Everton will travel to London this weekend for an encounter with a red hot Arsenal team. Historically, this fixture has not been kind to Everton as they have been beaten 92 times by Arsenal, which is more times than any team has beaten any other in English Football.
Arsenal are coming into this game after beating German giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League. They are also boasting a four game win streak in the Premier League that includes a 3-0 pounding of Manchester United.
Everton on the other hand are coming off a poor performance that saw them loss to Manchester United 3-0 at home. The good news is that this game ends Everton’s “trial by fire” fixture run that included last season’s top eight in nine games. Against those top eight teams, Everton is 2-3-2 this season. Everton are going to have to be at their best in this one if they want to capture three points and end this run on a high note.
Tim Howard will still be the man in the net for the team.
Both John Stones and Phil Jagielka were poor last weekend against United. There were parts of the game, where they might as well not have been there. A great illustration of this was Jagielka’s howler leading to Rooney’s goal.
With Ramiro Funes Mori being the most likely replacement, I don’t see either player losing their spot.
Seamus Coleman is one of the cornerstones of the Everton team and will retain his spot, leaving Tyias Browning likely backing him up on the bench.
Martinez said recently that Baines is looking good and should return from injury soon. However, this weekend is too soon and we will likely see Brendan Galloway fielded once again at left back. Bryan Oviedo is finally back at 100%, but I think he gets his chance in the cup game next week and is left on the bench for this one.
With Mo Besic still out with an injury starting James McCarthy and Gareth Barry is an easy choice for Martinez. Everton are going to need a strong performance from the duo to neutralize the multitude of attack options at Arsenal’s disposal.
The right side of the Everton midfield seems to come down to a competition between Aaron Lennon and Gerard Deulofeu. Both men offer slightly different advantages. Lennon is the better box to box player and Deulofeu offers greater offensive flair. I think this is going to be an all hands on deck defensive effort and therefore think Lennon is the better play.
Everton have several options on the left. Recently, the starting berth on the left has been shared between Steven Naismith and Arouna Koné. Tom Cleverley has recovered from his injury and after playing an hour for the under-21 side this week is looking to get involved against Arsenal. I think Martinez will be cautious with Cleverley and use him as substitute for this one. The natural winger Kevin Mirallas is also available for selection.
Steven Naismith hasn’t been very productive since his hat trick against Chelsea and Kone while playing better than Naismith still hasn’t been anything to write home about. I think the best start for the club is to bring Kevin Mirallas back into the fold.
While Ross Barkley was probably the best performer for Everton last time out, he still struggled. I look for Barkley to retain his spot and play much more aggressively against Arsenal than he did against Manchester United.
Romelu Lukaku will remain the target man for the Toffees.
Via – Lineup Builder