Everton face Arsenal on Sunday, in a fixture that they have fared well in during recent seasons. Despite their own struggles, they have continued to pick up good results against the Gunners at Goodison Park. The most recent one came in Sean Dyche’s first match in charge, as James Tarkowski scored the winning goal. The Toffees’ boss will be desperate for a similar result on Sunday, as the pressure is already building on him.
This week, it was announced that there had been agreement for a takeover of Everton, as 777 partners are set to become the new owners. It has yet to be formally approved by the relevant bodies and supporters are wary about the potential new owners due to their struggles in other countries. A lot of teams they have controlled have suffered relegation, which is concerning for Everton. Dyche will want his players to focus on matters on the pitch, as they need points on the board.
Arsenal have had a decent start, winning three of their four matches. It was disappointing to concede a late equaliser to ten-man Fulham, but overall, Mikel Arteta will be pleased. Their victory over Manchester United before the international break was excellent and underlined the quality in the team. This fixture has been a bogey one for them in recent seasons. If they can go to Goodison Park and win, supporters will start to believe that another title challenge is possible.
Everton have lost five of their last six home Premier League matches.
Arsenal have only won one of their last seven matches at Goodison Park. They have lost their last three.
The England international will be the key man for Everton for the rest of the season. It already looks like it is going to be another difficult campaign for the Toffees, which means that Pickford will be forced to do a lot of work. In their last fixture, the two sides of Pickford were on show. He was unlucky to score an own goal after the ball rebounded off the post onto the back of his head. However, he then made an exceptional double save late on to earn Everton a point against Sheffield United. Arsenal will have a lot of the ball on Sunday. If the Toffees are to get another positive result against the Gunners, they will need their keeper to be at his best.
He has emerged as one of the best players in the Premier League over the last 18 months. Bukayo Saka is going to be crucial for Arsenal, as they attempt to go one better and beat Manchester City to the league title. The England international has two goals and one assist to his name already this season. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him reach double figures for both again by the end of the campaign. Everton lack pace in their backline and they will struggle to deal with the explosiveness of Saka. If Arsenal are to end their poor run of form at Goodison Park, their right winger could be central to it.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is available after his facial injury. Jarrad Branthwaite, Lewis Dobbin and James Tarkowski are all likely to be available. Jack Harrison isn’t ready for his debut.
Arsenal have managed to avoid serious injury during the international break. Gabriel Jesus is pushing for a start after his goal against Manchester United. Thomas Partey isn’t fit to play.
Despite Everton’s recent good form against Arsenal, it is difficult to see a similar result this weekend. Arsenal are a far superior team and they have an improved mentality under Mikel Arteta. They will understand that this is a difficult fixture and treat it with respect. They should run out comfortable winners and heap more pressure on Dyche.
Everton 0-2 Arsenal