Our live stream ahead of Saturdays Premier League match, Everton vs Arsenal is now up and running, kicking off at 17.30 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Everton come into the game after a well deserved 2-0 win at Leicester City in midweek. Goals from Richarlison and Mason Holgate in each half were enough to put a dent in the Foxes title hopes.
The result, Everton’s second win against a top-six side in five days, lifts them up to fifth while Leicester miss the chance to go top of the Premier League, at least until the conclusion of Liverpool vs Tottenham in Wednesday’s late kick-off.
Champions League football is the aim for Everton following back-to-back wins to get their season back on track.
The Toffees started the season superbly, winning seven in a row in all competitions, but they picked up only five points from 21 between October 17 and December 5.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men seem to have recovered from that blip, though, thanks to their victories over Chelsea and Leicester City without conceding.
Under-pressure Mikel Arteta is in desperate need of a victory as Arsenal have made their worst start to a season after 13 games since 1974-75 and are nine points adrift of Everton, who look ready to challenge for a top-four spot.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended a run of 648 minutes without a league goal at the Emirates Stadium to cancel out Theo Walcott’s opener in Wednesday’s clash.
A point against in-form Southampton will hardly do a lot to appease supporters, but it did at least bring an end to a four-match losing run on home soil in the league.
However, the Gunners have still gone six matches without a top-flight victory, losing four of those games, and are more concerned about a relegation fight than a top-four battle.
The two clubs last met in February with Aubameyang scoring a brace as Arsenal edged out Everton in a 5 goal thriller…
Advice for Arteta
“Our job is difficult and complicated and there is pressure but it is normal.”
“Everyone has to reach a target, a goal. Arsenal maybe has another goal from other teams but it is the same for every manager.”
“I don’t need to give advice to Arteta in this sense.”
Are Everton Better Without James?
“No, no, I don’t think so,” Carlo Ancelotti laughs.
“It is true in the last two games we had clean sheets but the toughest clean sheet on the opening day of the season [at Tottenham Hotspur] was with James.
“We had a period where we did not defend well as a team.”
“Three substitutions are enough to change the game. To have five substitutions, can change the intensity of the game. I understand some managers want five.”
“I consider a goalkeeper a player.”
“A defender, a striker may be rotated. I want to be able to rotate a goalkeeper sometimes.
“I started at Real Madrid with Lopez and Casillas. There is no problem with this.
“There is less chance to risk mistakes. If you stay on the bench there is more chance of mistakes.”
On Coleman coming straight back into the team
“The most important thing is Seamus and Mason are fit to play, Seamus has a strong desire to play. After that I have to choose the line-up”
Abdoulaye Doucoure Praise
“The skills Doucoure has, he can play everywhere on the pitch.”
“He can play in the 10, in behind, in front of the defence. He has a fantastic ability for the transition when we have the ball.”
“He is fantastic box-to-box. I am really pleased and really surprised. I didn’t know him as well as what I have seen this season.”
“I think he is one of the best French midfielders around and I think he can go to the national team.”
Champions League Dreams?
“We have to consider the top of the table is very compressed.
“City are a little bit back, so it is so, so compressed.
“We don’t want to look too far. Arsenal is an important game against a strong team.
“We prepare to win and do our best.
“The momentum is good and we want to keep it good.”
James Rodriguez Injury
“We have games every three days! He misses three games because there is three games in a week.
“It is a problem with his calf. Nothing special.”
On the mood after Southampton
“Well, we had the disappointment of not winning the game. But at the same time, I think the players realised that with the difficulty of playing 35 minutes with ten men, a draw probably was a result that we had to take.”
“And they could see some positives as well in the resilience and the attitude that they showed to hang on and that result.”
“It’s always very tough to go to Goodison. I played there I know it very well. The teams are in two very different moments, but we are preparing the game to go there and beat them because we need a result.”
On memories from Everton
“Magnificent. I had seven incredible years. They treated me incredibly well. We were very successful for the team and the resources that we had in the moment, and I still have a lot of love, admiration and friends over there because I’m grateful. They treated me really, really well and I enjoyed being part of that family.”
On one year anniversary as Arsenal manager
“Well, I think it’s been one of the most challenging years of the club’s history. For many, many different reasons. I think that we have made a lot of progress and we have implement a lot of positives here that have worked really, really well.”
“We have gone through structural changes all across the club that obviously has shaken the club big time. I would say the highlights of that year is the two trophies that we won together. And the most disappointing thing is that we haven’t had our fans with us to take us through this difficult moment.”
“I think it could have been a really, really positive year but the recent form in the premier league has taken the gloss of what we have done in a calendar year. But we have to accept that our Premier League form in recent weeks has not been good enough.”
On how difficult it’s been
“Well, I know and I realised how difficult our job is in normal conditions. When you get to a club that has to go through what we have been through in a year and on top of that you have a pandemic that is affecting the whole industry and way that you can even live your profession and do what you are able to do normally.”
“It’s even more challenging. But it’s what we have. At the same time, I’m telling you I love what I do. I feel so lucky and privileged to represent this football club. And there are circumstances and context that in this moment are what they are and we have to face them because there is no other choice.”
On playing with 10 men
“Well, I said the other day I think we have seven red cards since I joined. Two disciplinary, and the rest is for different actions. The last one with Gabi he is 22-years-old and he’s settling in the Premier League don’t forget that.”
“And there were two very different actions, but obviously that in this moment we cannot afford because the Premier League level is too high and the margins for us at the moment are too small to win or lose football matches.”
On concussion subs
“I think it’s great progress considering the Premier League is looking to open up that windown to see if there is something we can do, if there is something we can do better and at least we can test.”
“There are a lot of question marks over how and where we can do it. But I think it is a really positive thing because there is something happening there, and the fact that we are all aware of it now and we are acting, I think it’s really positive thing to take.”
On whether Southampton is a turning point
“Well, it felt better. We could have won it at the end when rob hit the post in the last minute but we are lacking that luck.”
“But I really like because a team when it’s in this moment can completely drop and give up but the team never did that.” “
I think it’s completely the opposite and I’m proud to see that reaction from the team. But right now what we need is to win football matches as well that’s our reality.”
On whether he’ll rotate for Manchester City in the cup
“Let’s see the players we have available. We are losing players every game as well. Let’s see who is available for tomorrow. There’s not much that we can plan with the squad we have at the moment. So, let’s go game by game.”
On fitness of Chambers, Mari, Mustafi and Martinelli
“At the moment we have to look at the next game. There are players that are ending the last phase of their rehab like Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari has already played some minutes in the Europa League.”
“Mustafi as well. Gabi Martinelli is very close to be available and fit to be part of us which is great news, and we will see what happens.”
On returning to Everton
“It’s going to feel really strange. It was my first experience in the Premier League as a player. A lot has changed since then.”
“As I said before so grateful for the years that I had over there and now I feel privileged to be going back to Goodison and representing Arsenal and being the manager.”
On how Everton influenced him as a coach
“Well, it’s a lot of things that I took on board. it was David Moyes for the whole period and all the coaching staff that was there implement a way of playing that was new to me because I was coming from a different education.”
“I had to adapt. I learnt a lot of things. Was a challenge I had to embrace it and adapt to it and I really enjoyed and as well with everybody at the club because I built a really strong relationships and also with the fans.”
On who will replace Gabriel
“Well let’s see who do we have available tomorrow. We’ve lost Gabi now with the red card. We will assess them today and decide who is the best player to go and try to beat Everton.”
On whether he feels supported
“Well, I said it from the start that I felt really supported by the owners, by the board, by the technical director. And then by everybody who is at the club, because at the end of the day it’s a feeling that I feel with the staff, with the coaching, with the players which are the most important ones.”
“What chemistry do you have with them? What understanding do you? Do they follow you? Do they believe in what you’re trying to do? And I always have to say thank you because I haven’t seen anything that goes against what we are trying to do.”
“But it’s like anything in this industry you need results. But after a big shake up you need to find stability. I know to do that we need time. We all knew, at least the people who made this decision with me, that this wasn’t a quick fix. That it was going to take time and when you are shaking things up it can take a while.”
On the decision to expand benches but not subs
“At the moment no because the most important thing is the welfare of the players. And the best way to protect them and to have options to protect them is to extend the substitutes.”
“So it’s like yeah, we give you a little bit of this so you can have an extra two on there but not the option to change. We are the only ones doing that. For me it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but obviously it’s not up to us.”
“We are pushing, we are giving our opinions. We have a lot of stats to support us in terms of what is happening in the Premier League with injuries, but still there is no reaction.”
On whether extra subs will help
“Well, I think it’s a positive thing to have an extra two players on the bench because you want everybody to be involved. Again we are in very special circumstances when the players are coming to training, home, training or match and nothing else.”
“So, if they can participate and be part of the squad, they can travel with us, they can feel part of what we’re doing it’s much better than having people at home feeling that they are not part of what we are doing, feeling that we don’t trust them. So, that’s in my opinion a really positive thing.”
On whether he could have coached at Everton
“It was part of some conversations, but I decided to take my opportunities elsewhere.”
On his influences from Arsene Wenger, David Moyes and Pep Guardiola
“I think you have to be yourself, but obviously you have moments and experiences that marks you in your football career. And it’s not just the way you think about the game but who you are as a person.”
“How you react to certain things. I was really lucky with the managers that I had. I learnt a lot. And I think that built the person and the player that I was, and obviously the thinking behind the manager that I am today.”
Everton Premier League form: LWLDWW
Arsenal Premier League form: LDLLLD
Arsenal form (all competitions): LWLWLD
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey, Kenny; Iwobi, Gomes, Doucoure, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Ceballos, Saka; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Dominic Calvert-Lewin Anytime Scorer – 11/8 with FanTeam
The Premier League top goalscorer was unable to add to his tally in Everton’s 2-0 win over Leicester in midweek. Calvert-Lewin came desperately close when his shot was saved at point-blank range before being turned in by Mason Holgate.
Everton have turned their poor form around with victories over Chelsea and Leicester and now face a depleted and severely out of form Arsenal. The Gunners ended a run of four consecutive defeats by salvaging a draw against Southampton but will crucially be without Gabriel for this one.
Time to take a look at our Everton vs Arsenal live match stream as it happens…