Ronald Koeman’s men welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park on the back of an away defeat to Watford. Arsenal, on the other hand, are hot on the heels of a convincing 3-1 home win over Stoke City after coming from behind to achieve that.
In the four times the managers have faced each other in the league, Koeman’s former Southampton side have come out on top twice, with Arsene Wenger’s coming away with a win once, aswell as one draw. Make of that what you will. As well as this, in the three seasons Koeman’s predecessor, Roberto Martinez, was at Everton, the Merseyside team beat Arsenal once at home and lost away twice.
The last time the sides met at Goodison Park, Arsenal won 2-0 with a convincing performance following being knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League, (Apologies for reminding you about that) Danny Welbeck, and Alex Iwobi were the scorers that day.
Arsenal know that their unbeaten run can continue and right in the middle of a crucial month is the best time to maintain that form. This will rely on fresh legs being called upon and feet cannot be taken off the gas for a second. Speaking of being unbeaten, Arsenal are the only side yet to lose away this season.
Everton currently lie in ninth, one place above Koeman’s former side, by the virtue of goal difference. Their run of form in their last five matches has been nothing short of dreadful, with their last win coming against West Ham at home at the end of October. Koeman has spoken about the importance of winning games, adding that the commitment of players and bringing quality is key to get a better run of results. The Merseyside club can count upon returning players, they expect the likes of Ross Barkley, Enner Valencia, and Aaron Lennon to be recalled.
Arsene Wenger has admitted that it’ll be difficult to cope without Shkodran Mustafi, as the centre-back is out for three weeks. He went on to say that with Mustafi in the side, his side has good stability. With Mustafi on the sidelines, who will replace him? Gabriel Paulista is in line to start in his favoured position following being shifted to the right-back role to cover for Hector Bellerin in recent weeks whilst the Spaniard was injured. Rob Holding has also been mentioned and Wenger has insisted that he has faith that both can excel.
A win here will see Wenger’s side go top, until Wednesday, should Chelsea beat Sunderland. As for Everton, being level with two clubs, let one alone one is never fun, so a win for them is really vital if they are to push for a Europa League spot. Should they lose and other teams around them win, that could see the Toffees drop into the bottom half of the table.
Will Arsenal earn another three crucial points, or will they be left in a sticky situation?