ARSENAL host Everton on Super Sunday. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Arsenal v Everton | Sunday 23rd February 2020, 16:30 | Sky Sports
It’s February – both of these have already changed managers. But, they are slowly starting to show signs on improvement.
After putting four past Newcastle last Sunday, Arsenal picked up a positive result in Greece with a 1-0 first-leg win over Olympiakos, as Alexandre Lacazette scored in consecutive games.
While Arsenal have played twice in the last seven days, Everton have been on their winter break, so haven’t had a game in 14 days. That’ll have given Carlo Ancelotti the time to work with these players on the training ground to get them playing his way.
Both of these two are in decent nick ahead of this one. The Gunners are unbeaten in their last six league games, while it’s just one defeat in 11 for Everton – and that came away to Man City.
Everton to end the hoodoo?
These two have an illustrious history in English football, yet Everton haven’t won on any of their last 23 visits to Arsenal. Their last win here came at the old Highbury back in January 1996.
Given that history, then it’s no surprise to see that Arsenal have scored 327 top-flight goals v Everton. Plus, the Gunners have won more top-flight games against the Toffees that any other side (97).
So, Ancelotti will have to re-write some of those records to end that, but we know the Italian is something of a genius, so given the time off; he should have identified a few weaknesses in this Arsenal team.
Everton are underperforming at both ends of the pitch. Their Expected Goals (xG) is just shy of 40xG, yet they’ve scored 34 goals, which hints at not being ruthless enough in the final third. On top of that, they’ve shipped 38 goals from just an Expected Goals against of 32.66xG – proving errors have been made.
In fact, their attacking output is in the top six for the league compared to Arsenal’s (35.52xG), which ranks 11th. That makes both teams to score at 4/6 with William Hill look a good starting point.
If you want to identify a creator, then look no further than Bukayo Saka. He recorded his fifth assist in the Europa League on Thursday – that’s more than any other play in the comp. While his tally of nine in all comps is more than any other Gunner. Not bad for a player not in his natural position. It’s 17/4 with Coral that he records a third consecutive assist.
The importance of Morgan
Morgan Schneiderlin has played a full 90 minutes in two of Everton’s last three games and in those games he’s racked up the tackles showing how his experience can help settle what sometimes looks a shaky defence.
Before those starts, he hadn’t made an appearance since completing 90 minutes in a 3-1 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park. If you include the Chelsea game, then his three full games have seen him complete 15 tackles. It was six against the Blues and then five versus both Newcastle and, more recently, Crystal Palace.
Even if you look back to August when the Toffees went to Villa Park under Marco Silva, Schneiderlin made five tackles up against the likes of Jack Grealish and John McGinn.
Stuart’s Att it again
The reverse fixture back in December was a dull goalless encounter, but there were plenty of cards – five.
Stuart Attwell is the man in the middle. In 13 Premier League matches, he’s shown 56 yellows and two reds. His average of 4.31 yellows per game is the second-highest in the league – only bettered by showman Mike Dean.
This will be his fourth game in charge of the Gunners and the three previous have been incident-packed. In the draws with Southampton and Bournemouth, there were eight cautions in both.While at Stamford Bridge, he dismissed David Luiz, but Arsenal did earn a point from their only two shots on target.
Already this season, Arsenal have picked up 59 yellows and three reds – that’s joint-top for cautions with Watford, so do look towards the hosts getting on the wrong end of Attwell.
The Toffees have picked up 46 yellows and three reds themselves. With their backline facing the likes of Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette, then they will be kept busy making tackles and trying to keep in their shape.
Nine of 13 Arsenal home games have seen them pick up two or more cards, while it’s the same figure in Everton away games. So, with a referee with a tendency to dish out the cards, both teams over 1 card at 11/8 looks a good bet to play considering it’s odds-on in places.