Everton v Arsenal – Expect a tactical battle?

Match Preview: Everton vs Arsenal by SE

Match Day 2 of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season for Arsenal sees them travel to the North West of England, where they take on Everton at Goodison Park this Saturday evening. Arsenal and Everton finished 4th and 5th respectively in the Premier League table last season, as Wenger’s men narrowly edged the Toffees to seal that last Champions League spot. On paper, this should be an even contest, with both teams strengthening their respective squads during the summer.

Aaron Ramsey’s injury time winner against Crystal Palace at the Emirates last weekend gave Arsenal all three points and ensured that there were no slip ups in the very first game of the league campaign. Arsenal were made to work very hard, as a manager-less Crystal Palace tested the Gunners’ resolve and Championship qualities.

The trip to Goodison Park gives the North Londoners a big chance of mending their tendency to come second-best against teams with similar or better quality. Wenger’s tactical nous will once again be put through a litmus test, as Arsenal seek to garner crucial away points and make two wins in as many number of games in the league, so far.

The Toffees, after a brilliant first season under new manager Roberto Martinez, in which they finished 5th and earned Europa League Qualification, would look to consolidate by putting in a similar or a better show in the league this time around.

Everton managed to get a crucial away point against Leicester in the opening weekend of the Premier League season, but Arsenal and Chelsea coming to Goodison Park, in subsequent weekends, could have a huge bearing on who enjoys a flying start to the campaign.

In Roberto Martinez, Everton have a manager who has earned a good reputation for himself across Europe, and the Spaniard is ambitious for more success in the coming years. On Saturday, though, Martinez would want to ensure that home advantage prevails for Everton, and they make it hard for Arsenal to dictate the pace and tempo of the match.

Arsenal Team news
Kieran Gibbs injured his hamstring in the first game against Crystal Palace and is expected to be out of action for at least a couple of weeks. Mikel Arteta is reported to have twisted his ankle, and will definitely miss the trip to Goodison Park. Theo Walcott, Miyachi and David Ospina are long term casualties, while the World Cup winning German trio Mertesacker, Ozil and Podolski are expected to return to action this weekend.

Everton Team news:
Everton, unlike Arsenal, have a meager couple of injuries to sweat on. Barkley is a long term casualty, while Bryan Oviedo, their Left-Back, will definitely miss Arsenal clash.

Arsenal’s probable starting lineup – Formation 4-3-3: Wojciech Szczesny (GK), Per Mertesacker (C), Laurent Koscielny, Mathieu Debuchy, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.

Everton’s probable starting lineup – Formation 4-4-2: Tim Howard (GK), Phil Jagielka (C), Leighton Baines, Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman, Gareth Barry, Steven Naismith, James McCarthy, Kevin Mirallas, Romelu Lukaku, Leon Osman.

Where the game could be decided?

Ozil is certain to return for Arsenal this weekend, but contrary to popular belief, I don’t think Wenger will facilitate a system that revolves around the German playmaker, which means 4-2-3-1 is definitely out of the equation. But, playing 4-3-3 would mean that Arsenal have enough personnel in their Engine room to dictate the tempo of the match.

However, the Gunners could be confronted with a 4-4-2 diamond formation, which is not much different to their own 4-3-3. Thus, if Arsenal do play their possession-based Football, and guard against pacey counter-attacks from Martinez’s side, the game could become an atritional one, with both sides working out each other and attaining parity at the end of 90 minutes.

Expect Arsenal to be cautious early on in the game, with Sanchez and Ozil doing their best to pinch a goal from somewhere. But, Everton, being the home side, would want to press Arsenal high up the pitch and test slow movers in Mertesacker and Monreal. In the end, it could prove to be a tactical battle, which, traditionally, results in a draw.

I predict an entertaining 1-1 draw for Arsenal, and a valuable away point earned.

Tags Everton Martinez


    1. That deal is worth around 50-55 million and I wouldn’t take it as we already have Alexis. Cavani is worth 35 at most.

    2. It would all be down to wages, if we can afford them I would say go for it. Affordability is relative to an income and I think the transfer fee would be fair. In terms of exposure and global fan base Cavani would definitely be a good pick.

    3. I would definitely love it. But i doubt it. Whether we like it or hate it, Wenger likes Giroud too much. And in his views he has invested 2 seasons on him. So i am not sure if he would let him go.

      Media are good at connecting the dots and predicting a news and creating a rumour. The dots are connected like this :
      1. Di Maria asked to leave. That is confimed. So he must be going to P$G as that had officially expressed interest in him.
      2. Which means Cavani would leave for sure.
      3. Arsenal needs a WC striker for the last 2 seasons and and now has money to spend.
      4. Wenger once in an interview admired Cavani 1 year back.
      5. Giroud is not good enough and gets a lot of flak from the fans.
      6. So toss in Giroud and cash offer for Cavani and you have got a transfer news which a lot of people can fall for.
      7. One outlet releases the “news” and it spreads like a wildfire. TADA!!

      Though i would love to be proven wrong. 🙂

      1. A player can play in the champions league qualifiers for one club and then the champions league for a different club in a season. Therefore Giroud isn’t cup tied.

  1. We should just put pace up front. Both of their full backs (Baines and Coleman) are not the fastest and if we put our fastest players on, Ozil will have a field day out there.


    Ozil will love this team out there and Everton won’t know what hit them.

    1. Coleman is quick plus if sticking all of your pacey players is as easy as that then why doesn’t Wenger do it? That team is lightweight and would get smashed on set pieces. Teams must have balance which is why Giroud must start as he is very good at winning duels with defenders and a decent creative outlet. Campbell has to work hard in the training ground to work his way into Wengers plans and our left side is stronger with Monreal and Cazorla. Monreal could keep Gibbs out of the side and he is top quality and he just needed time to adjust to the EPL. If Monreal shows form from his Malaga days then he could tie down the left back spot. He is a better defender than Gibbs and very brave and intelligent which is why Wenger played him at cb against City and pre seaon.

      1. Wenger doesn’t normally play pace because most teams play defensively against us, they sit in their own half a lot and therefore pace is useless.

        Everton at home on the other hand will play attacking football, Baines and Coleman constantly push forward, having a major counter attacking threat with pace would frighten them into sitting back more, alleviating pressure from our defence and making us a lot more threatening on the break.

  2. I can’t see a tactical battle brewing. We’ll send the usual suspects, same formation.


    1. Hmmm Pelligrini played him left wing at Malaga and Villareal so he is clueless.
      Every manager has played Cazorla left wing for 10 years so every one of these managers are idiots and everyone from Justarsenal should be the manager.
      Cazorla was known as a winger before he came to Arsenal and played on the left for 10 years where he struck a partnership as Malaga. It is his tactical role to cut inside. If Santi can’t play on the left then why would Wenger or all of his managers be so blind?

        1. Out wide since he is 2 footed. He can cross or cut inside and shoot meaning that he is unpredictable as we saw against City when he scored. With a pacey player on the other wing, we have more balance.

          1. Let’s face it, Santi is more likely to have a bad game in that position. He was below par last year and the very best came when he was central. Add to this the fact a Cazorla Monreal left side does leave a lot to be desired in terms of defending and tracking back.

            1. Monreal and Cazorla played on the left side for 2 or 3 seasons under Pelligrini. It is the job of Wilshere, Arteta and Ramsey to cut across plus the pacey winger on the right is expected to have a higher work rate to create two banks of four.

              1. I have always considered the front men as the first line of defence, tracking back is part of the job to me but hey….I bet there are as many opinions as there are Arsenal fans. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

          2. but he scored from a central position in that game after sanogo dragged two defenders out wide to the right. With giroud he doesnt occupy that space as frequently because giroud is never looking to run beyond the last defender

    2. 10 OUT OF 10 No10 agreed Santi is magic in mid field but not on the wings as he proved yet again this season.

  3. I doubt whether ozil start. However i m not against the idea of using ozil in the left wing. Because he always drifts alot, amazing movements , and eye for killer pass. Even as a no10 he moves a lot to wings. I dont think it will harm him or us. We should put a more efficient attacking approach to the game.
    ot: Please support our team rather than blaming the players and coach based on some f**kng experts. We are definetly stronger than last term. So expect the mighty gunners at full flow. I even expects a good showing from monreal too. Because he looks good and composed. Not like last season. And this squad has that winning mentality which was we lacking for years. So get behind our team and support them. One love until i die, COYG

  4. I don’t any changes from the boss for this game. It’ll be the usual “meanwhile the gunners remain unchanged from the side that drew blanks against Besiktas in midweek…”. Tactics? Uhmm, what does that mean? 😐

    1. Exactly, we are the famous Arsenal and we do not need those tactics they are speaking of. Let’s hope Giroud does not start, nothing personal but the Everton back 4 are well equipped to deal with him early on. Sanchez/Campbell up front OG to come in shortly after 60 minutes.

    2. It was only one game and it takes time for Wengers 4-3-3 to work and players to get used to it.

  5. starting line up

    debu boss merty nacho
    rambo chambers
    alexis ozil campbell/ox

  6. This will be Arsenals first
    real test of the season.
    I would expect Wenger to play
    the most experienced side he can.

    Debuchi Kos Mertz Monreal
    Chambers Ramsey
    Sanchez Ozil Podolski

  7. I would settle for nothing less than 3 points and really want to see the players committed and putting a real shift in. We need to get the best results from all the games against non top 4 teams and that includes Spurs, Everton AND Man United. We are stronger than last year but still in the preparation stage due to the world cup.

  8. The first 2 games (Palace and Besiktas) have once again proven beyond a shadow of doubt that Giroud is freaking USELESS, and that the Ox must be in the starting line-up. For the game against Everton I would go with
    Debuchy, Merts, Kosc, Monreal
    Flamini, Ramsey
    Sanchez, Özil, Ox
    At least you will have players in the team that will have a go at the Everton defence and not pass the ball out wide from just outside the penalty area again and again ad nauseam. Moreover, if Merts does not show that he is fit to go after a few minutes, I would not wait until the 89th minute (which is how long Wenger waits to substitute players that have proved beyond reasonable doubt to all 65000 spectators but not to Wenger that they are not contributing to the game) to replace him with Chambers. This young lad is the next Tony Adams!!! An amazing acquisition.

    1. useless?
      he didnt score, but wasnt his shot rebound that Rambo took?
      maybe I am wrong, but i thought it was his.

  9. I’m a bit fearful of this game. I think if wenger plays Monreal and Cazorla on the left we are in trouble. Mirrallas and Lukaku will expose them.
    Also predict McCarthy and Barry to win the MF duel.
    Hope Germans make an appearance and Giroud steps up.
    We will need a moment of creative magic or a set piece goal to win/take anything from this game.

  10. Two off topic comments:
    1. I think Balo will score >=25 goals this year for Pool. He will pick up some red cards though.
    Interesting that Rodgers has added a conduct clause.
    2. Any chance Poldi could go to Dortmund, (part of Reus deal)?

  11. People can’t stand Cazorla in the team as he is regarded as a inconsistent liability.. Not a single fans includes Cazorla in their preferred formations…

    But they forget it’s Cazorla and Ramsey that have been crucial in us winning the FA CUP and CHARITY SHIELD…

    Even the so called Mr Donkey himself (Giroud) contributed to the FA CUP win..

    But all praise and credit is always directed to our £42 million Prince even if he did fck all..

    1. exactly!
      I dont know which players poeple are seeing, but u r right, they did play a considerable part in those games

  12. I don’t think Cazorla should be put on the wing anymore. His best position is central
    So keep him on the bench when Ozil is there and put him in that position when Ozil isn’t

    Put Sanchez and OX/Campbell on the wings until Walcott comes back.

    Also, give Podolski a try up front. He has played striker for Germany only had a few opportunities last season. Give him another try.

    1. Cazorla has done more than Ozil for Arsenal since moving to us… Why bench him for a player who is as inconsistent as him?

          1. your “stage name” in this deal is wrong for your purposes hahaha.
            “Giroud + 32 M for Cavani?”
            “No Giroud, I m happy”

  13. I strongly disagree with the comments rating Balotelli at 25 goals a season. When has he ever been as prolific? Giroud has outscored him in the last seasons.

    I don’t envy Pool for signing him, I think we need a better and more disciplined striker.

        1. i am not debating, its an honest question, i think thats a better perspective. and I dont know how many he scored with City (say in his last year)

  14. @No10. Agree that I don’t envy Pool Signing him, hopefully it will disrupt them and benefit us. Can still see him scoring 25 this year though, gut feeling.

  15. I don’t want any stupid 1-1. I want us to turn them over. One 3-0 victory and all over sudden Everton fans are mouthing off.

    We should play

    Deb – Kos – Per – Mon
    Calum – Rambo
    Alexis – Ozil – Campbell/Ox

  16. Tactical battle? Isn’t every game like that?

    I predict a surprisingly straightforward win – 3-1 Arsenal, with Sanchez playing a big part..

    1. I know you are gooner through and through. But that is just a naive statement. We do not have Germans in the team yet, Sanchez is still getting to the form, Monreal is the LB and Giroud will start as the striker. If you think we will get a win with this let alone a straightforward one, that is some over optimism right there. I would be happy with a point.

      1. I’m happy to be called naively optimistic! 😀

        I think we are a better team than last year, even without the Germans back in the squad.

        Sanchez has already shown signs of his ability, so with the right wind, and a few players likely to start hitting form, we can win, comfortably.

  17. Have you people heard about the news of Barcelona getting the ban in the end? After it was canceled first, only to be taken back, so Barcelona could buy like mad, only to get the fake ban in the end after all.

  18. All of our targets are gone….., Baloteli was our last train to catch….! Without a beast forward and sound DM wl lower team moraly….!

  19. That ban is a joke, just like Suarez’s punishment…not only he can now train wih the team but he has already played.

    When it comes to Barca and Real there is not punishment or FFP consequences…have you seen Madrid’s debts? You could run a smallish country with that money.

  20. Cazorla is a good player against at everton he should be moved in the role behind giroud or benched and we know why, couple fans say Cazorla played in the LW. Role for villareal and malaga that person should take in consideration spanish league is not english league in no sense or form most attacking players have less defensive duties there, however In england our wide players normally do a lot of defensive work. Cazorla although improving does not lend much to that area

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