. Ramiro Funes Mori will continue in place of Phil Jagielka in defence.
Arsene Wenger is also likely to make just one change, though his will be enforced as Shkodran Mustafi is forced out through injury, with his replacement likely to be Brazilian Gabriel who will return to his natural position in the centre of defence, with Hector Bellerin now fit enough to start at right back.
Suspensions and Injuries
Yannick Bolasie is expected to be out for the rest of the season in a major blow for the Blues due to his cruciate ligament injury, which is also set to keep midfielder Muhamed Besic unavailable until February at the earliest. Arouna Kone is nearing a return from his knee injury, but this fixture is likely to come too soon for him and Darron Gibson, who is close to overcoming a groin injury.
Arsenal will have to adapt to life without Shkodran Mustafi with their summer signing facing three weeks on the sidelines at least with a hamstring strain. Hector Bellerin is now match fit and expected to start, meaning that the only absences for the Gunners will be Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck and Mathieu Debuchy, who are all expected to return in early 2017, whilst Santi Cazorla is aiming for a March comeback.
Everton have been in woeful form of late but are yet to lose at home in the league, partially thanks to Marouane Fellaini’s penalty contribution against Manchester United. Arsenal’s quality should be enough to overwhelm the Toffees who are running low on confidence and missing a number of key players so our prediction is an Arsenal win.
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