Two teams with managers still trying to get their feet under their respective tables clash at the Emirates stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal have responded well to losing their opening two matches by winning the three since, while Everton have only lost once, but have also only won once. And when it comes to trips to the red half of north London, they almost always lose too.
The Toffees have won just one league game at Arsenal in the Premier League era. Their last five visits in all competitions have seen them beaten every time and by an aggregate score of 16-4.
With form like that, it’s no surprise to see Arsenal priced at 1/2, with Everton at 9/2 and the draw 10/3. This should be a routine home win.
But will the Europa League have any impact? Arsenal host Vorskla Durch Technik on Thursday night, so won’t have much time to recover before this match.
Unai Emery is a master in the Europa League though – he won it three times in a row with Sevilla – so will know how to handle a second rate team. Or am I being too harsh on Everton there?
Perhaps a bit, but their defending has left a lot to be desired this season.
It’s just as well their goalkeeper wouldn’t make any dreadful mistakes like Alisson, eh, Jordan?
Marco Silva’s side have allowed their opponents 12 clear-cut chances already this season, and only four teams have conceded more. While we’re still in the small sample stage of 2018/19, the fact Everton haven’t faced anyone who finished higher than 12th last season does not bode well for their backline this weekend.
Arsenal have scored at least twice in their last four league matches, so it seems safe to assume we’ll see a few goals on Sunday.
Since the summer of 2016, 55 of Arsenal’s 81 league games have featured at least three goals, which is a tally only Manchester City can top.
The last four meetings of these sides have all seen over 2.5 goals, as have four of the last five at Arsenal. You’ll only get odds of 4/9 for that outcome this time, but it’s hard to see anything else occurring when Everton’s defence has been so porous against a batch of pretty average teams so far.
The good news for this bet is that although the Toffees have a poor record at Arsenal, they do usually get on the score sheet. Both teams have scored in five of the last six meetings in total, and five of the last six at the Emirates.
Over the past two-and-a-bit seasons, Arsenal lead the league for games where both teams find the net. It isn’t the best league to lead, but it’s a start.
It has occurred in 48 of their matches and Everton are just four behind that total, so that makes a pretty good case for both teams to score here. The odds are only 4/7 for that bet, therefore you might be wise to combine it with an Arsenal win as you’ll then get 17/10.
A look at the history books suggests a red card could be brandished on Sunday. Although these teams have no direct rivalry as such, somebody has been sent off in four of the previous six meetings, with a Blue seeing red three times. Jonathan Moss, who will officiate the match, sends players off slightly more frequently than Premier League average too.
However, an Everton player has been dismissed in both of their away games so far in 2018/19. It can’t happen for a third time in a row, can it?
History says it might, as over the last four seasons (including this one) no team has seen more opponents sent off than Arsenal have. The odds aren’t available at the time of writing, but a bet on cards might prove to be worth your while.
In the goal scorer markets, both clubs have a player who might be said to be due a goal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has missed both of his clear-cut chances this season, and both were at the Emirates.
He has yet to score on home turf in this campaign, but 18 of his 23 league goals for Dortmund and Arsenal last term were on his own patch, so it shouldn’t be too long before he’s celebrating in front of the Clock End or the North Bank. Aubameyang is unsurprisingly the favourite in the goal scorer market, at 13/5 to score first, or 4/7 at any time.
For Everton, Cenk Tosun could be on the goal train soon. He’s yet to score from his 11 shots (including one clear-cut chance) this season.
What’s interesting when looking at this match is the fact 11 of his 17 goals in league and European football were scored away from home in 2017/18, which is unusual. The former Besiktas man is available at 12/5 to score, or 15/2 to break the deadlock.
Arsenal won all 14 home league games against teams who finished below them last season, and have also beaten West Ham in this campaign.
Their fabulous run will end eventually, but I can’t see it happening here on current form. Get on the Gooners.