We preview the Premier League clash between Everton and Arsenal, including our pre-match prediction for Sean Dyche’s first game in charge of the Toffees on Saturday at Goodison Park.

Quick Hits

  • Arsenal the unsurprising favourites according to the Opta Match Predictor.
  • Sean Dyche’s first match in charge of Everton to end in defeat.
  • Victory for the Gunners would be their 100th league win over the Toffees.

Match Preview

It’s a Premier League meeting pitting two teams at opposite ends of the table, and perhaps the 2022-23 fate of each side was foreshadowed in Arsenal’s four-goal win over Everton back in May. Arsenal are now setting the pace at the top with a five-point advantage over Manchester City, while Everton are languishing in 19th with just goal difference keeping them off the bottom and ahead of Southampton.

Despite having played a game more than the Gunners, Everton have less than a third of their points tally in 2022-23 (15 vs. 50), and this was enough for the Toffees’ board to sack Frank Lampard and replace him with former Watford and Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

Dyche has a monumental task on his hands to preserve Everton’s top-flight league status – one that’s been constant since 1953-54 – but having kept Burnley in the competition with arguably less resources at his disposal in five different Premier League seasons, it’s a task he’s proven adequate at solving.

Mikel Arteta has no such worries at Arsenal. The Spaniard has guided his team to the summit of the Premier League with the youngest team in the competition across 2022-23. On average, the Gunners’ starting XI has been aged just 24 years and 241 days old. Arteta, a former Everton player with 174 league appearances at the club, has impressed everyone with his high-intensity style and ruthless attacking football in the 2022-23 competition.

He’ll be looking to guide Arsenal to their 100th league win over Everton since the English Football League began in 1888. Their current 99-win tally is already an EFL record for one team versus a single opponent, but reaching the century would be a nicely rounded landmark.

Most Wins against a single opponent in English Football League History

Despite their historically strong record against Everton, somewhat surprisingly, their recent form against the Merseyside club has been poor.

Everton have won three of their last four Premier League games against Arsenal (L1), as many as they had in their previous 26 against them (D7 L16). They have won their last two home games against the Gunners at Goodison Park and could win three in a row in the home fixture for the first time since 1977-78.

However, their historic record against teams leading the Premier League has been extremely poor. Everton have faced Premier League leaders (on the day of the game) on 44 different occasions since the competition began in 1992 and won just three of those encounters (D9 L32): 2-1 against Arsenal in October 2002, 1-0 against Chelsea in February 2010 and 1-0 against Manchester City in April 2012.

Arsenal have scored at least five goals on five separate occasions in Premier League games against Everton, including a 5-1 victory in their last meeting – no side has scored 5+ goals against another in the competition more often.

Last Meeting

Arsenal 5-1 Everton: 22 May 2022 (Premier League)

Arsenal 5-1 Everton xG Map from their Premier League match on 22 May 2022

Arsenal ended the 2021-22 Premier League season in style, with an emphatic 5-1 victory in front of their own fans at the Emirates Stadium on the final day.

Those five goals took Arsenal’s total Premier League tally against Everton to 117 overall, which is the competition record for one team against another, while it was their 35th Premier League win against the Toffees – the joint-most they have secured against any other club since 1992, alongside their 35 wins against West Ham.

The Gunners’ total of 4.27 expected goals is more than they have posted in all 116 of their Premier League matches under Arteta, and it was their third highest when limiting that to non-penalty shots (3.48).

Their tally of 374 completed passes in the opposition half was also the highest in a Premier League game during Arteta’s reign, while their 73.7% possession was the third highest, further showing the absolute dominance on the day in north London.

Gabriel Martinelli scored a penalty in this 5-1 win, which meant Arsenal became the first side in Premier League history to have two scorers of a penalty in a season aged younger than 21 (Martinelli & Bukayo Saka).

Midfielder Martin Ødegaard’s goal meant he scored both home and away against Everton in the Premier League last season – the last Arsenal player to score in three consecutive appearances against the Toffees in the competition was Aaron Ramsey between 2014 and 2018 (four in a row).

Eddie Nketiah also scored for Arsenal in the 5-1 rout – he’s scored in two of his four Premier League starts against Everton, although both goals came at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal 5-1 Everton xG Race Chart from their Premier League match on 22 May 2022

Recent Form

Arsenal have won 50 points in their 19 Premier League games this term, which is their highest points total at this stage of a league campaign. Indeed, five of the previous six top-flight sides to win 50 points or more from their first 19 games of the season went on to win the title at the end of the campaign (assuming three points for a win), with the only exception being Liverpool in 2018-19 (second).

Starting with their 5-1 win over Everton on the final day of the 2021-22 season, Arsenal have lost just one of their last 20 Premier League matches (W17 D2) and are unbeaten in each of their last 13 games (W11 D2). Only Newcastle (15) are currently enjoying a longer unbeaten streak in the Premier League than the Gunners. The last time they went 13 league games unbeaten before their current run was between August and December 2018 (14).

Everton’s form is, well, less impressive. They’ve currently gone 10 games without a win in all competitions for the first time since August-October 1994 (run of 14), while their current eight-game winless streak in the Premier League is the longest of any current club in the competition. Should they fail to win this match, it’ll be their longest run without a Premier League win since that forgettable 1994 span.

Their form at Goodison Park has been terrible of late, losing four in a row there versus Southampton, Brighton, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester – their worst losing run at home in the league since a seven-game sequence between April and September 1958.

Across their last 12 games, their five points (W1 D2 L9) is by far the worst record of any of the current 20 Premier League clubs. Their only win over this period was a 3-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace in October thanks to goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Anthony Gordon and Dwight McNeil.

Premier League Form Table over the last 12 games

Players to Watch

Everton: Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Everton need to find a goalscorer… and quick. Only Wolves (12) have scored fewer Premier League goals this season than they have (15) with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring just one of those.

New manager Sean Dyche might be the man who can unlock Calvert-Lewin’s undoubted ability once again, talent we’ve not witnessed since the days of Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park.

He’s suffered with various injuries over the last few seasons, playing just 42% of possible Premier League minutes in Frank Lampard’s 38-game tenure in the competition at the club, with that rate even lower under previous boss Rafael Benítez (25%).

His one and a half season under Ancelotti – the second half of 2019-20 and the whole of 2020-21 – were undoubtedly where he showed his ability to the fullest. Calvert-Lewin played 87% of possible minutes and missed just five games under the Italian, with his 24 goals for Everton during Ancelotti’s tenure being the third-highest non-penalty goal tally in the Premier League behind only Harry Kane (27) and Mohamed Salah (25).

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's Premier League career at Everton

Historically, Calvert-Lewin hasn’t had much success in the Premier League against Arsenal. He’s managed just three goal involvements in 10 PL appearances against them (two goals, one assist), with none of these coming at Goodison Park. Saturday would be a perfect time to correct that.

Arsenal: Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka has been in exceptional form for Arsenal across 2022-23 so far. His seven goals and seven assists in 19 Premier League appearances this season mean that only Erling Haaland (28), Harry Kane (17) and Ivan Toney (16) have more goal involvements than he does.

He’s already scored against Manchester United (home and away), Brighton, West Ham, Leeds and Liverpool (twice), while his most recent goal in the game versus Man Utd at the Emirates was a contender for Gunners’ goal of the season.

Saka has been involved in 46 of Arsenal’s Premier League goals so far in his career, despite not yet turning 22 years old. Of all players in EPL history at the club, only Cesc Fàbregas (63) has been involved in more aged 21 or under. One other name on this list is that of Alex Iwobi, who will be expected to play against the Gunners on Saturday.

Most Premier League Goal Involvement aged 21 or under playing for Arsenal

With arguably Arsenal’s biggest goal threat out through injury (Gabriel Jesus), Arsenal have been leaning on their young guns for goals in 2022-23 – Saka linking up exceptionally with both Martinelli and Nketiah. There’s every chance Saka could be the main to ruin Jordan Pickford’s hope of keeping a clean sheet at Goodison Park.

Everton vs Arsenal Prediction

Opta Match Prediction: Everton vs Arsenal

In news that’ll come as little surprise to the majority of readers, the Opta supercomputer heavily fancies an away win for Arsenal at Goodison Park ahead of kick-off on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners are being given a 46.3% chance of winning their 17th Premier League match of 2022-23, with home team Everton at just a shade over one-in-four (25.3%).

You’ve seen how the Opta supercomputer thinks the match will play out this weekend, but what do you think will happen? Let us know…

In our latest Opta Power Rankings release, Arsenal are ranked as the third best English team (seventh overall) and Everton are the 19th highest in England (131st overall).

Despite being below Man City (second) and Liverpool (third) in these rankings – due to historical team performance more than their respective form in 2022-23 – Arsenal are being ranked as 52.6% favourites in our overall Premier League predictions to finish top of the league table and win the title this season. As for UEFA Champions League qualification, it’s all but a certainty now, with the Gunners being given a 99.9% chance of a top-four finish.

Everton, meanwhile, have it all to do to avoid their first top-flight relegation since 1950-51. In the Opta season predictions, they are being given 70.1% chance of dropping to the Championship, which is behind only Bournemouth (73.8%) and ahead of the bottom club in the current league standings, Southampton (62.2%).

Premier League Season Predictions 2022-23 as of 1 Feb 2023

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