Match Preview: Everton vs Arsenal
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Arsenal stuttered against Aston Villa at the weekend in a relatively subdued 0-0 draw, a match they ought to have won. But the Midlands side deserved the point for their persistent pressure and tenacity with the Gunners unable to find the break through. It seemed that Wenger’s men were starting to get back to their best after decent victories over Montpellier and Spurs, but fatigue perhaps set in and affected the North London sides killer instinct against The Villains Regardless of the weekends result their form isn’t too bad – WWDDL.
Everton had a dream start to the season until recently when the fixtures have been less kind for the Merseyside outfit. David Moyes has built himself a solid side over the past few seasons with a few of his players developing into Premier League stars such as Leighton Baines, Mauroane Fellaini and Jelavic proving a real handful. No player in Eurpoe’s big five leagues has created more chances than their left back Baines (50), while in the Premier League, Santi Cazorla is second to Baines (39). They currently sit fifth, one point ahead of the Gunners, and have failed to recreate their winning form in recent matches after a draw to Norwich and a loss to Reading. Their past five games looks like this – DLWDD
History happens to be in Arsenal’s favour, they’ve won eight and lost none of their last 10 Premier League meetings against Everton ,and in the last 21 games against Arsenal (in all competitions), Everton have only managed more than one goal in a game on one occasion. But Arsenal are understandably underdogs after some questionable form recently and the fact they must travel to Goodison Park, so they are paying a healthy 7/4 (2.75) to win away, a nice value bet.
A draw is quite possible. When you look at their past five matches, collectively Arsenal and the Toffees have drawn 5 of their past ten games in the Premier League. The odds for a draw are reasonably high at 12/5 (3.40).
Interestingly Michael Oliver will referee the fixture, and he has only ever officiated four Arsenal games and they have won one and lost three. Everton on the overhand are unbeaten in five games with Oliver as the referee (W3 D2 L0), with red cards for opposition players in the last two Toffees’ games he has handled. The home side are favourites at 6/4 (2.50).
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An interesting fact – Arsenal have scored 81 goals in Premier League history against Everton; only Man Utd (82 v Everton) has seen one team score more against a single opponent in the competition. This includes two massive wins for the Gunners – 6-1 in August 2009 at Goodison Park and 7-0 at Highbury in May 2005.
Everton 1 Arsenal 2 = 10/1 (11.00)
Note: Stats from opta/Uk Eurosport