Arsenal vs Everton – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Wednesday 1st March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we examine Everton’s visit to the Emirates Stadium. Everton won the reverse fixture, but are still in trouble. 9 points from 9 for Arsenal? Read on with our Arsenal vs Everton prediction.
Arsenal vs Everton Match Preview
Arsenal enter this game at the Emirates in good form. Following a run where they hadn’t won in three games against Man City, Brentford, and in the reverse of this fixture here, they have won their last two – coming back twice away at Aston Villa and then getting past Leicester at the King Power thanks to a Gabriel Martinelli goal. The Gunners sit sixth in the form table over the previous six, having accumulated 10 points.
At home, Arsenal have been excellent. They have won ten of thirteen and will hope to make it eleven. However, they were defeated in their previous home match – 3-1 to Man City. Arsenal know they have to try to hold their nerve as the title race with the Mancunian club heats up. Two points ahead and with a game in hand, and with City to travel to at the end of April (so the business end of the season), it is vital that Arsenal continue to win and maintain the gap. They have fourteen matches remaining, and if City put a run together, there will be no margin for error – especially with Arsenal’s return to European duties next week.
Everton travel to London desperate for points. They have won two and lost two in the four games since Sean Dyche became manager. This situation is an improvement as Everton are tenth in the form table across this small sample size, but more is needed. A loss at home to Villa following two goals after the hour mark was their 7th defeat in 13 matches at Goodison this season and yet another game where they couldn’t score. Things are even worse away from home – they have won once on their travels this season, back in October.
As the lowest scorers in the league (17) and with Calvert-Lewin (their only reasonably reliable source of goals) out, it is apparent that Everton need to improve their productivity in the final third. An away game at Arsenal is a bad one to try to do this, but Everton’s last five games have seen fewer than three goals scored in each. Still, Arsenal have won eight of the previous nine home games in this fixture and scored at least two goals in eight of the last nine, too, so the omens could be better for Everton. The Merseyside club risk being cut adrift if they don’t pick up more points, as they are already in the relegation zone.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Elneny, Jesus
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Patterson, Townsend, Garner, Calvert-Lewin
Arsenal vs Everton Lineups (Predicted)
Arsenal (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Saliba, Tomiyasu; Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard; Martinelli, Trossard, Saka
Everton (4-3-3): Pickford; Mykolenko, Tarkowski, Coady, Coleman; Onana, Gueye, Doucoure; McNeil, Maupay, Iwobi
Arsenal vs Everton Analysis
Midfield is likely to be crucial in this game. Arsenal have had a large share of possession on average this season. In contrast, Everton are much lower down the possession table. The London club will seek to dominate the ball with being at home. We anticipate them having north of 60 per cent of the ball and potentially closer to 70 per cent. This likelihood is strengthened with the possible return of Partey in midfield, as he gives them more zip and pace in there than Jorginho does.
Everton, however, will not mind this situation at all. They are used to having less of the ball and playing on the counter away from home. It is only natural that the onus will be on Arsenal to break Everton down, as they have the superior players and coach. Therefore, Everton can sit in and hit Arsenal on the counter-attack. Everton might pick their moments to press Partey, Xhaka, and Odegaard. However, they know how good these three are in tight spaces and at dribbling (particularly Odegaard) and will want to avoid being opened up.
Hence, Gueye, Onana, and Doucoure will likely sit deeper, resulting in the defence being in a low block. This tactic would be risky, as it invites Arsenal to play further up the pitch and closer to Everton’s goal, so one penetrative dribble or pass could see the Londoners bearing down on Pickford. The positive for Everton is that if they can win the ball in their own half, there might be plenty of space behind Arsenal to play long balls up the channels for Iwobi, McNeil, and Gray to chase. Thus, the pattern will likely be Arsenal looking to break down a deep defence and Everton trying to transition in the few moments they can.
So with the game’s flow likely to be Arsenal probing and trying to get the first goal and Everton looking for something on the counter, how can both teams take advantage of these situations? Well, Arsenal have a front four full of creativity, technical ability, and progressive passing and dribbling. We have mentioned Odegaard extensively when covering Arsenal, and that is because he makes them tick. He connects their midfield and forward lines by finding the spaces between the opposition lines. His intelligent positioning and the pockets he picks up allow him to make the play and find the wingers.
Therefore, Odegaard, Xhaka, and Zinchenko will be responsible for progressing the play and creating opportunities for Saka, Martinelli, and Trossard (they interchange) to attack Mykolenko and Coleman out wide. The two Everton full-backs have their work cut out because Arsenal like to use the width; Saka and Martinelli are extremely tricky customers and adept at cutting inside to either shoot or travel into the box and cross for Nketiah or the arriving midfielders. Therefore, the Everton low block and Pickford in goal must be aware of the threat. If Arsenal score first, Everton will have to take more chances and leave themselves exposed. In that case, they could get torn apart by Arsenal on the counter.
As we have already stated, Everton simply do not score a sufficient number of goals. They would be happy with a goalless draw and elated with a smash-and-grab 1-0 win after Arsenal cannot score. However, this situation would rely on much luck. At some points in the game, Everton must be positive and try to get into forward areas with the wide players and full-backs, as well as the driving ability of Onana and Doucoure.
Maybe Iwobi or McNeil can get in behind Zinchenko when the Arsenal left-back goes on his forays forward. Crosses won’t be as big a weapon for Everton with Maupay leading the line as with Calvert-Lewin, but Maupay perhaps gives them more in the build-up and outside the box. He can link with the wingers to find avenues into the box to test Ramsdale. Set pieces could also be a possibility to exploit, as they have plenty of tall players, such as Coady, Tarkowski, Onana, and Doucoure, who are dangerous in the air. Indeed, their victory over Arsenal a few weeks ago came courtesy of a Tarkowski header from a corner.
As we are all aware, football is a high-variance sport. A superior team can dominate an inferior one in possession but miss many chances and struggle to break them down. Then the other team can score with one of their few chances. This scenario occurs in football, but predicting it is generally not sensible. It requires the stars aligning to come to fruition for the weaker team. In this game, the league leaders are playing at home against a struggling team.
Everton are a big club domestically. Their fans will argue that they shouldn’t be in the position they are – but the fact remains that they are one of the poorer teams in the league, and Arsenal are one of the top two. Therefore, it is wise to assume that Arsenal will get goals from the chances their pressure will likely generate. Everton won’t get caught up in the minutiae (from their perspective) of possession stats and will try to soak up the pressure and pick moments to hit Arsenal on the counter. However, we don’t feel they carry enough threat in attack. With the caveat that anything can happen, a comfortable Arsenal win and clean sheet seem the likeliest outcome.
Arsenal 2-0 Everton
Arsenal vs Everton Betting Tip – Arsenal -1 (Win by 2 Goals or More) Odds:
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