Match Preview: Everton vs Arsenal

Everton and Arsenal will both be looking to improve on their midweek results, which saw both teams lose to opponents. Everton’s bad run continued with a 4-1 loss to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, while Arsenal’s bid for the top four was hampered by a tight defeat to Manchester United.

Having gone through crisis at the beginning of the season, things were on the up for Arteta’s Arsenal side. However, they suffered a blow to their top-four hopes with defeat to Manchester United. Many would class the loss as disappointing; as Arteta rightly mentioned, these are the kind of games his side needs to win to secure their top-four target come the end of the season.

However, despite the result not being what Arsenal were looking for, their performance expressed the development they’ve made since the beginning of the campaign, arguably deserving to win the United tie based on the match stats.

The Rafa Benitez tenure at Everton continues to spiral into chaos. Benitez’s side were handed their seventh defeat of the season in midweek, suffering an embarrassing thumping by local rivals Liverpool. The Merseyside club enters this game week in 14th, five points above relegation, with one of the worst form records in the league.

Without a win since late September, Benitez must begin to turn results around, as his job is very much on the line. Having started life at Everton on thin ice due to his managerial success at Liverpool, the Spanish manager has now lost support from the vast majority of fans, with both results and performances lacking inspiration and showing no sign of improvement.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin will remain unavailable for the Toffees. Tom Davies and Salomon Rondon will also most likely miss the tie following injuries sustained in the Merseyside derby. Mason Holgate returns from suspension, whilst Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina could feature.

Bukayo Saka is expected to return to the starting lineup for Arsenal after coming off the bench in the midweek fixture. Emile Smith Rowe is a doubt following discomfort against Manchester United. Sead Kolasinac and Granit Xhaka both remain unavailable. Kieran Tierney could also return to the starting XI.

Arsenal head into the game having dropped to seventh in the Premier League table but the North Londoners can leapfrog Tottenham into fifth and move to within just one point of fourth placed West Ham with a win at Goodison Park.

The match is set to kick off at 9:00pm WAT.

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