Ronald Koeman’s Everton entertain Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon. The Toffees secured a 1-1 draw versus Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend after Wayne Rooney converted a penalty in injury time. The result did no favours to their league position and they are presently lying in 16th place with just eight points. On the other hand, Arsenal suffered a quite predictable defeat against Watford at Vicarage Road after manager Arsene Wenger picked a relatively weakened side on the attack. Arsenal look good value to secure a 1-0 win for the best part of 70 mins, but they squandered their advantage to lose 2-1 – courtesy of a Tom Cleverley injury-time winner.
The previous outing between the clubs was indeed on the final day of last season. Arsenal bagged a 3-1 win over the Merseyside outfit despite playing for the best part of 79 minutes with a man down. Laurent Koscielny received a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Enner Valencia in the first-half, but this did not affect the team’s shape. Despite the triumph, they missed out on Champions League football for the first time under Arsene Wenger after they finished behind Liverpool in fifth spot in the standings.
Players to watch for:
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton: The Icelandic footballer has not made much of an impression since his club-record switch from Swansea City in the summer. Sigurdsson provided a wonderful free-kick assist during Everton’s 2-1 Europa League loss to Lyon, and this provides a means through which he can exploit the Gunners’ backline. Sigurdsson most often delivers the perfect ball for his teammates, and it could bring a few jitters for their opposition, who are winless on the road.
Alexis Sanchez- Arsenal: Sanchez has not been at his vintage best this term with injuries and fatigue hampering his chances of earning a regular starting role. The Chilean came into his own during the 2-0 triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion prior to the international break, and the club’s faithful will hope to have him in the right frame of mind. Sanchez has yet to open his scoring tally in the top-flight.
Everton had a tough outing against Lyon on Thursday night where they utilised several first-team players. European football has already had its toll on Chelsea this campaign, and the Toffees are likely to struggle regardless of the home advantage.
Everton 1-3 Arsenal
Image – Getty