The most significant unimportant points (01/03/23) – Everton game preview
It’s a cliché that all victories worth the same 3 points and all points count the same, but I feel that today we have a vital game to win. Not simply for the cementing our lead on the top of the table, but to show that our shocking defeat 3 and a half weeks ago was merely a statistical outlier, and we are back in business big time.
In today’s preview, I try to organize all relevant information ahead of the early afternoon clash at the Emirates after our surprise defeat at Goodison Park, whether they support our 19th victory of the season or they challenge it. Albeit not all arguments should have equal weight, I hope the sheer surplus of PRO arguments should be a promising sign before the game. Let’s get going!
Signs that Arsenal will WIN the game today:
- PL TABLE: Arsenal sits on the top, and Everton is the 18th (with the same points as Bournemouth below them, but a much better goal difference).
- LEAGUE POINTS: we have accumulated 57 points in 24 games, while they collected only 21. That is almost 3x the efficiency (ppg) on our side.
- HISTORY: Arsenal have won 8 of the last 9 home matches against Everton, including our Pre-season friendly in Baltimore.
- INJURIES: with Nelson and Smith-Rowe back in training we are without the services of Jesus and Elneny – which Arsenal are quite accustomed to – while Everton will most likely miss Calvert-Lewin, Townsend, Gardner and Patterson. Partey is available again, as we saw him again against Leicester.
- PL FORM: Arsenal won 9 of our last 13 league games (D2, L2), while Everton lost 8 of their last 12 games (W2, D2) – surprisingly drawing against Manchester City at the Etihad on New Year’s Eve and beating us 25 days ago.
- SQUAD VALUE: due to the recent run of games and smart investments Arsenal player worth is €803M (according to TransferMarkt), while Everton worth is only €368M, despite having 2 more players in their squad, making us 2.2x more valuable.
- TRANSFER WINDOW: Arsenal managed to reinforce the team spending 60M on 3 players, two of them have already proved their fee (worth about 75M combined), while Everton lost one of their best players and joint top-scorer Antony Gordon for a decent 40M, but without anybody coming in.
- FORMATION EXPERIENCE: Arsenal always plays in 4-2-3-1 (sometimes referred as 4-3-3, but I think Odegaard would easily qualify for a CAM), while Everton has tested 10 different formations this season.
- SMALL DEFENDERS: apart from the huge Yerry Mina, the other defenders are around 183-184, about 3-4 inches below the aerial threat of Saliba and Gabriel. Everton conceded the 2nd most goals from corners.
- DYCHE vs. ARSENAL: Sean lost 11 of his 16 games against Arsenal; his 0.56 point per match ratio is only superior to his 0.29 PPM vs Manchester City (and on level with Chelsea and Liverpool). We are simply too creative for him.
- JORGINHO: Partey did train with the rest of the team, but after his knock against City there is some chance that Arteta would keep resting him today, giving the opportunity to our latest signing to win the supporters and show Potter what he is missing for the lousy 12M. The Brazilo-Italian was my MotM twice in our last 3 games, so probably doesn’t need much more evidence, though.
- REFEREE Michael Oliver is a slimy w@nker, but we won all 3 PL games this season which he officiated, awarded 2 penalties for us, 1 against us, booking Arsenal players 3 times while the opponents got 9 yellow cards in these games. Everton’s statistics with Oliver is 3 points from 2 games, no penalties either way, 4 yellow cards collected as the opponents were booked 5 times.
- EXPERIENCE AGAINST BUS: Arteta’s Arsenal have struggled against ultra-defensive, bus-parking teams in the past, but this season we have a breakthrough, as both wingers (featuring Trossard), our AM Odegaard as well as striker Nketiah – who is not poaching Eddie any more – are equally dangerous and hard to mark.
- REVENGE: Our players will increase their already impressive efforts to show that our defeat at Goodison Park was a mere temporary slip, including the awful display. There are not many teams our boys have something to prove against, they did twice against Tottenham, they failed twice against City; as far as I’m concerned only this game is left, maybe our visit to Newcastle in May.
- EVERTON ON THE ROAD: they have only won once away from home in the Premier League this season (1:2 against bottom-feeding Southampton) all the way back in October, losing six and drawing the other four.
- STAMINA & BENCH: Everton scored their 6 of their 17 goals in the first half and conceded 14 of the 32 total, indicating a team being more active in the second half. That should suit us having a lot of hungry young players and an overall strong bench, especially if Arteta is willing to utilize it.
Signs that we may lose some point(s) against Everton:
- BLUEPRINT: the Toffees not only ended our 13-game unbeaten streak (W11, D2), but did so in style. We hardly had any chance and the single goal they scored is flattering us (xG: 2.09). They might know what tactics are effective against Arsenal, but at least they think they know.
- CURRENT HOME FORM: after our 7 wins out of 7 home games in 2022 we won only one in the next 4. While we are proud that the Emirates is a castle hard to capture, our recent results are a bit disappointing. (Actually, our away form is the deciding factor in the competition so far, as we have now picked up at least seven more points than any other team in the league away from home this season.)
- MOTIVATION AGAINST LEAGUE LEADERS: it is a known and common phenomenon that bottom clubs often outperform themselves against top teams to demonstrate the little difference in the Premier League. (This is less common in other leagues.) They did it once already.
- EVERTON vs ARSENAL: historically the Toffees have four wins in their last five clashes with Arsenal, which is one more than they had in their previous 26 matches against us. Maybe we are more predictable than we thought, or their physical style just doesn’t suit us…
- BOUNCE BACK EFFECT: Teams after the manager is sacked have a tendency to shine in their next game. My guess that’s the players both trying to impress the new coach and/or showing the fans that the previous run of poor forms was the fault of the previous manager, not theirs. Everton won 2 of their 4 games with Dyche already, but that effect should cease at some point.
- DYCHE vs. ARTETA: albeit the newly appointed manager was trashed by both Wenger (0 point in 7 games) and Emery (0 point in 3 games), against Arteta Sean had W2, D3, L1 in 6 games indicating a draw later today.
- IWOBI’s FORM: Despite Everton’s poor league performance, Arsenal academy graduate and former gunner Alex Iwobi is in a fine form. In all the 4 games under Dyche Alex was rated above 7, even though he was playing 2 different positions, and not the one perfected under Lampard.
The number of signs that we will win today is 15 (compared to the 6 counter-arguments), but there haven’t been more than 2 goals in an Everton-game since mid-January. So I predict a 2:0 home victory, and reiterate my hope that Eddie Nketiah will find his goal scoring ways.
I hope our title-aspiring campaign continues with a confident win over relegation-pressed Everton, while Manchester City might lose points hosting Newcastle on Saturday, and United when visiting Liverpool on Sunday. I appreciate and support the little teams, but let Goliath win this time.
By Peter Barany
46 thoughts on “Arsenal v Everton Preview: Time to Make our Cannon Roar and Roar”
Super post, PB.
I think you summed up the pros and contras really well. I think the team will indeed be up for this one and many a Gunner will want to score tonight. Eddie needs a goal and so does the Ode. Saka and Martinelli/Trossard also want goals and it has been a while since Granit cracked one in. On top of that, we have not had a goal for a while from our central defenders, and they will also want to have a go tonight. I will take any win as that five point gap with Citeh is very sweet to have, but I am hoping for a rout tonight.
Some very fine Arsenal v Everton videos in this Arsenal.com link.
A touch of Latin there TA.
Tomiyasu at left-back might be a consideration for Arteta given the height advantage of Everton?
Partey (if 100%) or Jorginho is a big call, given Everton’s lack of pace up front then maybe Jorginho is the way to go?
Thanks a lot, P.
There is this weird Dyche-Arteta thing (a bit like our nightmarish, not to be accounted-for rationally, “City” run), otherwise predicting a win tonight looks like a no-brainer.
The “psychological” aspect will be important, though. “We”, the fans, may look forward to being five points clear at the top tonight. But Mick and the lads may not, they have to stay focused on the moment(s), which is not as easy as it sounds.
If they succeed in keeping their minds from drifting, their talent will do the rest and the table at 2230 will be a sight for sore eyes indeed .
Manchester City v Newcastle United H
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United H
Chelsea v Leeds United * A (1-2)
Wolverhampton v Tottenham Hotspur * H (1-0)
Liverpool v Manchester United * H (2-1)
Monza v Empoli D
Haha Kev. I failed at Latin badly. Just a bit of Dunglish. 🙂
Watching the Alkmaar U19s kick Barcelona out of the Youth League.
They’re 3 goals up (3-0), with five minutes to go.
They’re a very impressive side, these Northern Holland boys: tall, disciplined, mature at the back, intelligent and creative in midfield, and impressively incisive upfront, with two Cozier-Duberry lookalikes on either wing, and a strong, left-footed CF who is also their skipper, who scored two (2nd and 3rd) and contributed to the first (an absolute stunner this one, try to check it out) – don’t have the names, it’s “pure live” on “bein” and there are no comments.
Very enjoyable 90 minutes, I’ll try and keep an eye on ’em …
Fine preview, PB. Sets the tone for the game, and I am so looking forward to it.
The Key Pros, for me, are the fact we are top of the table (they are way down the table) and we play at The home of football. There is a reason for the gap and that’s what the boys should focus on showing tonight. We are the better side and it’s that simple! Yes, we lost the reverse but that had a bit to do with the new manager (and our lads not prepared for what came off it) and we seemed to have had a bad day at the office.
I am glad you have researched our stats with Ref Oliver as that occurred to me as a thing; I had thought it’s been neither here nor there for us, with him in charge.
If he is fit, I’d start Partey because of the aggressive style of their midfielders and the fact he’d have a thing or two to prove; recall they got their goal right after Partey was subbed off for Jorginho.
On the height front, I am not too certain we have the taller team though. Tarkowsky, Coady, Mykolenko, Doucore, Onana and Calvert-Lewin are all giants around our forward lads. Hence, they always looked dangerous, whether defending or attacking set pieces, which is a job for the entire team, not only defenders. That’s my view, though.
Thanks PB. I’d only add set pieces in as a potential banana skin. Everton could have had three goals against us up at Goodison from corners. Our record has been very good defending corners this season but that game found us out big time. As mentioned Tomi would make a difference, as would Eddie in defending against set pieces.
Well done on recognizing Iwobi’s excellence this season, and very interesting to read of Oliver’s performances when he has reffed us this season.
Condolences, LG on the passing of the great Just Fontaine. Would he, in your book make an all time French international X1?
Arsenal team news
Starting XI: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Jorginho, Xhaka, Saka, Trossard, Martinelli.
Subs: Turner, Tierney, Partey, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Kiwior, Holding, Tomiyasu, Vieira.
So, it is either Partey is not fully fit; or, Arteta prefers Jorginho for this job. I am indifferent because both have qualities which give us an advantage.
Stu, he was one of the greatest, probably the greatest French CF ever.
I was born in December 1958 so all I can do is repeat what my old man told me about him – and he talked about him quite often (my dad was a fan).
His stats say a lot – Gerd Mueller was the only CF as prolific as him. But more importantly he was notorious for being an extraordinary character. He used to say “I’m the only one who never says a word about that Sweden record”. He was said to be a fabulous story-teller and ” Loulou” Floch who played for PSG when Justo coached the team, often said that the bus trip from hotel to stadium was enough for the team to get relaxed, joyful, oblivious of the stakes, thanks to Justo’s never-ending list of anecdotes.
He was a unionist (he did a lot to release French professionals from the clubs’ yoke), an all-attacking football activist (his teams always relied on the offside rule to play with 4 defenders on the same line, who were told to retreat to the safety of their boxes only in case of absolute necessity, their aim was to play in the oppponents’ half most of the time).
He was a laid-back, old-fashioned chain-smoker and my ‘pa would show me hilarious pictures of PSG practice sessions which Justo looked upon with a big cigar in his mouth … but make no mistake, he was successful too, he was in charge when PSG got promoted to Ligue 1!!
He could sing, and was – very temporarily – the kindest of pundits, he always had nice things to say about his “Bleus” successors; all of those who had conversations with him said how encouraging he had been with them.
Thanks for your kind thought, Stu, this is a very sad day,
Condolences, LeGall. May his soul rest in peace.
Thanks LG. Those are exceptional memories. For me Fontaine is certainly up there with the Galloping Major and Der Bomber as the greatest European strikers until Cruyff.
There’s a Starman …
1-0 to the Arsenal after having to be patient against the 10 men behind the ball tactics of Everton.
I underestimated the psychological side of this fixture, with Arteta in charge. We need to see if they would come out now, maybe we can get a 2nd before they get encouragement of any form. Martinelli makes it 2 but the flag is raised for offside. .
Goal is given. VAR gave us that one after the assistant ref and commentators had ruled Martinelli off.
That was Saka and Martinelli
Tony Harrington, I salute you
I was about to comment that Saka hasn’t made a right decision or a defensive contribution in the first 40 minutes, and now his goal and assist force-fed me the humble pie. That should be my biggest let-down in the whole season.
By the way, my prediction has materialized in the first half, but I would rather see another 2 from the boys than to stay accurate.
Please, Mick …
Half time. Been nervy at times and rather curious how we seemed to find it hard breaking them down. Clearly, Sean Dyche rings out the best of himself against us.
I would expect us to relax a bit more in the second half and pick them off for a 4 or 5 goal margin.,which would allow us see Reiss Nelson at some point. No need to rest up for the weekend.
That’s some “hazy cosmic jive” indeed. La la la la la….
Eris, you are perfectly right that Onana and Tarkowski being giants, but Maupay is a dwarf compared to Saliba and Gabriel, so we might have some threat when attacking corners.
Fun fact: Martinelli was slightly ahead of both the defender and Saka when Bukayo kicked the ball, but so little, that he was still a few centimeters behind the ball’s edge. So while he wasn’t onside be being behind the last defender, he still qualified for the “if the player is behind the ball he cannot be offside” rule.
Eris, unfortunately Reiss is not part of the squad, so cannot come on tonight. Maybe Emile will, but I wouldn’t bet on that.
Out of the 9 subs we have a goalkeeper, a full defense (Tierney, Kiwior, Holding, Tomiyasu), 3 midfielders (Partey, ESR, Vieira), and a single attacker: Nketiah.
Tarkowski’s deflection was the icing on the cake …
Yeah, PB. Just noticed Nelson isn’t on the bench. We will see ESR.
Tierney and ESR on for Zinchenko and Saka. Tierney is positioned in the midfield, mimicking Zinchenko.
Get your kicks on rout 4-0
We need that 5 goal margin. Lads are having fun now.
The night they drove Old Dyche down
C’mon feel the noize.
Another record for The Arsenal. First club to record 100 league victories against a fellow club.
We played football just the way Justo liked it – this’d have brought tears to my old man’s eyes
Oh and btw Sheffield Utd 1 You-Know-Who 0
“There’s more frost on the window glass
With each new tender kiss
But it sure feels right
On a night like this”
“Run your fingers down my spine
Bring me a touch of bliss
It sure feels right
On a night like this”
Didn’t know what time it was and lights were low oh oh.
I leaned back on my radio oh oh.
Saka was playing out some rock n goals
4 star performance and glad a watched a red eye game. Is there return date for Jesus at all. Really need him back atleast after the Inter lull. The lads have done admirably well in his absence but would do them a lot of good if he returns after the International break. The games are thick and fast, players like Saka need a break in between. He will also play for England and hence will need some break.
Ødegaard played like a man possessed… never stopped pressing, tackling, even in stoppage time he was running like mad.
Trosaard is such a productive player. Perfect in tight spots. Quick to get off a shot with either foot.
What Justo meant to many:
(Bahamontes’s victory in the 1959 Tour de France; Auntie’s nightgowns; a tragical schoolyard marble triumph, and … a crumpled photograph of 1958 Justo in a sweaty France shirt)
“ … as though the phone booth were calling me up”
“Your childhood … what’s left of it … a small, rusty box, is a big enough container for it”
“It’s high time I paid a visit to my daughter and her son, before I got stuck in a small box myself as well”
Sentimental fools we are, I guess
Watching that short vid brought on a strong urge for me to light up a Disc Blue and look very moody. 😉
This seasons stats continue to surprise me – 19 wins out of the first 25 games is the most ever wins we have achieved since the EPL was created in 1992/93 – 31 seasons.
New Post 🙂