Arsenal travel to Goodison Park this Sunday looking to avenge there 3-0 defeat suffered in March, which ultimately ended any aspirations they had for a tilt at the title.
Neither team got off to the perfect start in their opening Premier League fixtures, with Everton drawing away at Leicester City before Arsenal scraped past Crystal Palace with a stoppage time winner at The Emirates.
Roberto Martinez’s side lead twice at the King Power Stadium and he will be disappointed that they were pegged back on each occasion. Everton’s performance was akin to the way they played last season.
They finished last season as the second best team at keeping the ball, averaging 63.3% of possession, while also averaging 13 shots per game – the fifth highest in the league.
They saw 67% of the ball against Leicester and looked like they would see the game out comfortably, until Chris Wood swept home five minutes from the end of play.
Despite having the majority of possession, Everton only managed three shots on target out of their 13 shots in total, although two of these produced goals and were finishes of the highest order.
Everton’s team was similar to the starting 11 Martinez would have played last year with a fully fit squad. The only ‘new’ signings in their starting 11 was Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry, who both made their loan moves permanent over the summer.
Ross Barkley is expected to be out for an extended period of time, but Everton have made a couple of key acquisitons in Christian Atsu and Muhamed Besic, likely to be heavily utilised by Martinez throughout the season.
As expected Arsenal remained pretty on the ball last season, averaging 76% of possession – the highest in the league – as well as having the best passing accuracy with an average of 87.7%.
With the sacking of Tony Pulis confirmed days before the season opener, many thought Crystal Palace would be rolled over at The Emirates. However, they put in a plucky performance and Arsenal needed a scrappy stoppage time goal from Aaron Ramsey to ensure the win.
The Welsh man has picked up from where he left off last season and will aim to improve on his tally of 10 league goals last season.
Although Arsenal didn’t play particularly well against Palace, they got the job done. Something they have failed to do in recent seasons.
Wenger got his big business done early this summer, with Alexis Sanchez joining the Gunners. A signing of his calibre may just see Arsenal hurdle their usual February downfall and push on for silverware.
Arsenal have failed to beat Everton in their last four attempts, drawing at The Emirates last year before being convincingly beaten at Goodison.
Prediction: Arsenal win – best odds here
Arsenal’s record against The Toffee’s hasn’t been great in recent years, but we don’t expect them to become unstuck in this one. The Gunners always start the season well and Everton made some sloppy defensive errors last weekend that Arsenal are likely to capitalise on.
Money maker: BTTS + result – best odds here
Everton may have made some defensive errors against Leicester, but they still looked a threat going forward and Lukaku will fancy his chances against Calum Chambers. However, Arsenal always start the season well and we fancy them to end their Goodison hoodoo on Saturday evening.