ADAM Goodwin (@agjournalism) takes a look for value in the Premier League for Everton vs Arsenal.
Everton v Arsenal | Sunday 13:30 | Sky Sports
Unlike their Merseyside and North London rivals, Everton and Arsenal were in action in the Europa League this week, both putting in sub-standard performances. Despite their poor performance, Arsenal secured a 1-0 win in Serbia against Red Star Belgrade, thanks to a superb Olivier Giroud goal.
Everton wasn't so fortunate, conceding a late goal to ex-Chelsea forward Bertrand Traore as they lost 2-1 at home to Lyon. The pressure is really starting to pile on Ronald Koeman and another bad result on Sunday could see the end of his Toffees reign.
Toffees situation getting stickier and stickier
Ronald Koeman is the 13/8 second favourite to be the next manager to get the sack, and if he fails to get a result at Goodison Park on Sunday, he’ll be in serious trouble.
A 90th minute Wayne Rooney penalty saved the Toffees from their fifth loss of the season last weekend, and if that goal hadn’t been scored, I doubt Koeman would still be in charge.
Wayne Rooney was Everton’s saviour last Sunday and he was rested in the Europa League on Thursday, ensuring he is fully fit for the huge game against Arsenal.
Ironically, his first ever Everton goal was at Goodison Park versus Arsenal, and he needs to produce a similarly magical moment on Sunday to drag his side out of the situation they find themselves in.
His first Everton goal was fifteen years old last week, a game that featured the likes of Tony Hibbert, Lee Carsley and Kevin Campbell, and how they’d love to have the likes of those three back, in their prime.
Everton is still struggling to find the back of the net this season, scoring just five goals in their opening eight matches. I spoke last week about the Toffees lack of offensive options, and it showed again last weekend, where they were only able to score from the penalty spot.
They need the likes of Niasse, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin and Sandro to set up to the plate on Sunday.
Wilshire wilts defences as Gunners look to bounce back
Arsenal was shocking for most of the game on Thursday, with the exception being the superb team goal that ended with an Olivier Giroud overhead kick flying into the top corner. It was a passage of play that had been synonymous with the
Gunners a few years ago, but they have failed to show anything like that in the last couple of seasons. Jack Wilshire was highlighted as the star man for Arsenal in Serbia, and many have tipped him to force his way into the England side for the World Cup next summer.
Similarly, to Everton’s last Premier League game, the result was decided by a late goal. Tom Cleverly scored a stoppage-time winner at Vicarage Road to inflict Arsene Wenger’s side to another defeat.
They had gone four games without conceding before last week’s loss, and they’ll need to show similar defensive sturdiness at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Everton desperately can’t lose this game, and whilst they’d love a win, I think Ronald Koeman would settle for a draw. They’re going to have lost of problems this season if they struggle to score every week. With Arsenal’s relatively good defensive performances in the last few weeks, it won’t be easy for Everton to break them down.
Alexis Sanchez has looked a shadow of his former self since the transfer speculation and with Danny Welbeck’s injury, they don’t have many options other than Alexandre Lacazette going forward. With these factors in mind, I fancy a low scoring affair.
Under 2.5 goals is 11/10 with BetVictor and that looks a solid bet.
If Arsenal is going to score, I fancy Thursday’s goalscorer Olivier Giroud to get the goal.
The Frenchman has five goals versus Everton in his Premier League career so far, and he’s 7/5 to score anytime on Sunday.