Everton vs. Arsenal Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview (Sat, Feb. 4)
Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka.
Everton vs. Arsenal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(+105 / -143)|
|Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Saturday will kick off a new era at Everton as the Toffees host league leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park. The club fired Frank Lampard after a run of poor results that culminated in a 2-0 defeat to West Ham.
Everton made attempts to hire former Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, but ultimately decided on former Burnley manager Sean Dyche in an attempt to rescue the club from potential relegation.
The Toffees haven’t won in the league since October 22nd and they have just one draw in their last nine matches across all competitions. It’s impossible for the form to get any worse as Dyche enters and attempts to solve the defensive issues that have plagued the club of late.
Dyche’s first challenge is an extremely difficult one, even though the match is at home. The Gunners lost in the FA Cup at Manchester City, but they have just two draws and one league defeat in the first 20 matches of the campaign. They’re odds-on to win the title now.
Given the form, Arsenal are the easy play here. But the market has overreacted and left the Gunners overvalued in a difficult away spot.
Everton Need New Manager to Revive Team
Everton’s defensive numbers sounded alarm bells since before the World Cup break, and it was only a matter of time until the defense started getting punished for allowing so many high quality crosses, shots and chances.
The Toffees are 19th in non-penalty xG allowed, 20th in shots, 19th in big scoring chances and 20th in crosses allowed into their own penalty area. Lampard’s system did nothing to improve them defensively.
We do know that Dyche has a proven track record of coaching organized defenses that get numbers behind the ball and block a ton of shots. His teams consistently beat xG models’ numbers in defense by having a ton of bodies between the shot and the ball. Even last season when they were relegated, Burnley were 13th in xG per 90 allowed and ninth in big scoring chances conceded.
Even though the midfield was quite poor and was easily overrun — Burnley conceded the most box entries in the league — the defense was good enough to remain in the Premier League. Everton managed to keep Andre Onana for some midfield ball winning and the sale of Anthony Gordon isn’t really much of a loss given his mediocre production and end product.
You can also guarantee effort out of possession under any Dyche team. The Toffees were 17th in ball recoveries this year. Last year, Burnley were fourth in the whole Premier League.
He’ll get the players to buy in, organize the defense and raise the defensive floor enough for Everton. He can also frustrate Arsenal by congesting the middle and forcing them to cross. Arsenal haven’t been a great crossing team this year.
Arsenal Starting to Face Injuries
Arsenal’s addition of Jorginho from Chelsea in the January transfer window is a much-needed depth piece because the midfield lacked the depth if one of Thomas Partey or Granit Xhaka went out with an injury. Now, Partey has a knock and is doubtful to play in this away match at Everton.
Partey was a major key for the Gunners’ transition defense. His ball winning and central midfield positioning helped the Gunners improve from a good defense to an elite one this year. Only Ben White has completed more passes into the final third than Partey for Arsenal this year and no player has more tackles or interceptions.
His absence leaves them short on midfield talent and a straight swap for Jorginho is a considerable downgrade in ball winning, defensive range and tackling ability.
The Gunners have been difficult to criticize and poke holes at, but they’ve also been very healthy with their first XI most of the year. Outside of an injury to Gabriel Jesus, their questionable depth hasn’t really been tested and it’s enabled them to play at an elite level.
A key injury to the midfield will test that depth and we could see some regression for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Everton vs. Arsenal Pick
Who wants to bet on Everton right now? The Toffees are at rock bottom and should start to swing upward with their new manager and that’s exactly the time you should look to buy in. This is still the Premier League and no team is as bad as they’ve looked in the last month or as good as they’ve looked in the last month.
The spot for Arsenal is a bit tricky too after their run of high profile matches. Games against Brighton, Spurs, Manchester United, Manchester City and Newcastle were all very difficult tests that the Gunners mostly passed. Now with an injury to Partey and a chance to exhale, Arteta’s Arsenal could be caught in a difficult away environment.
There is a big gap in talent, but the market has moved too far. Time to buy low on the Toffees at +1.25 or better.
Pick: Everton +1.25 (-125 or better)
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