Draw The Value Bet At Goodison This WeekendStats
Everton v Arsenal
Saturday evening provides an intriguing Premier League clash between Everton and Arsenal…
Everton began the new Premier League campaign with a slightly uninspiring 2-2 draw against Leicester. The Toffees had led twice in the game through Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith, but were pegged back on each occasion; the telling blow coming just four minutes from time.
Dating back to the final games of last season, Everton have now only won one of their last four and have kept just two clean sheets in their previous six. Romelu Lukaku has scored just three goals in his last 11 appearances for club and country.
Arsenal began their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, but had to come from behind and only scored the winner in the dying seconds, and after the Eagles had been reduced to 10 men.
The Gunners had looked good in the Community Shield where they defeated Manchester City 3-0 thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, but were again unconvincing in the midweek Champions League draw with Besiktas.
Everton are still waiting to learn the full extent of Ross Barkley’s knee injury amid fears that he could be out for as long as five months with a medial knee ligament problem. Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo both remain sidelined following injuries sustained last season.
Arsenal’s German trio – Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski – will all return to the fray after being given an extended break following the World Cup. Mikel Arteta picked up an ankle injury in midweek and is doubtful, as is Yaya Sanogo who missed the game against Besiktas through injury. Kieran Gibbs is definitely out with a hamstring injury.
Everton won this fixture 3-0 last season thanks to goals from Lukaku, Naismith and an Arteta own goal, while Arsenal won 4-1 in the FA Cup clash at the Emirates and the reverse Premier League meeting ended 1-1.
Lukaku scored twice in games against the Gunners last season, while Ozil and Giroud each also scored a couple. Mikel Arteta scored one for each team with the own goal in the league game levelled out by a penalty at the Emirates.
We could learn quite a bit about each of these teams and their respective ambitions for the season ahead this weekend. If either can pick up all three points and put in a good solid performance then it will provide a real signal of intent. Similarly, defeat for either could expose some weaknesses.
Because it is so early in the campaign and both managers will be keen to avoid a sizeable dent in their players’ confidence, I’m tempted to opt for the mutually beneficial draw at odds of 12/5
…with the 1-1 scoreline also looking appealing at 11/2.
Aaron Ramsey has started the season strongly and comes into the game in high confidence despite his harsh sending off in midweek. At odds of 7/1 to score first and 5/2 to score anytime the Welshman looks to be a good bet.