Everton’s recent slump is threatening to negate the benefits their excellent start to Premier League proceedings brought about. Their draw with Norwich at the weekend was the sixth game in seven that they’ve failed to win and the visit of Arsenal kicks off a run of three difficult games for the Toffees.
The Gunners are followed by a trip to Man City before David Moyes’ men host another would-be fourth-place finisher in Tottenham. With Arsenal struggling for rhythm, it could be argued that the first game represents the most winnable of the three and their price of 6/4 suggests the bettors are inclined to agree.
Three points would be a significant marker thrown down by the Toffees in their bid to crash the top-four party as well as opening up a four-point gap between themselves and the north Londoners.
However, recent meetings between the two exemplify just how tough a game this is going to be for the blue Merseysiders. They have not beaten Arsene Wenger’s side in their previous 10 attempts, losing the last four.
The return of Marouane Fellaini will be a big boost for the hosts here as they look to end their five-and-a-half year winless run against Arsenal. His physicality and aerial prowess caused Nemanja Vidic and co all kinds of bother in the season’s opener and he’s more than capable of wreaking havoc amongst the Gunners back four.
At 8/1, he’s a prime contender to open the scoring, whereas 5/2 to score at any time is a good price.
Arsenal looked weary against Aston Villa last time out and whether they’ve had enough time to recover ahead of this big game at Goodison remains to be seen.
They lacked impetus in the final third as they struggled and, ultimately, failed to break down a usually charitable Villa back four. With Everton a far more resolute outfit goals are going to be even harder to come by which makes the home win to nil well worth a punt at 4/1.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date