Arsenal (7-13-6) vs. Everton (10-6-10)
Premier League: February 23, 2020 at 11:30 am ET (Emirates Stadium)
Line and Odds: Arsenal +107/ Everton +269 — Over -103/ Under -105
FREE EPL Pick Arsenal vs Everton
Arteta faces former club in vital clash
Everton travel to the red side of North London on Matchday 27 of the Premier League. The visitors currently lie in 10th, two points clear of the hosts in 11th. Both teams are in a tight race for European qualification with 12 matches remaining and victories are imperative at this stage of the season.
Mikel Arteta’s reign began with hiccups and while there are still problems to sort and questions to answer, it is evident that he has brought about changes within this Arsenal side. The Gunners come into this fixture with three wins and two draws in their last five matches, in addition to being unbeaten in their last nine matches across all competitions. Their run began with a 2-2 draw at Chelsea, a match in which they showed immense character to come back from a goal down twice despite playing more than an hour of the game with only 10 men on the field. They then beat Bournemouth 2-1 in the FA Cup, but concerns were raised again after an aimless performance in their 0-0 draw at Burnley. However, Arsenal seem to have found their feet in a more concrete fashion now, as elaborated in the two fixtures leading up to this match. They first thumped Newcastle 4-0 at home before scoring a precious away goal at Olympiacos, winning 1-0 in their Europa League Round of 32 clash. Arteta seems to have finally landed in London, though he is playing it down, and will look to get one over the club he represented for six years between 2005 and 2011 before making the shift to Arsenal.
Carlo Ancelotti, on the other hand, has well and truly transformed the Blues from Merseyside into a force of its own kind. The vastly experienced manager has put them on the track to Europe – a phenomenal improvement considering they were dangerously looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone when he took over. Everton come into this match with three wins and two draws in their last five matches. They first saw off Brighton 1-0 at home before drawing 1-1 at West Ham and 2-2 at home with Newcastle. However, these were mere blips and the Toffees demolished any fears of a dip in form with two commanding performances. They first overturned a two-goal deficit and scored a late winner to beat Watford 3-2 despite playing the last 20 minutes with ten men on the pitch. Everton also saw off Crystal Palace last weekend with a brilliant team display, running out 3-1 winners at Goodison Park. Ancelotti is a manager of proven pedigree and has a talented side at his disposal. One wouldn’t be wrong in thinking he can only take this Everton team further forward.
Cover The Spread Soccer Betting Trends
– Arsenal are 4-6 ATS in their last 10 Premier League matches.
– Arsenal are 2-10-1 ATS at home in the Premier League this season.
– Arsenal are 10-13-3 O/U in the Premier League this season.
– Everton are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 Premier League matches.
– Everton are 5-6-2 ATS away from home in the Premier League this season.
– Everton are 12-14 O/U in the Premier League this season.
FREE EPL Prediction Everton vs Arsenal
Last Time Out
The reverse fixture ended in a goalless stalemate at Goodison Park in December. There was a dearth of action in the final-third as the hosts managed no shots on target while the visitors managed just two. The match made the headlines for different reasons as it was the last match for both interim managers, Duncan Ferguson for the Toffees and Freddie Ljungberg for the Gunners. Both paved the way for Ancelotti and Arteta respectively, having done the best they could.
Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka might have stolen the plaudits after Arsenal’s resounding victory over Newcastle, but one cannot deny the imperious performance by Dani Ceballos from the centre of the pitch. The Spaniard was everywhere and spread the play out beautifully in the second-half. Ceballos was involved in the build-up to all the goals and will be vital again here against Ancelotti’s well-drilled outfit.
Alexandre Lacazette will also have a crucial role to play this time around. The forgotten Frenchman seems to have regained a bit on confidence and hopefully, the trust of Arteta after scoring and assisting after coming on as a sub against Newcastle apart from also netting the winner at Olympiacos in mid-week. Lacazette’s tally of eight goals so far this season is hardly flattering, but he will hope to add plenty more to that tally in the matches that remain.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has undoubtedly been one of the biggest winners since Ancelotti’s appointment. The English forward has racked up 11 goals in the league this season and has three goals in his last five matches. Calvert-Lewin has got the ability to find space to run in behind the defence and his movements will be a headache for this Arsenal defence. With Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford still recovering from long-term injuries, the 22-year-old will know that some more goals in the matches that remain will help him make a late surge for a ticket to the Euros in the summer.
Richarlison too has also been one of the beneficiaries from Ancelotti’s style of play. The Brazilian has thrived in the creative freedom and space that is given to him in the current system apart from also putting in productive shifts during Marco Silva’s problem-filled reign. Richarlison has nine goals and three assists in the league this season and will look to add to that tally when he goes up against Arsenal on Sunday.
Callum Chambers and Kieran Tierney are both out with long-term injuries, while new signing Cedric Soares is also unavailable due to injury. Lucas Torreira and January arrival Pablo Mari face late fitness tests, while Mesut Ozil who missed the clash against Olympiacos is expected to return.
Predicted Line-up: Leno; Saka, Mustafi, Luiz, Bellerin; Ceballos, Xhaka; Aubameyang, Ozil, Pepe; Lacazette.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin is ruled out of this fixture due to injury. However, Andre Gomes, who suffered a terrible injury less than four months ago against Tottenham, is set to make a remarkable comeback. Fabian Delph is available for selection after serving a one-match suspension, while Theo Walcott is also expected to return to the squad.
Predicted Line-up: Pickford; Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman; Bernard, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Sidibe; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.