Before the international break, Everton secured their first point of the season in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Sheffield United, while Mikel Arteta's team pulled off a stunning 3-1 victory over Manchester United. In Everton's exciting clash with Sheffield United, Jordan Pickford delivered a noteworthy goalkeeping performance. The Toffees finally got on the scoresheet for the season through Abdoulaye Doucoure, followed by a fine equalizer from Cameron Archer.
Unfortunately for Pickford, he also conceded a somewhat unfortunate own goal as Archer's shot hit the post, then struck the England goalkeeper's back, and crossed the line. Nevertheless, Arnaut Danjuma leveled the score for the visitors, and Pickford made a remarkable double save from Oli McBurnie right at the end of the match, preserving a crucial point for Everton. This result marked Everton's first points of the 2023-24 campaign after three consecutive losses to Fulham, Aston Villa, and Wolverhampton Wanderers, where they failed to find the net.
However, Sean Dyche's team remains in 18th place, just above Luton Town and bottom-placed Burnley. Their two goals scored also give them the worst offensive record in the league, alongside Luton Town.
While Everton did secure a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Cup, they have lost five of their last six home games and face a challenging task in hosting Arsenal at Goodison Park. Arsenal, on the other hand, recently thrilled their fans with a late victory, reminiscent of their earlier 2-2 draw with Fulham, as they triumphed over Manchester United in North London.
Although Marcus Rashford and Martin Odegaard scored quickfire goals in the first half, Arsenal's fortunes changed in the second half with a disallowed Kai Havertz penalty and a winning goal from Alejandro Garnacho. Gabriel Magalhaes, returning to the lineup, managed to catch his South American teammate offside, and as injury time dwindled down, Declan Rice's deflected effort and Gabriel Jesus's breakaway goal sealed a well-deserved victory for Arsenal.
With 10 points from their first four games, Arsenal currently sits in fifth place in the standings, trailing Liverpool, West Ham United, and Tottenham Hotspur due to an inferior goal difference. They will face Tottenham Hotspur in the upcoming North London derby after their Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.
While Arsenal has been strong on the road in the past, they have only secured two wins in their last six top-flight away matches. Additionally, they have struggled at Goodison Park in recent years, losing four and drawing one of their last five matches at the stadium since a memorable 5-2 victory in Arsene Wenger's farewell season.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS Everton's medical team found themselves working overtime leading up to the break, as the Toffees suffered the loss of James Tarkowski to a facial injury in the late stages of their match against Sheffield United. However, there is optimism that the former Burnley player, who scored the winning goal against Arsenal in February, will be ready to participate this weekend alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Seamus Coleman (knee), Jack Harrison (hip), and Dele Alli (groin). Jarrad Branthwaite had to withdraw from England Under-21 duty this month due to a groin injury but is expected to recover in time for Arsenal's visit.
Youssef Chermiti (groin), Andre Gomes (calf), Lewis Dobbin (knock), and Michael Keane (knock) all seem to have overcome their concerns, although none of them are likely to start.
On the other hand, Arsenal has a relatively short injury list following the international break, with only Thomas Partey (groin), Jurrien Timber (ACL), and Mohamed Elneny (knee) unavailable for selection. Partey has returned to training.
Gabriel Magalhaes briefly worried Arsenal during the international break when he came off early in his Brazil debut, but the center-back quickly recovered and will soon rejoin the team, along with Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, who may need some time to adjust to British time zones.
There have been reports of Bukayo Saka dealing with an Achilles problem for several months, but there is no indication that the Ballon d'Or nominee won't be fit for Sunday's match. Eddie Nketiah is expected to lead the attack, despite not getting any minutes for England during the international period.
POSSIBLE LINE-UPSEverton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Young; Onana, Gueye; Garner, Doucoure, Danjuma; Beto
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Rice, Havertz; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
Everton 1-3 Arsenal
The Gunners might be thinking about their first Champions League game in more than six years next week. But Arteta's team played well against Man United and should finally win a game at Everton, which hasn't happened since Wenger was the coach.