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Arsenal vs Everton: The Preview

By Rob Worthington

Arsenal return to the Emirates Stadium for the second consecutive Premier League fixture as the Gunners host Everton in North London. After 3 clean sheets in a row and 2 wins in the space of 5 days, Arsenal come in the match full of confidence. Everton are also reveling in some decent form with the Toffees having won their last 2 games, and having also sustained an unbeaten run in the league, although only since the 1st of January.

Head to head, Arsenal have long-term history on their side, having only lost to the Evertonian's 6 times since the turn of the century. However, recently the Merseyside team have fared better as Arsenal have failed to beat Everton on each of the last 2 occasions we have come up against them.

Carlo Ancelotti has rejuvenated his Everton side since was appointed as manager, implementing an intense and aggressive style. The Italian has lost just two games (against Man City and Liverpool), drawn two and won five since taking over. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is doing a great job leading the line and Everton’s number 9 has displaced Summer arrival Moise Kean thank to his 11 goals in 24 games this season. The Merseyside outfit have tended to play a 4-4-1-1 since the arrival of the former Napoli, Real Madrid, PSG, Chelsea and AC Milan manger, which has brought the best out of players such as Bernard, Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina.

Mikel Arteta has done an equally impressive job since he has taken over, implementing a clear tactical structure which has seen significant defensive improvements. Arsenal remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League in all competitions in 2020 and have looked much more solid defensively, having only conceded 5 goals since the turn of the year. Offensively is where the problems have lied for Mikel Arteta, but last Sunday’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Newcastle suggests things are improving in that department. Right now, there's a feel good factor around the club, and fans are optimistic about the future.

I certainly expect a more difficult match for Arsenal this Sunday in comparison to last weekend’s game against the Magpies, but I am still backing Arsenal to attain all 3 points. I think our solidified defence is good enough to quash the Everton threat going forward and the form of Nicolas Pépé and Bukayo Saka gives me confidence that we can grab the victory on Sunday.

Arsenal Predicted Line-up: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka, Toreirra, Xhaka, Pépé, Ceballos, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Everton Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Sidibe, Mina, Holgate, Digne, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Predicted Result: 3-1

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