Everton's form has been rather patchy in recent weeks, Ronald Koeman is under a lot of pressure from his own supporters yet this still feels like a very tricky fixture. I'm not sure if that is down to our record at Goodison lately or if that is purely supporter pre-match fear. Either way, I think Everton's form kinda goes out of the window when it comes to playing Arsenal. Betfair football bets has the Gunners as firm favourites for this match so we'll see how we get on.
Koeman has a very good record against Arsene Wenger, which tells us that they are more than likely going to stick to a game plan in order to beat us.
I imagine that a majority of their plan will be to stop us from playing our game. You get the sense that a lack of confidence is not as much of an issue when you plan to minimise the opponents strengths rather than impose your own game.
We can expect a lot of hard work from Everton even if more of their first-teamers would have taken part in Thursday's Europa League match than the Arsenal team likely to take to the field this afternoon. I wonder if we may see Arsenal get on top in the last 20 minutes if the scores are level but maybe that is overthinking things.
According to Arsene, our injury issues look a lot better. We are still missing the likes of Welbeck and Mustafi, oh and Ospina but aside from those guys, we have a pretty fit looking squad to choose from.
Big Per missed out in midweek so I fully expect him to start the game alongside the returning Koscielny and Monreal. This could well be the game where we see a trio of Alexis, Lacazette and Mesut Özil.
We've played 8 Premier League games and those chaps have never set foot on the same pitch at the same time. That could well change this afternoon. If you believe in the bib game on Arsenal.com then we could well see it.
White bibs: Alexis, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Lacazette, Koscielny, Mertesacker
Black bibs: Walcott, Wilshere, Elneny, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Willock, Giroud, Iwobi
Unfortunately, Özil was not in the photos but given that Iwobi was sporting the black attire, I am going to assume that Mesut will start this afternoon.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
I like the look of that team. Some could argue that this would be our strongest and most experienced lineup.
After our slip up last weekend we need to get back on track, we were on a good run until then. It's a funny old league this season. Aside from the steam train that is Manchester City, it looks like many teams can stumble over the course of the season as Manchester United showed at Huddersfield yesterday. Chelsea were mighty close to going 3-1 down with half an hour to go at the Bridge before turning it around. We certainly have our own issues to deal with but we forget that others are far from invincible.
A good victory at Everton would help everyone forget about the 2nd half showing at Watford so how about that boys?