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Everton Preview: Time to Prevail Over Satanball

Premier League: Arsenal suffers second defeat of season after Tarkowski goal  guides Everton to win - Sportstar

Tarkowski scored the only goal when both sides met last season

Everton host Arsenal at Goodison Park as both sides renew what has been a difficult fixture for Mikel Arteta’s men. The Arsenal gaffer spoke about the hunger to finally get a good result against the Toffees in his pre-match press conference and I’m sure those sentiments are echoed by everyone connected with Arsenal. 

In terms of form, Everton come into this game in a very dire run of form, with Sean Dyche’s only victory this season coming in the Carabao Cup second round against Doncaster Rovers. Everton had failed to score in their first three Premier League games, losing all three before managing a draw against Sheffield United in their last Premier League outing. 

The last time Arsenal visited Goodison Park to face Everton, they were in the trenches after a torrid time under Frank Lampard, but Sean Dyche came around with his own version of Satanball and got all three points against Arsenal. Arsenal’s last victory was in 2017, an exciting 5-2 victory with goals from Nacho Monreal, Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, players who have become part of the club’s history. Alongside Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, Arsenal are still unbeaten this season, and will be hoping to keep up with the leading pack with a victory over Everton today.

One player Arsenal will be looking to will be Gabriel Jesus, who has eight goals in nine appearances against Everton, even though all those goals came from his Manchester City days. Arsenal’s away form is also great, with the Gunners racking up 11 clean sheets from their last 20 outings. It’s usually at the Emirates that Arsenal concede all sorts of crazy goals. It’s also worth noting that Everton has failed to score at home this season, losing to Fulham and Wolves in their first two home games of the campaign. 

To team news, Dwight McNeil has been on the sidelines for a while and could be in line to make his return, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin is working his way back to full fitness after that nasty face injury against Fulham. Arsenal had an injury scare with Gabriel but he played 90 minutes against Peru, so I believe he’s fully fit now. 

Everton and Arsenal Predicted Lineups

Everton: Pickford; Patterson, Braithwhite, Tarkowski, Young; Gueye, Doucoure, Onana, Garner, Danjuma; Beto

Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Havertz, Odegaard; Martinelli, G. Jesus, Saka.

Injury / Suspension Updates

EvertonDele Alli, Jack Harrison (hip), Seamus Coleman (knee)

Arsenal: Mo Elneny, Jurrien Timber (knee), Thomas Partey (groin)

Form Guide


  • Last Five Games:  L L L W D
  • Last Result: Sheffield United 2-2 Everton (Archer 33′, Pickford OG. 45′ | Doucoure 14′, Danjuma 55′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Arnaut Danjuma (2)

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: W W W D W
  • Last Result: Arsenal 3-1 Manchester United (Odegaard 28′, Rice 96′, G. Jesus 101′ | Rashford 27′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Eddie Nketiah, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard (2)

Gooner Daily predicts a 2 – 0 win.

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Thoughts on pre-Everton Press Conference

Arsenal press conference highlights: Mikel Arteta on Gabriel Jesus return,  Saka contract and Everton -

Mikel Arteta has a very emotional connection with Everton, having played for them for six years, but as a manager, his record here is quite atrocious. For some reason best known to Chuck Norris, Lord Voldemort and the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, Arsenal’s last win at Goodison Park was in 2017, which is quite wretched if you ask me.

Everton is a club that struggles a whole lot, and the frailties continued this season, with Sean Dyche’s side losing to Fulham and Wolves at home in the opening games of the new campaign. However, Sean Dyche’s first match for Everton was against Arsenal in February 2023, with Satanball prevailing on the day. The Gunners put up a stinkfest, as you’d expect for every time they visit Goodison Park. The closest we came to a goal on the day was a Bukayo Saka glaring chance that was cleared off the line by Conor Coady. Eddie Nketiah had an effort that killed a bird in the sky and that was it.

Arteta appeared in front of the journos ahead of the clash against Everton and was quizzed about a lot of things which we will break down in today’s post.

As expected, the journos wanted to confirm if all 17 players that went out on international duty came back unscathed, especially with Gabriel being an injury concern after Brazil’s win over Bolivia, as well as Gareth Southgate’s comment regarding Bukayo Saka. Arteta confirmed that all his players were available for selection, but Thomas Partey is still a few weeks away after his muscular injury he picked up prior to the Manchester United game. 

On Martin Odegaard’s contract,

“He’s our captain. He’s a massive player for us, a really important player for us now and for the future. We’re extremely happy to have him and want to keep him here for a long time. I’m always optimistic and we have a really good relationship with him and his agent. We are really close to them and, whenever that’s confirmed, we’ll announce it.”

I’ve shared my thoughts regarding the Odegaard contract situation, and I will be elated when we get this over. Odegaard will join the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel, Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba that have committed their futures to the club to remain part of the exciting project Arteta is doing at Arsenal. With the captain penning a new deal, morale will be high and it can only bode well for everyone connected with Arsenal. 

Arteta also had some interesting things to say about Nicolas Pepe’s following his departure to Turkey after his contract was terminated,

Obviously, these are sad moments for players. Not only for him but also with Rob [Holding] leaving and all of our players who have left and those who have gone on loan as well. You have an emotional attachment with them. You have tried to get the best out of them. But there are periods and sometimes, it’s not about the will of the player and instead, it’s a player that plays in his position that does so well. There are many factors. But we certainly want to wish all of them the best and hopefully they can fulfil the dream somewhere else.

I don’t know. I wasn’t involved in the process of that deal. What I can say about him as a person is that he’s a phenomenal boy. He tried really hard. It is not his fault the amount of money that we paid at the time and that’s it. When things are not working on, you have to move on. There’s no point trying when something is not working and that decision has been made and I think it benefits all parties

Pepe’s situation at Arsenal is one that would be regarded with so much regret, as he’s obviously a very talented player, but it just didn’t work out for him at Arsenal.

There was so much to say about Everton, but Arteta’s focus is to end that poor record at Goodison Park and I believe the players have what it takes to get the job done.

A proper Everton preview will be done tomorrow. 


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What a Year it Has been for Declan Rice

Declan Rice named Europa Conference League Player of the Season as West Ham  stars dominate awards

Rice with the UEFA Conference League title

Declan Rice ended 2022 on a sad note, as he played 90 minutes for England losing to France in the quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Rice returned to the Premier League with West Ham, visiting the Emirates, and ended up on the losing side, and the streak continued with another loss to Brentford.

January 2023 came around the corner and Rice was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal and other potential suitors, but the West Ham captain made it clear that he was not going to leave the club in the winter transfer window, with the club still in the UEFA Conference League and still languishing in the relegation places in the Premier League. West Ham finished January with two wins (Everton – Premier League and Brentford – FA Cup), one draw (Leeds) and three defeats (Arsenal, Brentford and Wolves).

February started on a good note for West Ham with a routine FA Cup Fourth Round win over Derby County but the inconsistent Premier League form was on show, with the only win coming against Nottingham Forest, while West Ham drew with Chelsea and Newcastle, then lost to Tottenham, and as expected, Rice played 90 minutes in all these games. AEK Lamaca came to town in the Knockout Round of 16 in the Conference League, and Rice led West Ham to double legged victories over the Cypriot side. Rice switched allegiances to England, playing 180 minutes in the consecutive wins in the Euro qualifiers against Ukraine and Italy.

In April, West Ham had a Conference League quarterfinal clash with Gent, and Rice got in on the scoring act, as the Hammers ran out as 5-2 winners on aggregate. Rice also played a role in derailing Arsenal’s title challenge in the same month, winning the ball from Thomas Partey and feeding Jarrod Bowen who was scythed down by Gabriel in the box, as West Ham drew 2-2 with Arsenal. Despite their consistent struggles in the Premier League, West Ham continued to soar in the UEFA Conference League and Rice put up superb performances in the semifinals against AZ Alkmaar.

The West Ham captain scored what proved to be his last goal for West Ham in the 3-1 victory over Leeds that all but secured their Premier League status, and all focus was moved to the UEFA Conference League finals against Fiorentina. Rice played very well in that finals, and Bowen’s goal put West Ham in the history books, and Rice lifted the club’s first trophy since their FA Cup victory over Arsenal in 1980. 

Rice was named as the UEFA Conference League Player of the Season, and rightly earned a place in the Team of the Season. The summer came around and Rice completed his big-money transfer to Arsenal for a whopping £105m. His performances at Arsenal have been exemplary, earning him the August Player of the Month award, which was well deserved. 

The good times keep rolling for Rice, as he has been shortlisted by FIFA for the Best Men’s Player award. He has been rightly recognized for his performances in the UEFA Conference League triumph and his time with England, where he played a key role in their World Cup exertions. Rice is the only English player to make the list, and there are six other Premier League players in the 12-man shortlist – Julian Alvarez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Erling Haaland, Rodri and Bernardo Silva, all instrumental players to Manchester City’s treble winning campaign. The players outside the Premier League to make the cut were Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan/Al Nassr), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli), Victor Osimhen (Napoli), Kylian Mbappe (PSG) and Lionel Messi (PSG/Inter Miami).

Rice is in good company and I’d love to see where he ends on the final list. 

It’s been an amazing year for Declan Rice. Long may it continue.

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