It’s a highly anticipated clash between two teams struggling to find form and comfort.
With both new managers, Unai Emery and Marco Silva, trying to work out what their best sides are.
They have their respective problems which include injuries, with either personnel coming back. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Idrissa Gueye and Theo Walcott are all available for Everton but Seamus Coleman will definitely miss the game with a foot injury.
Arsenal’s Treatment room remains overly busy with Konstantinos Mavropanos(groin), Carl Jenkinson(ankle), Laurent Koscielny(right tendon) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles(fracture to left fibula).
Arsenal will have to be mindful of ex-gunner Theo Walcott who has flourished since moving to the toffees and also the link up play with Cenk Tosun, who despite all the promise, has yet to play to his full potential. Then there’s the midfield threat of Gueye and Gylfi Sigurdsson which is likely to cause problems for the Gunners twitchy defence.
It will be an energetic and lively first 20 minutes which may go some way to suggesting which way this fixture will tilt, yet, Arsenal are not exactly inspiring confidence with a number of Jekyll and Hyde performances.
They have been slow to create and lacked purpose and direction at times and Ozil will be key to open the locks to Everton’s defence. I expect Torreira to start, how many times have I suggested that this season? His display against Newcastle indicated that Emery can ill afford to leave him out. He was a constant source of irritation with his quick forward passes and decisive play.
If Emery does exclude him from proceedings, it’s nothing short of negligence. I also want to see him paired with Xhaka because I want to be convinced that the Swiss isn’t just there to make the numbers up. If that’s the case, Ida from the canteen kicked a tennis ball across the Car Park. Perhaps she merits a game.
At this stage of the season both sides are desperate for stability and points. Everton are already looking to be no more than a mid-table side and Arsenal a top six side at best.
The pair need a confidence boost but at least Arsenal squeezed another positive result last time out, whereas Everton’s performance against West Ham saw them soundly beaten and out of salts.
On paper, Arsenal should win comfortably by at least two goals but Silva will try to make it an uncomfortable afternoon by cutting off the gunners supply and adding numbers in defence. Should Arsenal take their foot off the gas or decide they’ve already won on paper, it could result in Everton grabbing the points.
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