Tough games keep on coming for Arsenal as they travel to in-form Everton
Everton 1-1 Arsenal
Everton have well and truly bounced back from their poor form suffered a few weeks ago to win their last two matches and leap to just a point off the top four.
They deservedly sat at the top of the Premier League for three weeks, before a series of bad results saw their form and league position alike flop.
Their win against Leicester in midweek was a demonstration of how they have returned to form of late, following up their win over Chelsea the weekend before. Their players are fit and firing once again.
Contrast that to Arsenal whose fortunes have rarely been quite so bad, lingering down in 15th place without a league win in six attempts and three defeats from the last five.
With a busy Christmas schedule coming up, manager Mikel Arteta will be hoping he can keep his job for long enough to turn around his side’s fortunes.
Form Guide (all comps): WLDWW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Three wins from five matches represents good form
Star player Richarlison is in top form
Reasons to be fearful:
Will be wary of an Arsenal response
Have shown inconsistent form in the past
Everton’s up-and-down season took a huge step forward over the past week with The Toffees winning back-to-back matches against two fellow top four contenders.
They outsmarted Carlo Ancelotti’s old side Chelsea at the weekend in a tight 1-0 victory before outplaying Leicester a few days later, this time winning by a 2-0 margin.
Richarlison has stepped up of late, just as Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s form has dipped slightly. The Brazilian now has 8 goal contributions (5 goals, 3 assists) this season, and is such a driving force behind Everton’s recent success.
The Toffees must be wary of a response from Arsenal – this is the Gunner’s worse start to a season for over 40 years, but it won’t be long before the start to win matches again.
Star Man – Richarlison
Dovetails well with Calvert-Lewin and also has a feisty side to his game, as well as creating goals.
Form Guide (all comps): WLWLD
Reasons to be cheerful
Youth players have been one positive
Earned a point against a fantastic Southampton side
Reasons to be fearful
Everton are reaching peak form once again
Two players sent off in last two matches
The first thing Arsenal must try and do in their match at Everton is to finish it with 11 men.
With Granit Xhaka seeing red against Burnley, followed by defender Gabriel in the midweek match against Southampton, they’ve been at a disadvantage in both fixtures because of careless moments of play.
Despite this being their worse start to a campaign for 45 years, there have been some positives for Arteta to cling to. Their younger players, in particular the likes of Bukayo Saka, have been the one shining light for this team as more experienced heads have failed.
It is these young players who have played brilliantly in the Europa League matches this season, securing qualification to the knockout phase.
It will not be easier to bounce back with a win against Everton, but a hard-fought performance would be a start.
Star Man – Bukayo Saka
Needs more goals, but continues to show up his more experienced team mates with his work rate.
Could be a close fought match
If Everton score first, Arsenal could collapse
Arsenal must be positive
Arsenal need to come here with the mindset of a team not sitting 15th in the table.
With their confidence currently shot to pieces, if Everton were to score first and quickly, it could prove too much for Arsenal to handle.
However, there is still some quality in the Gunners’ team and they could grab something here.
Everton 1-1 Arsenal