Everton vs Arsenal preview, betting tips and prediction: Out of sorts pair to stumble further in stalemate

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Score draw @ 17/5 with Coral

Draw HT/Arsenal FT @ 7/1 with Coral

1-1 draw @ FT 11/2 with Coral

It is tough to call big games when things are going well for both teams, but is arguably even harder when neither team is in good form. Both managers are far from popular with some sections of their fanbases, with many Everton supporters calling for Ronald Koeman’s head. Despite spending almost £150million on the squad in the summer, the Toffees find themselves in 16th place, with just two wins from their opening eight games.

The problems for Arsenal were much easier to predict because they have been around for years. Some fans argued that, despite breaking their transfer record to sign Alexandre Lacazette in the summer, the Gunners did not strengthen their squad well enough. Away from home, they have struggled a lot so far this season, losing to Stoke and most recently Watford, while getting blown away by Liverpool at Anfield. The heart and energy has been doubted once again, but luckily enough for Wenger, Everton are no better in that respect at the moment and they may sense an opportunity.

Goals are an issue for both these sides; Koeman failed to get a genuine replacement for Romelu Lukaku in the summer, and has not yet figured out the best system in which to play Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davey Klaasen in the same team. Lacazette has only scored at the Emirates Stadium so far, and if Arsenal are going to return to the Champions League next season, let alone win the title, he needs to change that soon. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are yet to hit top gear this season either.

But what has made Goodison Park such a tough place to go is the physicality of Everton coupled with their work rate and quality in the final third. Recent games suggest it has been a different story this season, which will suit Arsenal. The visitors will look to supply their pacey attack, targeting a comparatively slow Everton back line; getting them on the back foot is their best hope of a win. Yet, Everton may sit deep, which means Olivier Giroud’s presence and ability to hold the ball up may be a better route.

This one will be a tight, nervy affair for sure. A draw is the most likely outcome, but the Gunners’ superior quality could just steal the points later in the game. A low score draw, particularly 1-1, is among our tips.

Key battle: Aaron Ramsey vs Idrissa Gueye

The trouble for Arsenal in previous away games has been a failure to stamp their authority in midfield. It is vital they do this against Everton, because when at their best, the Toffees are strongest in the middle. If Ramsey can get a foothold in the game and drive his team on, it will give them a better chance of creating chances in attack. But Idrissa Gueye is one of the Premier League’s best defensive midfielders.

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Whoever comes out on top in this battle will give their team a great chance of securing the points, but it will most likely be scrappy and that will not suit Arsenal.

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