Arsenal Vs Everton Match Preview (1 Viewer)

Paul Bunyan

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The Premier League trophy will be ready and waiting at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, where a win for Arsenal against Everton could see them claim the top spot.

However, for the Gunners to secure the title, they need Manchester City to drop points against West Ham United. Some Arsenal fans have already resigned themselves to another second-place finish.

In an unusual turn of events, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur fans found themselves united midweek. Arsenal supporters cheered for their rivals, Tottenham, to beat Manchester City, while some Spurs fans were content with a loss. City’s 2-0 victory in North London pushed Arsenal to second place, two points behind City going into the final day. This means that even a win on Sunday might not end Arsenal's 20-year title drought.

Arsenal can take solace in their superior goal difference. If they beat Everton and Man City only draw with West Ham, the Gunners could still claim the title. The last Arsenal team to win the top flight after starting the final day below first place was the iconic 1988-89 squad.

Their recent 1-0 win over Manchester United temporarily put Arsenal at the top before City capitalized on their game in hand. Unlike last season's collapse, Arsenal have taken this title race to the wire, showcasing significant progress under Mikel Arteta’s leadership.

The victory over Man United was Arsenal’s fifth consecutive Premier League win, with four clean sheets, securing them the meanest defense in England, even if the top prize slips away.

On Sunday, as Arsenal fans watch the match and nervously check their phones, Everton faces no such pressure. Sean Dyche's men are ending the season on a high, having secured their survival with a 1-0 win over Brentford on April 24, part of a five-game unbeaten run. Their recent 1-0 victory over Sheffield United, thanks to Abdoulaye Doucoure’s header, highlights their strong finish.

Everton sits in 15th place and could drop to 16th if Brentford wins, but their Premier League status is safe. Despite their poor away form in 2024, Everton fans can breathe easy. The team has struggled on the road, with a 10-game winless streak away from Goodison Park and a record 14 final-day defeats, the most in Premier League history.

In a parallel to Sunday’s game, Everton also visited Arsenal on the final day of the 2021-22 season after securing survival, only to be thrashed 5-1. They've lost their last two matches against Arsenal without scoring, giving Arteta and his team a glimmer of hope.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

Another Arsenal match, another instance of Bukayo Saka limping off the pitch. The 22-year-old collided with the advertising hoardings at Old Trafford and had to be subbed out in the 82nd minute. Fortunately, this knock shouldn’t stop him from resuming his usual right-wing role in the upcoming game.

The situation with Jurrien Timber, a long-term ACL absentee, is less clear. Despite making a comeback for the Under-21s, Timber wasn’t included in the squads for the matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth, or Manchester United. Consequently, Takehiro Tomiyasu will continue as the starting left-back, likely forming part of an unchanged starting XI for the fifth consecutive match.

Everton, on the other hand, nearly emerged unscathed from their win over Sheffield United. However, in second-half injury time, unlucky midfielder Andre Gomes took a blow to the face and is now doubtful for the trip to the Emirates.

Even if Gomes is fit to play, Sean Dyche will be missing several key players: Dele Alli (groin), Vitaliy Mykolenko (ankle), Jack Harrison (hamstring), and Nathan Patterson (thigh), with Patterson’s injury also dashing his hopes of playing for Scotland at Euro 2024.

Young prospects like Lewis Dobbin, Chermiti, and Lewis Warrington—who made his Premier League debut off the bench replacing Gomes last weekend—might get some consideration from Dyche. However, given the strength of the opposition, Dyche is expected to start with his more experienced players.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS​

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Partey, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Trossard

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Young; Garner, Onana, Gueye, McNeil; Doucoure; Calvert-Lewin

EXPERT PREDICTION​

Arsenal 2-0 Everton

Everton's impressive form at Goodison Park hasn't carried over to their away games, and Dyche's team isn't expected to put up much of a fight against an Arsenal side aiming to reach 89 points.

The Gunners should secure a straightforward end-of-season victory in front of their home fans, although it's unlikely to be enough to prevent Man City from claiming their fourth consecutive title.
 

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