Can the Gunners beat the Toffees

Everton host Arsenal at Goodison Park tonight in the Premier League (7.45 pm kick-off UK time).

The Gunners arrive on Merseyside in second position in the Premier League table.

The 3-1 victory over Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday extended their unbeaten Premier League run to fourteen matches.

They remain three points behind leaders Chelsea. The Blues beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Everton slipped to ninth place in the table after losing 3-2 to Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The Toffees now have only one win in ten Premier League games and have gone eleven matches without a clean sheet.

Overall Everton’s record in the Premier League this season is five wins, five draws and five defeats. Four of those wins were in the first five games of the season and Saturday’s loss made it four successive away defeats with 11 goals conceded.

Head-to-Head

Everton’s only win in their last 18 league games against Arsenal was their 3-0 victory in April 2014 (D6 L11).

Arsenal have won more Premier League games against Everton (29) than they have against any other side.

The Toffees have lost 93 times to Arsenal in the league, the most defeats by one club to another in English league history.

A win for the Gunners at Goodison Park would make it their 12th in the Premier League there – only at Villa Park (12) have they obtained as many away wins at a single ground.

Everton’s only win in their last 18 league games against Arsenal was their 3-0 victory in April 2014 (D6 L11), and they have conceded exactly two goals in each of their last four league games against the Gunners.

Key Men

Romelu Lukaku’s double at Watford on Saturday took his Premier League goal tally to nine this season.

The Belgian has been directly involved in 12 goals (nine scored, three assists) in the Premier League this season.

Since the start of 2013-14, Lukaku has scored 52 of Everton’s 187 Premier League goals (28%) and no other player has more than 20 goals for the club in this period.

Alexis Sanchez has hand a hand in more Premier League goals this season than any other player (11 goals, five assists).

Sanchez has had a hand in 26 goals in his last 26 Premier League appearances for Arsenal (18 goals, 8 assists).

Olivier Giroud has scored five goals in his last six games against Everton in all competitions.

The Managers

Ronald Koeman

At his pre-match press conference Koeman was asked about Everton’s recent poor run of results.

“We know our situation and it’s not all about what happened last Saturday [against Watford]. There is no time to wait or to sit back because we have to prepare the team, put the best 11 on the pitch and get a good result. We know [on Tuesday] we have to improve and we have to do better than we did last Saturday.”

He added: He added: “We don’t have that physicality to win the battles, so we need to win the game in different aspects. That was why I was so disappointed on Saturday, because we started well and there was a lot of space to play but we didn’t always choose the best option.  We need to stay focussed and continue to work behind closed doors because we need to resolve the problems. That’s all about the commitment of the players and the quality in the team. If I was a fan, I’d be disappointed about one win out of 10. That’s under-performing from everyone. But you have to understand these situations – it’s not about running more or fighting more. It’s also about the quality, the movement on the ball and creating chances. Underpinning everything, we need to keep the faith and maintain our belief.”

Arsene Wenger

At his pre-match conference Arsene Wenger was asked about how his team will cope without the injured Shkodran Mustafi.

‘It’s a challenge for us because we had good defensive stability,” said Wenger. “We had many tests with players like Santi Cazorla out of the team. We have managed to deal with it and that’s another challenge.

We have Gabriel who can come in and I am confident he can do well.

His English is still not perfect but he is wanting always to do well. He adapted well to right back. It helped him lift his confidence. Hopefully he can come in and do well. We will need that defensive solidity at Everton.”

On Arsenal’s impressive away record, Wenger added.

“It’s down to the quality of the players, simple as that. It is nothing to do with psychology. We have not to go overboard with that. It’s nothing to do with that.

The strong mentality of the players is down to the fact we have more maturity in the squad. We played for years with a very young squad and they were more vulnerable.

We have not lost for a long time and that creates strength and belief and trust and it’s linked with that.”

Team News

Everton

The Toffees have no new injury problems following their 3-2 defeat to Watford on Saturday.

Yannick Bolasie and Mo Besic are the only first-team absentees with long-term knee ligament problems.

Provisional squad: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Funes Mori, Williams, Baines, Barry, Gueye, Cleverley, Lennon, Mirallas, Lukaku, Robles, Holgate, Jagielka, Barkley, McCarthy, Oviedo, Deulofeu, Valenci

Arsenal

Shkodran Mustafi is likely to be out for around three weeks with a hamstring strain sustained in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Stoke City. Gabriel is likely to start in his place, with Hector Bellerin starting at right back after coming on as substitute for Mustafi against the Potters.

Rob Holding is likely to come into the matchday squad as defensive cover.

Aaron Ramsey remains out with a hamstring problem.

Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Martinez, Bellerin, Jenkinson, Holding, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Coquelin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Walcott, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Sanchez, Akpom, Giroud.

Match Officials

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Assistants: S Bennett, R West
Fourth official: M Dean

Prediction

Arsenal to win 2-1.

 

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