Everton v Arsenal
Sunday 14th November, 2PM.
Everton go into this game looking to boost their current form, following two disappointing draws against Blackpool and Bolton respectively. Arsenal themselves have had a recent wobble following their defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, and a home defeat to Newcastle United. However, Arsene Wenger’s side beat Wolves 2-0 at Molineux last time out, and will hope to resume business as usual at Goodison.
Everton’s record against the Gunners isn’t great – two memorable moments in recent years include Andy Johnson’s 94th minute winner in March 2007 and James Beattie’s goal the season before, both coming in 1-0 victories. However, the last time Everton were victorious at Goodison Park was in 2002, with two 4-1 reverses and last season’s opening day humiliation still fresh in the memory.
David Moyes will be without the suspended Marouane Fellaini; the injured Leon Osman; and Victor Anichebe, who is still not match fit. However, Jack Rodwell is pushing for a starting place, providing competition for John Heitinga who has recovered from a knock that kept him out of the Bolton game.
Everton XI (probable): Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Rodwell, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu.
Previous six results (league): LLLDLD (home results shown in bold)
Danger man: Whilst captain Cesc Fabregas often gets all the plaudits for Arsenals attractive play, summer signing Marouane Chamakh has proved his quality this season with several sparkling performances, top-scoring for his side with eight goals so far in all competitions.
Club Everton predicts: This is the first game this season I’m going into expecting to lose, and it’s a depressing feeling. Arsenal’s attack can cut through any defence in the country, never mind one whose star player, Phil Jagielka, is struggling badly for form. With a misfiring forward line also, I can see a comfortable victory for the Londoners – 3-1 to the visitors, Jermaine Beckford getting the goal.