Arsenal vs Everton

Sunday 21 May 2017  45 Comments  [Jump to last]
Match Preview

Romelu Lukaku needs to score at least twice to have any hope of securing the golden boot

Everton bring the curtain down on 2017-18 with a trip to The Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in a game that could have a large bearing on the Champions and Europa League pictures after all… just not in the way Evertonians had hoped.

A few weeks ago, as the Gunners were threatening to implode, Arsene Wenger was facing mounting pressure from supporters to finally step down as manager and Manchester United were being held back by a propensity to draw too many of their home games, this clash had the potential to be a showdown over whether Arsenal or Everton would claim fourth place.

Since then, of course, the North Londoners have enjoyed the kind of revival of fortunes that denied the Toffees a Champions League berth in 2013-14 and Ronald Koeman's side have spurned a succession of opportunities to remain on the coat tails of the top four by failing to raise their game away from home.

Everton's form at home in 2017, with the notable exception of that comprehensive home defeat by newly re-crowned champions Chelsea, has been stellar but they've only won once this calendar year, that a narrow 1-0 win at Selhurst Park courtesy of Seamus Coleman's late clincher.

It would seem, then, that on the basis of that uninspiring record away from Goodison Park and with Arsenal needing to better Liverpool's result — a couple of goals to determine goal difference notwithstanding — in order to sneak into the top four at the Reds' expense, there is little likelihood of the Blues ending a 21-year wait for a victory on the Gunners' home turf.

For Koeman's men, with seventh-place guaranteed thanks to a yawning 15-point gap to eighth place, there is little to play for beyond pride, any desire to end that hoodoo and Romelu Lukaku's quest to leapfrog back over Harry Kane to claim the Premier League's golden boot.

The Belgian appeared to be a shoo-on to finish as the top scorer in the division until Kane filled his boots in Tottenham's demolition of Leicester City in midweek and is now two goals behind heading into the final game of the campaign. (Spurs are at already-relegated Hull so there's every chance of Kane further adding to his tally.)

In terms of personnel, Koeman will have the same squad at his disposal as last weekend against Watford, with the biggest question mark, of course, being over Ross Barkley and whether he will start amid the ongoing indecision regarding his future.

Koeman appeared to have no qualms about fielding the 23-year-old last weekend and may not again this time around as the possibility exists that he will opt for an unchanged line-up, with the possible exception of Maarten Stekelenburg coming back in for Joel Robles. With Barkley still not having agreed a new contract at his manager indicating that he would have to sell him rather than risk him running down his existing deal, it could be his last appearance for the Toffees.

Likewise Lukaku, whose own future will dominate Everton's summer transfer window, with the club's resolve sure to be tested, although Koeman appeared more confident that the striker would stay at Goodison given the lack of imperative to sell him with two years left on his contract.

Most eyes are turning towards the summer transfer window but it would be nice — obviously — to go out with a bang with a surprise win at the Emirates, even if it would ensure Champions League football for Liverpool, but it would take a very different Everton to the one that got turned over at Anfield and the Liberty Stadium or the one that couldn't hold onto a slender lead at Old Trafford last month.

Kick-off: 3pm, Sunday 21 May, 2017
Referee: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Arsenal 2-1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Stekelenburg, Holgate, Jagielka, A. Williams, Baines, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku

Full details: ToffeeWeb Match page


Reader Comments (45)

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Gareth Clark
1 Posted 21/05/2017 at 07:53:34
Robles
Holgate Jagielka A Williams Baines
Idrissa Schneiderlin Davies
Mirallas Barkley
Lukaku

Subs: Stekelenburg, Pennington, Besic, Barry, J Williams, Sambou, Valencia

Kieran Fitzgerald
2 Posted 21/05/2017 at 07:56:46
Not expecting much from the game today. With the younger players away at the international tournament there seems little chance of even seeing a young player make his debut.

I suppose seeing Holgate and Davies play today is a satisfactory end to the season in terms of young player development. I would like to see Pennington get some game time as well.

Darren Hind
3 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:16:51
I can't go along with people who would sacrifice this game in the hope that the RS drop the ball at Anfield. It just goes too much against the grain.

Let the cards fall how they will elsewhere ;I want Everton to win – always.

We've turned our noses up at a few "free swings" lately when our opponents just have been under more far pressure than we have.

Fuck the dour safety-first attitude we have been subjected to at nearly every away game this season. The curtain comes down today. Let's strut our stuff. Let's be peacocks. The bulldog stuff hasn't worked...

Kunal Desai
4 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:25:12
I'd actually go with a front three of Valencia and Mirallas behind Lukaku. Barkley either on the bench or not in the squad at all.


John G Davies
5 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:26:19
They won't slip up today. If they did and we got beat costing them a Champions League place, I would celebrate long and hard on the journey home from the game.

Apologies if that offends anyone. Just being honest.

Eddie Dunn
6 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:29:03
When you look at our history in this fixture, we have no chance of even getting a point. The team is drifting, unbalanced and has achieved all that could be expected. The manager is struggling to motivate them.

Mentally their season finished a few weeks ago, and with the knowledge that some of them will be facing an uncertain summer, their minds won't be on the job.

I expect an end-of-season thumping by an Arsenal side that will be hoping that one of their rivals slip-up.

Lukaku must know that Kane is likely to rack up a few more at Hull, and even a brace today is unlikely to get him a share of the golden boot.

Expect a defensive set-up, a two goal deficit and a late rally 4-1 to the Arse. It will be a glum end to the season.

Joe O'Brien
7 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:31:53
I actually want us to lose for the simple reason that we'd be on a even par with them at the start of next season. If they get a Champions League spot, they will be able to attract better players than us and we'd be playing catch up again next season before a ball was kicked.
Mark McParlan
8 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:51:01
Lukaku
Mirallas Barkley
Davies
Gueye Schneiderlin
Baines Jagielka A Williams Holgate
Robles

We really do need more and better players next season. I put Mirallas down very reluctantly... I'd rather have Bolasie there.

If Rooney came for very little in the summer he would be a better option than Davies – and major surgery is needed at the back, perhaps the likes of Maguire and Chilwell.And Joe Hart in goal!

Kim Vivian
9 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:54:59
Today's result is an irrelevance as far as our league position is concerned so I hope we do not play our boring defensive containment game but just go all out to try and get Rom the Golden Boot.

For all his failings and whichever side of the fence you sit, he is, at the moment 'our man'. I was pissed by Harry Kane's haul the other night and would love to see Rom collect this award for Everton so a hat trick being the minimum (assuming Kane does not bag one – or more – today). If we ship a few while managing that I don't really care – but let's damn well try and win this one.

Gareth's lineup looks good to me but I do concur with Kunal. Maybe start Valencia for Barkley. Hard call never knowing which version of Ross is going to turn up. Both should probably be trying to make an impression, but if Ross is actually away, Valencia has to be a no-brainer.

Chris Williams
10 Posted 21/05/2017 at 08:58:00
Maybe a back three to match them or Davies at right back where he looked a better fit than Holgate lat week.
Tony Twist
11 Posted 21/05/2017 at 09:09:52
I hope we get an encouraging performance from the blues but if we did that would be a major surprise. Here's hoping.

As for next season I think we will struggle to improve even if we still have Barkley and Lukaku without them having strong competition. Strong competition is not a former blue who is well past his best in Rooney plus the likes of another player who's best ain't good enough and is an accident waiting to happen – Joe Hart.

I would lose interest if those two were Everton's "star" signings. Let's buy the players that become the next stars. Let's see some pride today please, Blues.

Nigel Munford
12 Posted 21/05/2017 at 09:33:58
Kim, if Rom had turned up in a few more games this season, he would have been streets ahead of Kane for the Golden Boot, but he didn't, so he has scored a lot of goals but not enough. Add to that Kane has played less games than Rom; I'm afraid if Kane does win it he deserves it.

I think Rom will have to get more than 3 (and I can't see that happening) as Spurs will get a cricket score against Hull, and I can see Kane getting at least 3. If Rom doesn't turn up again today then I can see him being 3rd behind Sanchez. 𧴜 million, not a chance.

Oliver Molloy
13 Posted 21/05/2017 at 10:14:58
I wouldn't be surprised to see Barkley on the bench today!
Anthony Burke
14 Posted 21/05/2017 at 10:16:50
Fancy us today 2-1 COYB!!!!
Akeel Hamid
15 Posted 21/05/2017 at 10:24:48
I get a feeling we will roll over for Arsenal 4-1.
Hope the the homeless ones team (Klopp) gets a 0-0.
Kim Vivian
16 Posted 21/05/2017 at 10:26:40
Nigel, I do agree. In fact I had typed a sentence saying it was a shame Rom had hung his boots up a few weeks back and had not turned up on a number of occasions this season but deleted it out, simply because that was not the point of my post.

Shame it is unlikely to be one of our lads but whoever does get it, deserves it, and I do not begrudge Ghostface the accolade after another blinding season from Spurs.

Martin Mason
17 Posted 21/05/2017 at 10:48:25
Harry Kane went half a season without scoring, this was partly due to a loss of form but for me almost entirely due to Spurs improving as a side and improving the service to him.

In a good side, Rom would score more goals but Everton aren't that side yet and we don't usually show up away while Spurs win most games so Rom is at a massive disadvantage to Kane.

He won't score a lot of goals from balls hoofed up at him and the generally low level of service he receives from what is currently an Everton side that isn't at the same level as a very good Spurs side.

David Hallwood
19 Posted 21/05/2017 at 11:39:41
Agree with Darren (#3) look after our own game, and I always want an Everton victory.

A few seasons back some people wanted us to lose against Man City as a way of stopping the RedShite winning the Premier League; I don't understand the mentality.

We haven't won away vs Arsenal for 20 years and we need to lay these ghosts. BTW we're 7-1 to win and Boro are 25-1, that's a nice little double.

Don Alexander
20 Posted 21/05/2017 at 11:47:17
All I hope is that we don't end up with the same sort of result we ended up with the last time we went there at the end of the season with "nothing to play for" in terms of league position. 1 - 7 was the score then, and at kick off Citteh are 3 goals to the good over the Arse but 3 points ahead.

So, if they're professional, the Gooners need a big win against us to cover every base. Oh dear. Time to watch it from behind the couch perhaps? Unless one or two of our, erm, stars again get there first of course.

Ian Bennett
24 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:18:08
Robles

Baines
Williams
Holgate
Jags
Davies

Gueye
Schneiderlein
Barkley

Lukaku
Valencia

Andrew Clare
25 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:20:10
Like I said the other week, Everton don't do surprises (apart from Man City at home). This will be an emphatic home win.

Hopefully, one day, this won't be the case.

Dave Richman
26 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:20:34
Eric, this was just up on Facebook:

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Dave Richman
27 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:20:36
Eric, this was just up on Facebook:

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Laurie Hartley
29 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:21:22
Don (#20) – I am inclined to agree with you; I hate to admit it but I think we could be in for a hammering.

When I look through Lyndon's line-up, the thing that sticks out for me is the lack of guile.

We certainly need a few players in the summer.

Brian Harrison
30 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:27:19
Last game of the season so an end to worrying weekends, no need to scan the papers to see who is fit to play, or worry about our form going into the game. Now I can just watch the golf and the cricket and the horse racing and just enjoy it. The added bonus of the Open being at Birkdale again, I look forward to being there for all 5 days.
Danny O'Neill
31 Posted 21/05/2017 at 12:37:25
Thanks for that, Dave, and the repeat entries; it now takes me considerably longer to scroll down!!

I'm with Darren and others on here, regardless of the potential impact on our dear red cousins, I can't go along with the "rather see us lose" mentality.

In honesty, I can't see a win but fancy us for a sneaky point.

Paul Tran
34 Posted 21/05/2017 at 13:00:14
I hope we win. I won't be betting on it. I would bet on a "keep it tight and nick one" performance from a team whose manager doesn't trust his attackIng players bar Lukaku.

Forget the Barkley nonsense and whatever happens today. Koeman's tenure depends on attracting and gelling attacking talent this summer.

I'm looking forward to that more than today's game. I'd love next season to be enjoying watching the team more than talking about it.

David Pearl
35 Posted 21/05/2017 at 13:01:54
Holgate has been a little disappointing for me the last while. He seems to have been playing within himself. I'd of like to have seen a return to a back 3 with Davies as the wing back.
Phil Walling
37 Posted 21/05/2017 at 13:35:59
In downtown Pafos, a very noisy Gooner tells me he has bet 16/1 in fivers that his team win 4-0 !

I have never bet against Everton in my life but I have a sneaky thought he might just be right!

Brian Wilkinson
38 Posted 21/05/2017 at 13:40:15
One way or another, our neighbours will nob a top 4 spot, if they drop a clanger Man City or Arsenal will as well, that you can be sure of, so let's at least try and get some away pride back.

Betting wise I think the 25/1 for Burnley looks more appealing than 7/1 Everton.

Brian Wilkinson
40 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:01:52
Just a quick off subject quickie, the England under 20 game v Argentina is now being shown again repeated on Eurosport 2 for any who missed it Friday just come on now: 2pm til 3:30.
Phil Whittock
41 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:02:24
Valencia in for Barkley.
Adam Smith
42 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:02:52
Really trivial point here, guys, but something occurred to me before: Does this match mean that Arsenal were the first and last opponents we faced competitively with Chang as our sponsor, just 13 years apart? Am I right?
Bill Watson
43 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:04:28
Dave: it's not on anywhere else?
Colin Glassar
45 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:07:15
This is such a non-event that even the live forum isn't up and running.
Martin Jamieson
46 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:08:03
What's happened to Lookman? He doesn't seem to be featuring anywhere?
Colin Glassar
47 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:08:28
Barkley dropped. See ya around, Ross, lad... Good luck in the future.
Brian Wilkinson
48 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:08:56
Martin@46 Lookman is in Korea with the England U20s; he was on the bench Friday.
Chris Williams
49 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:08:57
Barkley on the bench.
Paul Kossoff
51 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:17:59
Sorry lads, but an Arsenal win today and a RedShite draw...

Stopping those evil bastard's getting in the Champions League would make this season for me!

Mike Oates
52 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:21:13
Bye-bye, Ross, pity it didn't work out. Koeman won't be messed around with, he hasn't a shoulder to cry on, and just tells it the way it is.

No nice excuses, Martinez style, it's tough out there and no space for hot-and-cold players.

Kieran Kinsella
53 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:22:33
I can see us losing by 4 or 5...
Martin Jamieson
54 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:24:42
Thanks Brian (48). I would have loved to see a Lookman cameo today – a hot prospect in my view.
Colin Glassar
55 Posted 21/05/2017 at 14:31:10
Ross to come on with minutes to go and score a hattrick. 3-3. Kisses the badge, moons Ronald and then rides off into the sunset.
Andy Meighan
56 Posted 21/05/2017 at 22:09:42
Got that spot on, Col, didn't you? The man who once famously said he'd build a side around Lukaku, Barkley, Stones and Deulofeu.

Yeah, right... Fat lot of good that would have done us. The mentality of some of our so-called fans beggars belief!

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