Everton will play Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday, December 6th. Kick-off is at 8 pm UK time.
The Goodison Park faithful were furious on Wednesday night when their team was well beaten in the Merseyside derby. By the end of the match, their ire was directed not only to manager Rafa Benitez, but also to the entire board.
Injury to key players like Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Yerry Mina have not helped. There is also a lack of creativity in the midfield. James Rodriguez was allowed to leave in the summer, and Gylfi Sigurdsson is unavailable for legal reasons.
Their defence always seems that it has a mistake in it, the question this time is whether Arsenal have the ability to capitalise if and when chances come along.
Arsenal’s inexperience continues to cost them away games. Despite having taken the lead in bizarre fashion against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday, they allowed the home side to get back in the match through unforced errors and losing possession in key areas of the pitch.
And while Mikel Arteta is leaning heavily into his young players, the senior members of his squad have let him down of late. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey, both short of form, need to start producing. Their positions in the team will come under threat otherwise.
Hopefully for them, Bukayo Saka will be back fit for this match and can start the game. He remains fundamental to what the side do from the right hand side of attack.
Everton won this fixture last year, but the winner came from Calvert-Lewin, who will not be there to threaten the Arsenal defence this time. The home side will want to win to stop the rot and alleviate the pressure on the club hierarchy, but Arteta also knows, for his part, that his side have to start performing in difficult games away from the Emirates.
The match is also a battle between the two goalkeepers. Jordan Pickford remains England’s number one, but there are many who feel that he should be replaced. The likeliest man to step into his shoes is Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale. How the two perform in the same match will be closely watched.
This has the makings of a draw. Everton will not want to lose again in front of their home fans, while the Gunners will want to show their travelling support that they are capable of learning some of their recent lessons.