Premier League resumes this weekend, with Arsenal travelling to Merseyside to face struggling Everton.
The hosts, who were one of the teams to narrowly avoid relegation last season, have begun this new campaign the same way they ended the last two, with a series of poor results. Three consecutive losses were followed by a 2-2 draw with newly promoted Sheffield United just before the international break.
So Sean Dyche’s side are already in a precarious position ahead of this fifth-round game. But having beaten the Gunners 1-0 in his first home game as Everton boss, the former Burnley coach can expect strong support from the home fans as he attempts to make it two consecutive home wins against Mikel Arteta’s side.
On their part, Arsenal will be looking to avenge their terrible loss of last season here and to keep their unbeaten start to the season alive.
But can Arteta, often on the losing end against Everton, take maximum points from his former side?
- Everton have won just one of their last eight games against Arsenal (D1, L6).
- The Toffees have kept just one clean sheet in their last ten games in all competitions.
- They have lost five out of their last six home games (W1).
- Arsenal are unbeaten in five competitive games this season (W3, D2).
- The Gunners have scored 2+ goals in 15 of their last 20 league matches.
- Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has a win-draw rate of 43% against Everton in all competitions (W3, L4)-his second-worst against any single club, second only to his eight losses from ten encounters with Manchester City.
- In 62 Premier head-to-head meetings between both sides, Arsenal has 36 wins and 121 goals, while Everton has 12 wins and 56 goals (D14).
Everton will be desperate to get their first win of the season when they host Arsenal on Sunday. Three losses from their first three games have made manager Sean Dyche one of a record-breaking four English top-flight managers to all lose their first three games of a new Premier League season.
His side failed to defeat newly promoted Sheffield United away from home (2-2) just before the international break, so they come into this fixture sitting nine points behind their opponents and in dire need of a win.
Meanwhile, Arsenal is looking to build on their strong start to the season, with three wins and one disappointing draw against Fulham, leaving them inside the top four.
Having lost at this venue last time out, a loss that marked the beginning of their title collapse last season, they will be desperate to win and inflict further injury on the Toffees. Arteta will also be looking to get one over his former side with the Spaniard’s win-draw rate of 43% against Everton (W3, L4), his second-worst against any single club.
The Gunners have good reason to believe they can win, given that they finished the previous PL season as the best travellers in the league. However, the fact that they won only one of their last five away games last season should keep them on their toes.
Sean Dyche will welcome a returning cabal of formerly injured players, including any or all of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Michael Keane, Dwight McNeil (following a substitute appearance against Sheff United), and new recruit Jack Harrison. But Dele Alli and Seamus Coleman remain sidelined.
Meanwhile, Jurrien Timber, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey remain sidelined for Arsenal.
Predicted Everton Lineup: Jordan Pickford, Nathan Patterson, Jarrad Branthwaite, James Tarkowski, Ashley Young, Amadou Onana, Idrissa Gueye, Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Dwight McNeil, Beto.
Predicted Arsenal Lineup: Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Martin Ødegaard, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli.