Arsenal will be hosting Everton at the Emirates Stadium on the first of March. After their shambolic defeat to Monaco in the Champions League, Arsenal will need to bounce back in a big way if they are to beat a talented, albeit struggling, Everton side. They are the latest example of how the Europa League can destroy a club’s season. After nearly making the Champions League last season, Roberto Martinez’s side is closer to the relegation zone than any European football this year. This will still be a very tough game, but, after Arsenal’s soul destroying defeat in midweek, Everton will look capitalise on what could be a very low Arsenal side on Sunday.
Both teams will be without a few of their better players in this one through injury. Arsenal will still be without Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Flamini, but both could be back within the next week. Aaron Ramsey is out, but is two weeks away from returning, and the duo of Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy will both be missing until April.
For Everton, the game on Sunday will be coming a bit too soon for Christian Atsu, Brian Oviedo, and Aidan McGeady who will all be out until midweek. Both Steven Pinaar and Tony Hibbert are also out for this one.
- Arsenal have only won two out of the last five league meetings at the Emirates against Everton.
- Everton haven’t beaten Arsenal away from home since January 1996.
- Everton’s 3-0 victory at Goodison Park last season is their only win against Arsenal in the past 16 meetings.
- Of teams not in the bottom four, only Newcastle have a worse defensive record than Everton.
- Arsenal have only lost once in their last 32 home league matches.
Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez
If there is one player you expect to keep his head up and make an impact on a match n0 matter what has happened in past results, it’s Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has struggled recently not scoring in his last six matches. Everyone has a few barren stretches, but I expect the former Barcelona man to make an impact on this one. When Arsenal have struggled this season, Alexis has been there to pick them up. They may need him to do so again in this one and I expect him to make that needed impact.
Everton: James McCarthy
With all the talent in the Everton team, the one man that is needed to keep the team together is James McCarthy. The Irish international keeps the side ticking with his ability to dictate play when they have the ball and sweep up danger when they don’t. Against a team like Arsenal, you need at least one player in the midfield to have a special performance if you want to beat them at the Emirates. James McCarthy is capable of very special performances and will have to be on form if Everton want to grab all three points from this one.
This is a really tough one to predict. For starters, you never know what you’re getting with Everton. They have talent in their squad, but are so inconsistent. Arsenal had been in great form, but a defeat like the one against Monaco is one that can carry into the next couple of matches. They will have to show a lot of mental toughness to rebound with a win here. Both teams played midweek which makes their performance even tougher to predict. As low as Arsenal will be, I think they’ll be able to exploit the weak Everton defense. I’ll go with a narrow Arsenal win.
Prediction: 2-1 Arsenal
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