Preview: Arsenal v Everton

Pre-Match Report

Preview: Arsenal v Everton

Arsenal v Everton

Having fallen to a 1-0 defeat to Everton just over three weeks ago, we quickly get the chance to gain revenge against the Toffees as they head to Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

Their trips to N5 have historically proven unfruitful with one win yielded from their past 26 visits, however more importantly their form on the road this season isn’t much better, having tasted success just once in their last 13 league away games, and scoring one goal in the last seven.

Sean Dyche has urged his team to rectify that as soon as possible as they bid to claw their way out of trouble, but with this being our game in hand over Manchester City, we’ll be hoping those away day blues for the blue half of Merseyside continue a little longer.

Dyche digging in to dodge defeats

James Tarkowski scores against Arsenal for Everton

Having just managed to avoid relegation last term following Frank Lampard’s appointment in January, Everton are hoping lightning strikes again this term as once again they find themselves lodged in a fight to beat the drop.

Lampard was dismissed just shy of a year in charge following a run of one victory from 12 league games. Dyche was swiftly installed as his successor, who enjoyed a winning start at our expense thanks to James Tarkowski’s header.

Since then, they lost the Merseyside derby by a 2-0 scoreline, but recovered to beat Leeds United thanks to a well-taken Seamus Coleman goal. However, Saturday saw them fall to a 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, leaving them 18th in the table, a point from safety.

What the managers say

Mikel Arteta on the touchline against Everton

Arteta: “With Sean, it’s quite clear what he’s done and where the success they’ve had is coming from. Tomorrow we’ll prepare the game in an appropriate and similar way [to the away match]. But with every manager, it’s the same. 

“We have to look at certain matches, what they do and try to get the right tactics to beat them - and as well the same mentality and expectation of what we demand in the game.” - read every word from Mikel’s pre-match press conference.

Dyche: "From the outside, with the stats and facts and that you're going down to Arsenal who are currently having a terrific season, most people on the outside would suggest that it's unlikely that we'll get a result but that can bring a bit more freedom to the group. 

"It might mean you don't think we're going to do anything - but that doesn't mean we don't. It means we'll certainly be going down there with our eyes on the prize and delivering a performance that can get something.”

Team news

Thomas Partey in training

Despite returning against Leicester City on Saturday, Thomas Partey may only be fit enough for the bench again, which leaves Gabriel Jesus and Mohamed Elneny as our only other absentees.

Emile Smith Rowe and Jakub Kiwior played in our under-21s' game against Chelsea on Monday to build up some match sharpness.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has missed all three games since our last encounter with a hamstring injury and will be out of this one as well.

James Garner is closing in on a first-team return after suffering back issues but isn’t ready just yet, while Nathan Patterson is still rehabbing a knee issue. Andros Townsend has been missing all season with an ACL injury but has been pencilled in for a March return.

Talking tactics

Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana pressure Martin Odegaard

Michael Cox, writing in the official matchday programme: Dyche’s approach has been broadly what we would have expected, featuring good defensive organisation, long periods without the ball and a considerable threat from set-pieces. Although regularly a 4-4-2 man at Burnley, Everton’s lack of centre-forward options means he’s been using a 4-5-1.

Having scored the winner against us, Tarkowski has arguably been Everton’s major goal threat under Dyche, always at the far post. He is paired with Conor Coady in the middle of the back four, who has largely adjusted well after playing in a back three at Wolves. They’re flanked by captain Coleman and Vitaliy Mykolenko who are capable of getting forward to good effect.

Idrissa Gueye sits deep to protect the centre-backs, while the other two central midfielders, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Amadou Onana, are given more license to push forward, with and without the ball. They tend to press high without possession, and Everton’s defensive line has been more aggressive than you might expect under Dyche.

The major question mark is up front after Calvert-Lewin’s latest injury. Everton are unlikely to score many under Dyche, but with their defence looking solid, one goal will often be enough.

Facts and stats

Martinelli celebrates his goal at Villa Park

Martinelli celebrates his goal at Villa Park

We have won 99 of our 203 league games against Everton, and could become the first team in English league history to register 100 victories against a specific opponent.

The Toffees have won four of their last five league games against us. It's as many victories as they had in their previous 28 (D8 L16).

Everton have never won a Premier League away game against the side starting the day top of the table, drawing five and losing 19 such matches.

Victory here would be the joint fastest we have ever reached 60 points in a single league campaign, also doing so after 25 games in both 2003/04 and 2007/08.

Having lost his first nine Premier League games against us, Sean Dyche has lost just one of his last six (W2 D3). However, his sides have never scored more than once in those 15 meetings, netting seven goals in total.

Gabriel Martinelli has scored in his last two Premier League appearances – he's never scored in three in a row within the same season before. He's scored nine league goals this season, and could become the third Brazilian to reach double figures in a single campaign while aged 21 or under, after Gabriel Jesus (2017/18) and Richarlison (2018/19).

Match officials

Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver makes his first appearance at Emirates Stadium since Boxing Day when we beat West Ham United, having also overseen our wins against Liverpool and Chelsea this term. We have won 23 of the 50 games of ours he has refereed.

In his 28 matches across all competitions this season, he has sent off just two players and awarded nine penalties - two of which have been in matches involving ourselves.

  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt
  • Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett
  • Fourth Official: David Coote
  • VAR: Tony Harrington
  • Assistant VAR: James Mainwaring

Recent visits from Everton

The Toffees haven’t enjoyed their trips to Emirates Stadium and Highbury over the past three decades, having only won one of their last 26 trips to our patch, with that win coming in April 2021 when a Bernt Leno own goal settled the game.

Last season saw us claim a 5-1 victory on the final day of the campaign, with Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Cedric Soares, Gabriel and Martin Odegaard all netting in a convincing win - one of 11 occasions we have netted more than four goals against Everton in the Premier League.

We edged out 3-2 victors back in February 2020 when Nketiah got on the scoresheet again before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace secured the win - which at that point was our sixth successive league victory on home turf against Everton.

Watch some more memorable encounters, including a 7-0 thrashing, a four-goal Ian Wright haul and a championship-clinching classic.

Breakdown Live

Breakdown Live

Join Nicole Holliday and Adrian Clarke at 6.45pm UK time for all the best build-up to the big game on Breakdown Live.

The pair will be joined pitchside at Emirates Stadium by YouTuber ChrisMD, while the music industry will be well represented with NSG, Gilles Peterson and Theo from Wolf Alice popping by the box, plus Stazzy and Australian rules footballer Akec Makur Chuot from Hawthorn Football Club will be amongst our studio audience.

We’ll look back on our win at Leicester, tell you all you need to know about Everton and discuss the versatility that Leandro Trossard brings to the side.

Then at 7.45pm there will be live commentary from Dan Roebuck and Ian Selley to keep you updated with all the goings-on during the game, so make sure you tune in!

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