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PREVIEW: Arsenal vs Everton – 23/09/2018

Arsenal vs Everton

Date: 23/09/2018

K/O: 16.00 hours

Venue: The Emirates

TV: Sky Sports Main Event

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Arsenal will be looking for a fourth consecutive win against Marco Silva’s increasingly beleaguered Everton when the two sides meet on Sunday afternoon at The Emirates.

The Gunners have recovered from a tough start when they lost to the last two Champions by beating West Ham, Cardiff and Newcastle in consecutive weeks as they begin to settle into the Unai Emery era.

Under Emery, Arsenal have benefitted from Lacazette and Aubameyang both playing together, and whilst it is true neither have hit a consistent rhythm, both are producing enough individual moments to get Arsenal the goals to edge them over the line.

The North London side have also benefitted from the return to form of Mesut Ozil away against Newcastle, and a home game against Everton could further play to the German’s strengths. Despite showing promise going forwards, Arsenal have looked shaky at the back as they adjust to the new style that Emery is bringing to The Emirates.

However, to compare the two sides, Arsenal’s current defence looks particularly George Graham-esque when compared to Everton’s.

Marco Silva has continued his dreadful defensive record so far at Everton as they conceded three goals at home to West Ham to give the Hammers their first win of the season. The 3-1 defeat takes Everton’s record this season to nine goals conceded in five games and Silva’s record to 89 goals conceded in 47 games.

Given that both teams strengths lie in the attacking third and both are struggling to get a coherent defensive strategy, it’s fair to say Sunday could see a lot of goals and the match report on 90MAAT could be a lively read.

Arsenal are again without defensive quartet Koscielny, Kolasinac, Maitland Niles and Jenkinson all of whom will be out for another month. Aaron Ramsey was withdrawn from the Newcastle game suffering from tiredness but should be fit enough to start. Arsenal also looked to have lost midfielder Mkhitaryan in Europa League action, although the Armenian would likely have started from the bench.

Everton are also without the defensive quartet of Keane, Mina, Jagielka and Coleman, all of whom would be welcome additions back to the struggling defence, whilst the Toffees are also missing Andre Gomes and James McCarthy.

Silva will welcome back Richarlison from suspension after his headbut against Bournemouth. The 50 million pound talisman scored twice for Brazil in the most recent international break and maybe be used in a forward, false nine style role as Silva looks to shake up a front line he was critical of in last week’s defeat.

 

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Emery has no such issues up front but may look to shake up his midfield line as the Europa League gets underway. New signing Lucas Torreira has been a revelation in every substitute appearance this season and the Uruguayan will surely start soon. Arsenal will also hope Sokratis isn’t the only defender at his best as was the case last week, and if the rest of the defence can show his resolute nature and Lacazette and Aubameyang can really catch fire for a full match, it could be another long afternoon for Everton.

Predicted Starting XI’s:

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Sokratis, Mustafi, Monreal; Xhaka, Torreira; Ozil, Ramsey, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Everton: Pickford; Kenny, Holgate, Zouma, Digne; Gueye, Davies; Walcott, Sigursson, Calvert Lewin; Richarlison

Prediction: Arsenal 4 Everton 2

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