Arsenal – Everton: Match Preview, Predicted Line-up. Consolidating Fine Work in the CL is Never Easy but

it Must be Done.  How does Arsenal come down from a big European Night and get back to business in the league?

Last season, this fixture came directly after the crushing 3-1 mid-week loss–at home–to AS Monaco in the Champions League.  Arsenal had been on a good run of form but, in front of our home support, the team had let itself down by failing to take advantage of (what seemed like) a tasty draw in the round of 16 eliminations.  Losing 3-1 in the first leg was a ticket out of that competition, and, with Chelsea running away with the Premier League title, getting back into our league campaign was a good deal less exciting for many Gooners.  We won that match 2-nil, but many were less than pleased.   (I was going to link to Marcus’ assessment of that match here on BK but it appears to have been cleansed from the site.)

This year—actually it’s the same calendar year, just a new season—we go into the fixture on far happier footing, having beaten Bayern Munich on Tuesday.  We’ve also scored 6 and conceded none in our past two league matches (at Watford and at home vs Manchester United) and—as long as we play our best 11, we appear a bit of a competitive juggernaut.  Solid defending, lightning on the break and able to patiently break down stubborn opponents, as needed.

Everton will test this notion, especially as they’ve had a full week to prepare for the challenge after a very disappointing 3-nil loss at home to ManU.  Their manager, Roberto Martinez, one of the best communicators in the league, will have take the lessons from that one on board, and come up with a game plan for eking something from this match.

Moreover, Martinez has slowly built a group of players who bring physicality and culture to the task.  Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Gareth Barry, Phil Jagielka and John Stones are all choices Martinez can employ down the spine of the team to bring size and strength to the action.  Buzzing around them are quality players with pace, including Arouna Kone, Steven Naismith, Gerard Delofeu, Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman.  My point: this Everton squad should not be taken lightly, especially as they will have been wounded by the result a week ago at Goodison Park and have shown that they can claim points on their travels.  The 3-nil beatdown they gave Southampton looks the best, but they also drew in South Wales at Swansea and took full points at West Brom.  When in the mood they can score goals even against strong defences, their three goals vs the defending league champions, Chelsea, being perhaps their best performance of the new season.

How then does Arsenal approach this one?

Manager Arsene Wenger will have some headaches with which to contend.  Mostly he will have to get the group to re-focus after the heroics of Tuesday night.  Additionally, iron-man Aaron Ramsey is out with a hamstring injury and replacing his balance of running and linking attack with defending will be difficult.  Is there additional room to rotate?  Are other players in the famed “red-zone,” where they should be protected?

Unfortunately, I think rest and rotation will have to wait until next Tuesday’s Capital One Cup match at Sheffield Wednesday and the only change that I see from Tuesday will be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in for Ramsey.

Bench: Macey, Gabriel, Debuchy, Gibbs, Arteta, Giroud, Campbell

Of course, WTF do I know?  Others may have different ideas and will want to delve deeper into the squad or even try out some different players in different positions.  I just believe that Wenger will not want to fix what ain’t broke (as we say back in the States) and will lean upon his core group to show the home support that they have both the quality and the resolve to keep giving the performances to get the results needed.  My hunch is that they may be more pragmatic and direct (and willing to encourage Everton onto the ball just a bit in order to counter at pace) but content to play in whatever style is needed to get the job done.

That’s just my view.  What do others believe?  Can we come down from the fine midweek result and take care of this business?  Can we consolidate all this fine play against a tough league opponent?  What’s the best approach, etc., etc.

Have at it…

by 17highburyterrace

19 thoughts on “Arsenal – Everton: Match Preview, Predicted Line-up. Consolidating Fine Work in the CL is Never Easy but

  • Hi 17ht,

    Good preview. For me, your lineup is kind of suit the masses type.

    Yes, we will have the core that won against manu** and the Munich lads, and I believe that Wenger will start that way too.

    The only player that might not start is Ox. Arteta might be drafted in alongside Le Coq and Santi pushed forward, with Ozil on the right.

    We might also see another combination that pushes Theo out wide, while up at the top belongs to Ollie.

    This is all guessing, and its open for comments 🙂


  • Nice preview 17!

    I think we will see your predicted line up versus Everton.

    Personally, I would play Flamini in Ramsey’s vacant right wing spot as I think he is the most like for like player in Arsenal’s squad and I think continuity of playing style is crucial to Arsenal performing consistently.

    Ox appears to have a skill set and attributes more similar to Alexis than Ramsey. As such I see Ox as Alexis’ competition/back up on the left wing rather than Ramsey’s on the right.

    Irrespective of who occupies that right wing role versus Everton, if Arsenal deploy Alexis on the left wing and Ozil in the No 10 role it is crucial Ozil drifts to the right wing to help create overloads on that side of the pitch and subsequently goal scoring chances for Alexis and Theo. Verus Watford (particularly in the first half) and versus Bayern Munich Ozil seemed to drift far more to the left wing than the right wing. I think that movement to the left wing somewhat diminished Arsenal’s attacking play as it crowds Alexis and draws Alexis into a play making role rather than a scoring role (which is his undoubted strength). That said I think Ozil has been playing great recently and the above is being very critical of him. It’s just something I’ve noticed over the past 4-5 games.

    All in all expecting a very tough match versus very good Everton side. I had predicted at the start of the season that Arsenal would draw this match and after the mid week efforts I think that still might be the outcome. That said, momentum and confidence can do amazing things and I’ll be cheering them on in early hours of the morning hoping they can get the three points.

  • Great preview Seventeenho 😜

    Everton are a good team and good of you to point out the strength of their spine. I am happy that we played CL footie on Tuesday and did not have to travel far…. Just back to earth.. 🎆

    We should be fresh and focused again and I rather play the Toffees now than say Sunderland or Norwich… There is no risk of us underestimating them. Not a game to start Ox imo, unless it is in Alexis’ place. The team will have to work hard and I reckon we have the right discipline in the team to start with a good balance between control and hunger. Should be a good game of footie for all. ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️

  • Flo8,

    I see we have the same brainwave as i mentioned Flams to replace Rambo on the right wing in my comment on the previous post.

    However i feel that Ox has the ability to play both sides. If we have Alexis and Ox on the wings then we will see something even better.


  • Nice write up 17’o…

    Yep, with a League Cup tie coming up midweek, I reckon your line-up pretty well hits the spot, although I did wonder if AW might give Gabriel a start and rest Kozzer?

    Interesting to see 4 young midfielders involved in 1st team training, not that that means anything other than AW may have been working on something he’d seen from the way Everton play?
    Bielik and Kamara could both be involved at Hillsborough, whilst Macey definately will.
    I see that Sheff Weds left Martinez out of their squad yesterday, no doubt with the LC tie in mind?
    Sheaf and Bennacer were the other two young midfielders involved in training…
    We certainly have a very encouraging group of young, talented midfielders coming through our Academy.
    Could be that the eventual successors to Flamini, Rosicky and Arteta will be sourced from within the club?

  • That’s the beauty of the League Cup game, Allezkev: we can use some youngsters mixed with quality squad players. That should be a good game too.

  • Two goals blitz in two minutes from our French duo thanks to our creative Özirla axis ( 😀 ) and poorly conceded goal to Barkley (Ox at fault, IMHO).

    Let’s keep the lead so that we can be top of the league for at least 22 hours. 🙂

  • Considering the Bayern game and the energy our players must have used in overcoming one of the best teams around, I wasn’t surprised that our intensity dropped in the 2nd 45.
    All the same, we could have run out even more convincing winners with the chances we had…

    Yeah Total, I always enjoy the LC when we face a team that allows AW more licence to rotate and mix n match youngsters with experienced squad members…
    I’m really looking forward to the game in Sheffield…

    Top of the league for a few hours….
    Happy Days 🙂

  • Good win and 2 goals in minutes makes us happy. Nervy ending there, and we had chances to score more today.

    Time for the lads to have a deserved rest for the league cup, but we must not underestimate any of our opponents.


  • Just returned from Greece and saw the match without knowing the score. Really impressed by our performance and plenty to discuss tomorrow. The spine won us the game! ↕️

  • Is today tomorrow or do we wait for tomorrow?… 😀

    I watched the match at a bar in San Sebastian and felt like we were the better team throughout but a bit at odds with the rain and having a struggle to get going after the midweek heroics. It seemed like the keepers did nothing at all until they had to pick the balls out of their nets late in the first period.

    By contrast the 2nd half seemed much better football (the rain lightened up, I think) but no goals. Again, we were the better team but it could have gone either way with the game as open as it was. We just didn’t quite have the energy to press in the middle of the pitch and win the ball back on very many occasions. We came awfully close to a goal and the group was playing well enough that I can see why there were no subs until very late and then only 2 of the 3 were used.

    Regardless, it was a strong win and I love the boom-boom of the two goals in rapid succession and the general control we seemed to possess. I have no idea how AW will try to get some rest and rotation for Tuesday, but that certainly seems the goal… Gotta watch the training news and whatever hints from the press conferences, I guess. Overall, the squad is doing well but this is a long stretch with games every 4 days and not all that many bodies available. We. Shall. See. So far, so good, however…

    E-mail coming, TA…

  • Guys, anyone doing the preview tmr?

    The one that is certainly on the teamsheet will be Cech. Monsieur Wenger has spoken earlier.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s