Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta both got appointed to their current roles with Everton and Arsenal respectively almost a year ago, however, the manager who has already delivered FA Cup success finds himself under pressure.
Arsenal have made their worst start to a top-flight season for 46 years and have not won in six games, while the hosts find themselves two points off the second spot following back-to-back wins and clean sheets against Chelsea and Leicester.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men are already above clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City in the league table, and securing all three points could potentially see them overtaking third-place Southampton, who drew with Arsenal in the midweek fixture and have a tough game against Manchester City on Saturday.
Everton skipper Seamus Coleman returns to the squad for Arsenal’s visit to Goodison Park.
A hamstring injury has kept the right-back out for two months and the Toffees have been cautious about bringing him back too soon but he could go straight into a defence which has kept back-to-back clean sheets, with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford also recalled after being rested at Leicester.
Midfielder Allan is likely to be missing for a few weeks, Fabian Delph and James Rodriguez are also unavailable due to injuries and will not be ready to return until Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Manchester United.
Arsenal will miss the services of defender Gabriel through suspension following his red card during the midweek draw against Southampton.
Hector Bellerin, however, is again available after serving a one-game ban on Wednesday night, but midfielder Granit Xhaka continues to serve out his own three-match suspension.
Forward Gabriel Martinelli has been stepping up his recovery from a knee injury, while midfielder Thomas Partey is sidelined by a thigh problem.
Stats and facts heading into the match (Backed by Opta)
- Everton have kept a clean sheet in each of their last two home Premier League games against Arsenal (W1 D1), last keeping three in a row at home to the Gunners between November 1966 and April 1969.
- Arsenal have won more Premier League games (34) and scored more Premier League goals (110) against Everton than they have versus any other opponent in the competition. Indeed, their 110 goals against the Toffees is more than any side has netted against another in Premier League history.
- Everton haven’t won their final league match before Christmas in any of their last six seasons (D2 L4) since a 2-1 win against Swansea City in December 2013.
- Since beating Fulham 3-0 on the opening day, Arsenal have scored just twice in their last five away league games (W1 D1 L3), failing to find the net in their last two. The Gunners last went three away league games without a goal in September 2017.
- Arsenal have lost eight of their last 12 Premier League matches kicking off at 5.30pm (W3 D1), although one of their wins in that time was a 5-1 victory over Everton in February 2018.
- Arsenal have won just 14 points from 13 Premier League games this season, their lowest tally at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1974-75 (9 pts – assuming 3pts/win). Indeed, Arsenal have picked up just one win in their last nine Premier League games (W1 D2 L6).
Everton having beaten high flying Leicester away during the midweek face-off will be brimming with confidence against an Arsenal side who looks to lack motivation and desire.
Although Everton will be without some key players, they should have enough to see off the visitors.
Verdict: Everton 2-0 Arsenal