Everton vs ArsenalEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Dec 21, 2019, Goodison Prk
TWO clubs frantically spinning on the manager merry-go-round meet on Saturday lunchtime when Everton entertain Arsenal at Goodison Park.
At the time of writing, Carlo Ancelotti is expected to be confirmed as Everton's new manager, meanwhile, Arsenal remain locked in talks with Man City with a view to appointing Mikel Arteta as Unai Emery's successor.
Both soon-to-be bosses are expected to be on Merseyside this weekend to take in this tussle from the stands on an afternoon where caretaker coaches Duncan Ferguson and Freddie Ljungberg look set to lead their respective sides for the final time.
Ferguson's fury of emotion has generated a monumental mood swing at Goodison and consequently the Everton cult hero has hauled the Toffees out of the bottom three by picking up four points from clashes with Chelsea and Manchester United respectively.
Only a penalty shootout defeat against Leicester prevented the spirited Scotsman from steering Everton into the last four of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night and Big Dunc will be desperate to sign off in style with three points against out of sorts Arsenal.
The Gunners ended a nine-game winless streak two weeks ago with a 3-1 win away at West Ham, however, the capital club suffered a rapid reality check last last Sunday whilst being subjected to a first half shredding from Man City.
The Citizens cruised to a 3-0 win in north London on an afternoon where Arsenal's defensive frailties were again oh-so apparent – the Londoners head north to Liverpool without a clean sheet in their last 13 attempts.
The Betting Odds
Everton enter this encounter as 11/8 (Bet 365) favourites, while an Arsenal triumph is priced just slightly higher at 7/4 (Bet 365) and share of the spoils is available at 11/4 (bet 365) with the same firm.
The Betting Angles
Indeed, Arsenal racked up three points on their last Premier League road trip, however, that rare away day success is Arsenal's only win in their last seven league games outside of the Emirates.
Ljungberg's leaky backline will face a stern examination from an Everton side who have been setting up with a traditional 4-4-2 formation and that system could see both Blues forwards – Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison – rough up Arsenal's ropey rearguard.
The bulky Brazilian has six Premier League strikes to his name this term – four of which have been scored in his last four top-flight run outs – and the Everton forwards speed and physicality could put Arsenal's shaky defence to the sword.
Whether or not Richarlison gets on the scoresheet remains to be seen, however, I would not be surprised to see the Toffees hit the hit the back of the net and I like the look of the 3/4 (Betway) on offer for Everton to score in the first half on Saturday.
Arsenal have conceded before the break in their last five league matches and Ferguson's troops could shoot out the traps all fired up on Saturday afternoon whilst being roared on by a raucous Goodison Park crowd – all of which adds to the appeal of backing a Blues goal in the opening 45 minutes.
However, don't rule out a Gunners goal in this game – Everton have failed to secure a shutout in their last eight outings and that is reflected in the 8/15 (William Hill) on offer both teams to score as well as the 8/15 (Ladbrokes) that is available for over 2.5 match goals.
Merging the two aforementioned bets will boost your odds up to 4/5 (Bet 365) – a punt that landed me profit in Arsenal's last away game – however, this time around I'm going to opt for an alternative angle by combining Everton on the double chance alongside over 1.5 match goals at 4/6 (Bet 365)
Ferguson should get another tune out of the Toffees on home turf when coming up against confidence-stricken Arsenal and with that in mind I'm going to back the Blues to avoid defeat in a game where goals could flow.
This English Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal will be played on Dec 21, 2019 and kick off at 12:30