On March 19th, Everton will welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park. The visitors are looking to keep the their title hopes from fading completely. Since their dramatic 2-1 win over Leicester, Arsenal have not won any of their three league games, losing away to Manchester United, at home to Swansea City, and drawing away to Tottenham. If the Gunners want to have any chance at catching Leicester at the top of the table, they need to win this game. Everton on the other hand are sitting in mid-table. They aren’t in danger of relegation, but they won’t be making any kind of push for the European spots this season, sitting in 12th nine points of Manchester United.
Everton are still missing Tony Hibbert and Tyias Browning with long term injuries. They may also be without Steven Pienaar and Bryan Oviedo through injuries. Gareth Barry will be suspended after his red card against Chelsea last weekend.
Arsenal, as they usually do, have a pretty long injury list. Petr Cech, Santi Cazorla, and Jack Wilshere are expected to come back at the beginning of April. Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be back closer to the end of April, while Tomas Rosicky is out with no return in sight.
- Arsenal have not won at Goodison Park in any of their last three trips there.
- Everton’s last win against Arsenal was their 3-0 demolition of Arsene Wenger’s men back in April 2014.
- Everton have had huge defensive problems all season and that has manifested itself at home quite often.
- They have conceded 26 goals at home, more than any other Premier League team in the league, even Aston Villa.
- They have however been quite potent offensively scoring 29 goals at home, second in the league behind only Manchester City’s 37.
- Despite being nine places lower in the table, Everton have actually scored more goals (51) than Arsenal (46).
Everton: Romelu Lukaku
The only reason Everton are as high in the table as they are is because they have been able to score a lot of goals to make up for their defensive deficiencies. A big reason they’ve been able to score a lot of goals is because Romelu Lukaku has made the leap from a good striker to a great striker. The Belgian has scored five goals in his last four games in all competitions, and has scored more non penalty goals than any other player in the Premier League this season.
Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal have been in a horrible goal scoring slump lately. They needed Alexis Sanchez to help get them out of it, but he just hasn’t been the player they need him to be. Since coming back from injury, the Chilean has been poor. He’s scored only two goals in 10 starts and has been unable to put in the overall performances that we’ve come to expect from him. If Arsenal are to somehow win the title, they’ll need their Chilean star to up his performances.
The way Arsenal are playing, it’s hard to see them winning too many games. They are a better team than Everton, but their inability to put the ball in the back of the net means they are capable of losing any game right now. It’s tough to see Everton beating Arsenal, but it’s tough to see Arsenal beating anybody right now.
Prediction: 1-1 Draw