Everton v Arsenal - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

It's a big early season test for both side's credentials. Everton are looking to break into the top four, whilst Arsenal will think a victory here can show the rest of the league they're capable of getting the kind of wins that can help them win their first title in 10 years.

To be played on Saturday 23rd August 2014 at 17:30. Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.

Odds: Everton 9/5, Draw 5/2, Arsenal 13/8

Last season: 3-0

Preview & injury news

It's an early test for both sides in the Premier League campaign and Everton will be hoping they can come up with a similar performance and result as they did last term when they dismantled the Gunners. They didn't get the start to the season they wanted after twice leading at Premier League new-boys Leicester City - only to be pegged back by the Foxes in a 2-2 draw.

Arsenal got the win they were after, in the end, when they played Crystal Palace in their opening game in the Emirates Stadium. Some would say it wasn't a convincing Arsenal performance after they fell behind to the Eagles but they managed to grab a late winner to get their season off to the winning start that was required.

The Gunners have also had a busy midweek as they played out a goalless draw in their Champions League play-off against Besiktas in Turkey, which led to Mikel Arteta picking up an injury which rules the former Everton midfielder out of the clash against his old club.

He is part of a fairly extensive injury list for Arsenal. Theo Walcott isn't due back from an ACL injury until towards the end of next month whilst Kieran Gibbs and Yaya Sanogo are nursing hamstring problems picked up from the opening day. Goalkeeper David Ospina will not be available for selection until next week - but they're likely to be boosted with the return of the World Cup winning stars in Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski.

Everton also have their injury worries the most high profile one being Ross Barkley who is expected to miss out for the best part of two months at least with a knee ligament injury, but an exact timescale hasn't been put on the injury whilst Bryan Oviedo is still recovering from a broken leg sustained last season.

Key stats

Both sides had contrasting fortunes on the opening day of the season, but here is a look at some key performance indicators their respective encounters.

  Possession PercentageTotal Scoring AttSavesPlayed
Arsenal 76.00 14 1 1
Everton 63.00 13 1 1

Both teams dominated their opening games but came up with different results. They controlled possession and seemed to put pressure on their opponents' goal, whilst their own goalkeeper's didn't have that much to do on the face of things. But Arsenal managed to do enough to overcome Crystal Palace, whilst Everton ended up paying the price for not establishing a two-goal cushion.

5 players to watch

Romelu Lukaku - Lukaku was menacing during the last game between these two sides and Roberto Martinez will be hoping to use him to similar effect again this weekend. If he can bully the Arsenal defence again, the home side will fancy their chances of a repeat of last season's result.

Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal's marquee signing has shown the flashes of quality which led to Arsene Wenger splashing out in excess of £30 million on the Chilean forward. In games like this, a big player can make all the difference, so don't be surprised if the Gunners leave with all three points then Alexis is a big part of it.

Leighton Baines - This is the man who will be tasked with picking up Alexis for most of the game, and it's going to be interesting to see if it will impact on just how much it will allow Baines to get forward. It;s going to be a fascinating battle between those two on that flank.

Aaron Ramsey - Ramsey has been identified by many as one of the key men for the Gunners this season having had such an impressive campaign last season. He's started this season off in a similar manner having scored the winner against Palace. Another important performance from the Welshman here would not go amiss.

Christian Atsu - One of Everton's loan signings who was an unused substitute in the draw against Leicester, but he has a lot about him, and could have an impact on the game. Chelsea fans will also be watching closely to see if he can get on the field and perhaps do his parent club a favour early on in the season by inflicting an early blow on their title rivals.

Last time they met

Everton 3-0 Arsenal - Premier League, April 2014

It was a bad day at the office for Arsenal and one that put Everton in pole position to finish in the top four as they ran out convincing winners at Goodison Park. Steven Naismith put the hosts ahead after Romelu Lukaku had his effort saved by Wojciech Szczesny. Lukaku doubled Everton's lead in the 34 minute after arrowing a shot into Szczesny's bottom right corner after he cut in from the right. It didn't get any better for the Gunners after the half-time break, when Mikel Arteta bundled the ball into his own net on the hour mark after pressure from Kevin Mirallas. It wasn't the last twist in the race for the top four, however.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch