Can Arsenal take Goodison Park off their list of bogey grounds? We look ahead to Sunday’s Premier League game with our Everton vs Arsenal prediction and preview.
Everton vs Arsenal: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer predicts Arsenal’s strong start to 2023-24 to continue, giving them a 50.5% chance of picking up a much-awaited victory at Goodison Park.
- Arsenal have lost four of their last five away games against Everton.
- Everton have underperformed their expected goals more than any other Premier League side this season.
Arsenal travel to Goodison Park on Sunday to take on Everton, full of confidence after a surging late win against Manchester United before the international break. Injury-time goals for Declan Rice – his first for the club – and Gabriel Jesus saw Mikel Arteta’s side deservedly take all three points at the Emirates.
The Gunners come into this game unbeaten through four games, their only blemish a disappointing 2-2 home draw against Fulham.
Everton scored their first goals and earned their first point of the season in their last game, a battling 2-2 draw away at Sheffield United. Abdoulaye Doucouré and Arnaut Danjuma scored the goals, but equally important were Jordan Pickford’s heroics in goal at the other end to keep the game level.
Irrespective of that point, Sean Dyche’s side have got off to a poor start (D1 L3). They’re one of five sides without a Premier League victory this season, alongside Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Luton and Burnley. If they don’t beat Arsenal here, Everton will have failed to win any of their first five games in back-to-back league campaigns, something that has happened just twice in their first 30 Premier League seasons between 1992-93 and 2021-22 (in 1994-95 and 2010-11).
Scoring goals has been their biggest issue. In fact, Everton have underperformed their expected goals (xG) more than any other Premier League side this season, netting around five goals fewer than their xG suggests they should have done (two goals scored, 7.3 xG). New signing Beto – who looked sharp against Sheffield United – will be looking to end their scoring woes up top, something that recently departed Neal Maupay was unable to do. Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be back from his facial injury, and new signing Jack Harrison joined in first-team training this week. This game will also come too early for the return of André Gomes, however.
Despite Everton’s poor form, as we outlined in Arsenal’s season preview, Goodison Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners. They’ve lost four of their last five trips there – and could only draw the fifth – including losing 1-0 last season in what was Sean Dyche’s first game in charge of Everton. That was a result, by the way, that ended an eight-game winless run for Everton at the time.
Arsenal seem to have a habit of kick-starting Everton’s campaigns, so Mikel Arteta will be hoping they don’t do the same again.
Eddie Nketiah started against Man Utd, but Jesus showed his class off the bench with Arsenal’s third goal and Arteta may well thrust him back into the starting lineup. The Brazilian certainly enjoys playing against Everton, having scored eight goals in just nine Premier League appearances against the Toffees, more than he has against any other opponent. Those goals have come at a rate of one every 71 minutes, which is the best rate of any player to play 500+ minutes against Everton.
Martin Ødegaard got Arsenal’s equaliser against Erik ten Hag’s United. Arsenal’s captain has scored in three of his four Premier League starts against Everton, only failing to do so in the 1-0 away defeat in February. Since the start of last season, he’s scored more goals (17) than any other Arsenal player.
In Arsenal team news, Thomas Partey, Jurriën Timber and Mohamed Elneny remain absent; Bukayo Saka is fine to feature after concerns over an Achilles issue.
Everton vs Arsenal Head-to-Head
As mentioned, Everton have won four of their last five home league games against Arsenal (D1), including each of the last three in a row. They last won four consecutively against the Gunners between March 1910 and March 1913.
Having lost his first nine Premier League games against Arsenal, Sean Dyche has since lost just two of his last seven against the north London side (W2 D3).
Arteta has only lost more Premier League games as a manager against Man City (seven) than he has against Everton (four), with the former Toffees midfielder losing all three of his trips to Goodison so far.
Both of Everton’s Premier League home games this season have been 1-0 defeats. Only three times in their league history have Everton lost each of their first three at Goodison Park (1958-59, 2005-06 and 2008-09), while among those, only in 2005-06 did they fail to score a single goal.
With just one point after four games, this start is Everton’s joint worst in Premier League history, level with 1994-95 when they also had one point and a goal difference of -6.
Arsenal have started the season unbeaten, with 10 points from a possible 12 in their opening four games.
Their 10-point tally is fewer than last season’s excellent start where they collected maximum points from their opening five games before eventually losing at Man Utd on MD 6. This is, however, one of just six Premier League seasons in which Arsenal have reached double figures for points in their first four games – the previous five have seen them secure a top-four finish at the end of the campaign.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Everton vs Arsenal Prediction
Our Everton vs Arsenal prediction expects the Gunners’ strong start to 2023-24 to continue, giving them a 50.5% chance of picking up a much-awaited victory at Goodison Park.
Everton are given just a 22.4% chance of causing an upset, though Dyche’s side would probably take a draw. The likelihood of the points being shared stands at 27.1%.
Despite Arsenal’s unbeaten start, the supercomputer gives them just a 2.9% chance of lifting the Premier League trophy at the end of the campaign. Manchester City (91%) are the overwhelming favourites for that, while Liverpool (5.8%) have moved in as second favourites. Despite that, it appears Arsenal are a lock for a Champions League spot, with the model predicting they qualify for next year’s competition at a 82.1% rate.
Everton, meanwhile, are predicted to have a major fight on their hands to avoid relegation. They flirted with it last season, and are the supercomputer’s third-favourites to suffer relegation (52.6%). They are currently predicted to finish 18th and drop down into the Championship, together with Luton Town and Sheffield United.