They only met just over three weeks ago in the Premier League, but Arsenal have a chance to avenge their 1-0 defeat to Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night. We look ahead to the game with our Opta preview and prediction.
The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer gives Arsenal a 55.5% chance of beating Everton and extending their lead at the top of the Premier League.
- Sean Dyche looking for his first points away from home as Everton manager, after losing previous two on the road.
- Should Arsenal be victorious, they’ll become the first club to win 100 English league games versus a single opponent.
Arsenal will be looking for revenge on Wednesday night, as they entertain Everton at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League. Sean Dyche enjoyed a shock 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park on 4 February in his first game at Everton boss, just 25 days before this return match will be played in London.
The Gunners will be hoping to achieve what they failed to do last month – win their 100th league fixture against Everton. Should they secure this in midweek, they’d become the first team in English league history to win a century of matches vs. a specific opponent.
Based on history between these two clubs, the Gunners will have confidence of securing win number 100 in this game, having lost just one of their last 26 home games against Everton in the Premier League (W21 D4).
However, Everton have won four of their last five Premier League games against Arsenal – including that single-goal win last month. That’s as many wins as they’d secured against the north London side in their previous 28 meetings (D8 L16). The bad news for Everton is that they’ll have to do something they’ve not achieved in 37 years: defeat a team placed top of the table away from home in a league fixture. Not since a 2-1 away win at Wimbledon in September 1986 have the Merseyside club done this.
Everton 1-0 Arsenal: 4 February 2023 (Premier League)
This shock 1-0 win for Everton saw new boss Dyche became just the second manager to beat a side starting the day top in his first Premier League game in charge of a club, after Alan Curbishley’s West Ham beat Manchester United in December 2006.
Arsenal’s defeat was their first in 14 games, as Mikel Arteta lost for a third successive game at Goodison Park as the Gunners’ manager.
James Tarkowski’s winning goal was his eighth in the Premier League overall, with all eight coming under Dyche’s management (seven at Burnley). His 60th-minute header past Aaron Ramsdale from an inswinging Dwight McNeill corner was the only goal of the game, as Everton posted a total xG of 1.67 – the fourth most against Arsenal in a Premier League match in 2022-23.
Mikel Arteta’s side have 57 points from their 24 Premier League games this season, and a victory here would be the joint fastest the Gunners have ever reached 60 points in a single league campaign, also doing so after 25 games in both 2003-04 and 2007-08.
After a mini wobble which saw them win just a single point from three Premier League games against Everton, Brentford and Manchester City, Arsenal seem to have found the winning formula again, with back-to-back victories vs. Aston Villa and Leicester City. Both wins came away from home, however, with Arsenal looking to avoid making it three successive league games at the Emirates without a win for the first time since April 2021 – the third game of which also came at home against Everton (1-0).
Everton’s away form in recent years has been nothing short of horrendous. Since September 2021, they have won only two of their 28 Premier League away games, losing 19 and picking up just 13 of a possible 84 points. Their total of seven away points in 2022-23 so far (W1 D4 L6) is only more than West Ham, Leeds and Nottingham Forest (all six), with only Forest (three) scoring fewer goals in matches on the road than Everton (six).
Players to Watch
Arsenal: Martin Ødegaard
Martin Ødegaard is the central figure from which so much of Arsenal’s creative output stems from in 2022-23. The Norwegian has an xG assisted total of 4.2 in the Premier League from open play this season, which is the fifth highest in the competition and only behind Gabriel Martinelli (4.5) at Arsenal. He’s also created a total of 41 chances from open play – the fourth most in the Premier League and one fewer than team-mate Bukayo Saka (42).
His total of 95 progressive passes in open play is more than any other Arsenal player in the league this season, while only Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne (20) has attempted more through balls than him (17) in open play.
Ødegaard has found the back of the net in two of his three Premier League starts against Everton but failed to score in this season’s reverse fixture at Goodison Park.
Everton: Dwight McNeil
Having managed him at Burnley for five Premier League seasons, Sean Dyche knew exactly what to expect from Dwight McNeil. The young English winger moved to Merseyside in the summer but struggled to make much of an impact under former boss Frank Lampard at the club. However, Dyche is once again getting the most of the 23-year-old.
McNeil has been Everton’s top creator since Dyche arrived at Goodison Park, both overall (11) and from open play (10), while he’s provided 44% of their open-play crosses in the four games under their new manager (31 of 71).
He also leads other midfielders Alex Iwobi (12), Abdoulaye Doucouré (11), Amadou Onana (11) for open-play sequence involvement leading to shots.
Arsenal vs Everton Prediction
Arsenal are heavy favourites to win this match with the Opta supercomputer. Their chances of winning and reaching 60 points for the season stand at 55.5%, with Everton’s chance of causing a shock rated at just 18.6%.
But we only have to look back to 4 February to see shocks can happen. Everton were being given just 25.3% chance of beating the Gunners at Goodison Park in Dyche’s first game… and they did it.
Expect a low-scoring affair, with the previous five Premier League meetings between sides led by Arteta and Dyche witnessing just five goals, with no team scoring more than once in any of those matches.
Mikel Arteta has only won one of the six games against teams coached by Sean Dyche and his team have scored just two goals in that run. (W1 D3 L2).— Orbinho (@Orbinho) February 27, 2023
Results Arteta v Dyche
Heading into that game, Everton were being given a 71% chance of relegation in the Opta supercomputer seasonal predictions. That chance now stands at 63.5% thanks to six points from four games under Dyche – a lower chance than Southampton (80.6%) and Bournemouth (67.2%).
Arsenal might be two points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table ahead of this match with a game in hand on City, but the Opta predictor is still giving Pep Guardiola’s side the edge in the title race. Man City currently have an 51.2% chance of retaining the Premier League title, with Arsenal’s chances now rated at 46.0%.
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