Everton v Arsenal: Lukaku ready to pounce on wounded Gunners

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These are tough times for Arsenal, and as they head to Goodison Park to open the Premier League weekend action against Everton, they’ll need to be on their guard to ensure thing’s don’t get worse.

Arsene Wenger’s men have won just one of their last eight fixtures, and that was against a weakened Hull City in an FA Cup replay.

Despite an admirably performance against the unstoppable Barcelona in midweek, the fans are still on Wenger’s back, and Roberto Martinez’s Everton are well poised to take advantage of their visitor’s troubles.

The Toffees aren’t short of disgruntlement either, but they’re scoring for fun this  term and are 13/8 for victory, with Arsenal 6/4 and a draw 5/2.

Arsenal – 11 points behind leaders Leicester – are unbeaten in the last three meetings between the sides – winning the last two – but they’ll do well to stop Romelu Lukaku in his current form.

The Belgian has scored six goals in his last six appearances in all competitions, and ahead of the game we’re boosting Everton’s record signing to score and his side to win from 5/2 to 7/2.

The 22-year-old 9/2 to put the ball in the net first, and 11/8 to do so within the 90 minutes.

Aside from Lukaku, Aaron Lennon is another player revelling under Martinez’s free-flowing style, with three goals in his last six games.

The former Tottenham man is 11/1 to open the scoring, and 10/3 to net anytime.

Olivier Giroud certainly enjoys facing the blue half of Merseyside, notching five goals in his last five appearances against them.

The Frenchman has netted the opener in each of the last two meetings, and is 5/1 to do so again, while it’s 7/4 he nets anytime.

Six of Everton’s last seven league games seeing over 2.5 goals, as have all of Arsenal’s last four, throw in the 90 goals in Toffee’s matches this term – averaging over three per game – and the 4/6 on more than two and a half goals this afternoon looks a no-brainer.

This isn’t the game Arsenal would have really wanted to kick-start their faltering Premier League challenge, but if they can halt the rampant Lukaku, and break through Everton’s suspect defence, they could still launch a late title bid.

Fail to win however, and it’s going to be a long end to what will almost certainly be a trophyless season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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