Everton v Arsenal
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By Bulldog Drummond
The general consensus is that in not signing anyone in the transfer window Everton did themselves no favours and increased the sense of disorganisation within the club such that rumours of them not having the money to complete the new stadium now abound.
But despite all the expectations of an easy Arsenal win, we should pause for a moment to remember that in recent times Everton have got the better of Arsenal. Indeed of the last seven league meetings between the two sides Arsenal have won just two, Everton have won four and there was a goalless draw in December 2019.
However that second Arsenal win was by five goals to one on 22 May 2022, and hopefully, that will have set the scene for today. And it is interesting to note that through this poor run of seven games Everton only once scored more than one goal in a match, and that when losing 3-2 in 2020. Here’s the video…
In the eight league games prior to that, Everton won just one (December 2016) and Arsenal won the other seven.
For today’s match the Guardian suggests the team will be
White Saliba Gabriel Zinchenko
Ødegaard Partey Xhaka
Saka Nketiah Martinelli
They give us a bench selected from Hein, Turner, Tierney, Tomiyasu, Holding, Vieira, Trossard, Jorginho, Kiwior, Nelson, Smith Rowe, although one or two of those may still be classified as recovering from injury and so it is not 100% certain.
Incidentally, Ødegaard is Arsenal’s top scorer away from home with six goals, including scoring in each of the last three.
However Sean Dyche is a very pesky manager and as Burnley director of violence he lost one of his final five meetings with Arsenal. Mind you he only won one.
But those last five games of Burnley under Dyche were an aberration, for prior to that in 13 games in the League and FA Cup, Arsenal won 11 and one was a draw. So the fact is Dyche with his raging negativity managed to frustrate Arsenal during the Arteta rebuild, but that does mean this rebuilt Arsenal team will succumb to what will undoubtedly be ultra-negative tactics that will make earlier Everton games this season look positively joyful.
In his last 15 league games with Burnley, Dyche’s side won just four games and drew two others and it was with much relief to most supporters of other teams that the wretched side finally left the Premier League. Sadly they are now once more top of the Championship – but under new management, they are now scoring (55 goals in 28 league games).
The Racing Post give us a team of …
White, Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko;
Odegaard, Jorginho, Xhaka;
Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Sports Mole don’t have any innovations in the player selection but they do set out the line up differently as a 4-2-3-1, although this Arsenal team is so fluid I am not sure we can say 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 will be the formation.
White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;
Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli;
And that 4-2-3-1 with those self-same players turns up in the Radio Times as well. And in 90min too, so at that point we stopped searching – it is one of those games where there is general agreement as to who is in the team.
Whatever happens today (and everyone seems to be expecting an Arsenal win, with most of the pundits going for 0-2 to Arsenal – although we went for 1-2 based on the home and away form) Arsenal will of course still be top of the league.
The other fixtures today are
- Aston Villa v Leicester City
- Brentford v Southampton
- Brighton and Hove Albion v AFC Bournemouth
- Manchester United v Crystal Palace
- Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool
- Newcastle United v West Ham United
- Nottingham Forest v Leeds United
- Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
The upset could be a draw at Wolverhampton simply because Liverpool’s away form is wretched, and we are backing Manchester City to beat Tottenham, given that Tottenham have already been beaten at their shining new wonderful incredible amazing stadium four times this season.
So we are going to be very silly and predict a league table after this weekend’s matches which reads
You can of course have a jolly laugh at our expense when we get all of that wrong – but then we do like to give value for money (remembering you are not paying to read this). Although hopefully we have got the Arsenal result right.
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