Everton vs Arsenal

03/02/2023 49comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Sean Dyche takes charge of his first Everton match after succeeding Frank Lampard earlier this week

Sean Dyche’s tenure as Everton manager begins tomorrow with one of the most difficult assignments possible as the Blues welcome League leaders Arsenal to Goodison Park for the lunchtime kick off.

Less than a week into the job, having succeeded Frank Lampard last Monday, Dyche is tasked with lifting a group of players that hasn’t won a match since 22 October, and comes into the weekend joint bottom of the Premier League with just 15 points and three wins.

Dyche will look to leverage all of the experience he gained from battling relegation in the past with Burnley, and will draw on the precedent of having saved the Clarets from a very similar situation four seasons ago.

Burnley had just 12 points from 19 games after Christmas in 2018 but rallied impressively over the second half of the campaign to finish comfortably in 15th Place.

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Dyche had the benefit of a tight group and a culture that had been built up over many years at Turf Moor. At Everton, he comes into a dressing room low on morale and short on numbers, although the new boss might use that to his advantage in trying to create a siege mentality over the final 18 matches.

He faces injury concerns from the outset with Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane and Nathan Patterson ruled out through injury and both James Garner and Andros Townsend still some way from making their respective returns as well.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, however, is fit to line up in a side that is expected to lean heavily on his aerial prowess and physicality at the top end of the pitch.

Dyche’s preference for a 4-4-2 formation could also benefit Neal Maupay who has struggled to make an impact since arriving from Brighton in the summer and who has started just two games since the return after the mid-season break for the World Cup.

At the back, Seamus Coleman and Vitalii Mykolenko are good bets to start in the full-back roles and, should Dyche go 4-4-2, it remains to be seen if he goes with Conor Coady alongside his former charge, James Tarkowski, or opts for Yerry Mina’s height and threat from set-pieces.

Arsenal are still without Gabriel Jesus, Reiss Nelson, Mohamed Elneny and Emile Smith Rowe while Thomas Partey will undergo a late fitness test on a rib complaint but deadline-day signing Jorginho could step straight into the side.

Mikel Arteta’s team are in daunting form and are unbeaten in the League since losing to Manchester United 3-1 way back in September. Since then they have won five of six away from home, with only Southampton denying them all three points in a 1-1 draw on 23 October.

Having no doubt seen how open and defensively vulnerable Everton were under Lampard, Dyche’s first priority will be to make the Blues hard to beat and to use the power of the home crowd to make life difficult for the Gunners who are coming off a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup last weekend.

Goodison has not been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal in recent seasons. Since heralding the end of Ronald Koeman’s reign as Toffees boss in October 2017, the North Londoners have been beaten three times — including that terrific win in December 2021 — and have been held to a goalless draw; Dyche will be hoping to get off to the perfect start by ensuring that Everton remain a bogey team for Arteta’s men.

Kick-off: 12:30pm, Satuday 4 February 2023
Referee: David Coote
VAR: John Brooks
Last Time: Everton 2 - 1 Arsenal

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski, Coady, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Gray, Maupay, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (49)

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Simon Dalzell
1 Posted 03/02/2023 at 00:00:40
I'm really looking forward to the match tomorrow. I wasn't too keen on Mr Dyche as our new manager, but the more I listen to him, I believe he can lift us enough and get a fair bit more out of these big under achievers. Good luck Sir, you may need a decent slice of that as well. COYB.
Jay Harris
2 Posted 04/02/2023 at 00:17:33
Well we got a point against City and the players should be motivated to show the new manager what they can do.
As long as the 12th man is on form I think we can get something out of this but it will be tough.
Nick Lacey
4 Posted 04/02/2023 at 01:00:34
Just go and put 4 past them and don't let any in, easy.
Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 04/02/2023 at 01:41:59
I’m hoping for the kind of impact we saw Royle have. Weirdly a lot of Arsenal fans are worried adopting our sort of “here come Everton” expecting them to choke. Hopefully they’re correct
Tom Bowers
6 Posted 04/02/2023 at 02:18:13
Realistically given our current form and I suppose the form of most of the season we can't hope for a win.

However, football is a funny game and although we have nothing to laugh about we do have a new manager who may just get something a little more than we have seen over the last few months.

Certainly the City game showed they can show some defensive mettle so why not this game against the Gunners.

God knows they are due another decent performance with something at the end of it.


Bill Gienapp
7 Posted 04/02/2023 at 02:20:24
Michael Keane's been injured? Who knew!
Matthew Williams
8 Posted 04/02/2023 at 03:27:07
Got to be a 4-4-2 formation with Gray and McNeil as our wide men with Onana and Doucoure in the middle of the park,for me at least.


Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 04/02/2023 at 03:36:39

That weird Goodison News or whatever it’s called had a title today suggesting Keane had been exiled along with Duke for falling out with Frank then the attached article had zero mention of Keane at all. Meanwhile the Echo said Dyche said all is forgiven and the exiled are back in the fold as Dyche himself posted on Twitter then they had a link to some random fans Twitter which said nothing of the sort. Moral of the story? Who knows what the hell is going on?!

Derek Knox
10 Posted 04/02/2023 at 03:50:33
Got a good, but not a great feeling, regarding our result today, think the New Manager bounce could have an impact, but as he has only had them for 5 days or so, early days to expect a demolition of the Arse. Haven't got a Ticket but luckily can watch from home. Just hope he has installed enough to get us over the line.

After all, David did slay Goliath !

Jack Convery
11 Posted 04/02/2023 at 04:20:05
Just seen Sean walking around Finch Farm. Did he seriously have to point out to Thelwell that the practice pitch is different in size to the one at Goddison. The one they play on all the time !!! F*ckwits the lot of them !!

If they do bring back the Dodo, I want one as Chairman immediately. At least we'd have one brain cell in the building.

COYBs for Saturday. Right up the Arsenal !!

Kunal Desai
12 Posted 04/02/2023 at 05:14:02
I think we will see a much more improved and committed performance. We'll be competitve but I think ultimately Arsenal quality shines through here.

Key for us are the up and coming home games against Leeds and Villa.

Michael Pennington
13 Posted 04/02/2023 at 05:47:12
Two nil for the Toffees. DCL with both.
Derek Thomas
14 Posted 04/02/2023 at 06:18:40
Being the lunchtime game the pundits will only have Arsenal and our troubles to talk about.
I wonder how they've moved on from the whole 'The fans are all thugs / Headlock-gate' narrative Bill put out.

Knowing some / most of them, it will be all Arsenal, 4 mins on us...and now an in depth preview of the rs game.

Anyway; we can win this and I've got 19/1 on 1-0.

Lyndon Lloyd
15 Posted 04/02/2023 at 06:42:14
That Goodison News is a click-bait entity reputedly run by Kopites. I never click on any of their headlines as I refuse to give them the revenue but keep them unhidden on NewsNow so I can see what crap they’re running
Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 04/02/2023 at 06:55:56
I see notifications from it Lyndon but take no notice of them.

This is the only website I comment on and take notice of given the knowledge of the contributors.

Although I have enquired to be considered for a position on the FAB for my sins!

Looking forward to the match today.

Spirit. Forever.

Mal van Schaick
17 Posted 04/02/2023 at 07:22:50
Pack the midfield and we will take a 1-0 on a counter attack.
Derek Thomas
18 Posted 04/02/2023 at 07:23:30
Kieran @ 5; On more than a few occasions Vs various teams in the past, Arsenal seem to have a collective off day, where they don't like it up 'em, if they go north of Watford on a day thats a bit damp and chilly...pity it's not under the lights.
Even a team that is a League title favourite ( let's face it, they are and it's theirs to lose.) can have the odd bad hair day.

It's our job to make sure this is theirs.

Ian Hollingworth
19 Posted 04/02/2023 at 07:26:21
I hope you are successful re FAB Danny as I think you would be a positive addition to that group.
Good luck
Paul Hewitt
20 Posted 04/02/2023 at 07:43:16
Cant wait for this,got a good feeling. 2-1 to the blues.
Neil Lawson
21 Posted 04/02/2023 at 07:48:32
Mal 17. I agree. Pack midfield with midfielders. Leave Iwobi out and put a runner and tackler in his place ( hopefully running forward occasionally and not just in circles).
Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 04/02/2023 at 08:11:33
That’s sad really Neil, because Iwobi, is actually a very good runner. I’ve never seen a player run so much without ever putting a proper tackle in though, although I think he might do a good job for us today playing right midfield.

Arsenal are very good right now, I rarely watch a full match anymore but I enjoyed their performance against United, the other week, especially Obergaard, who never stops running (mostly forward) and never stops showing for the ball, and Saka, was like poetry in motion, whilst Thomas Partey, gave them a physical edge, in the engine room.

I’d try and match them by bringing Doucoure in from the cold, and if Onana, puts in a focused shift, and Gueye, is on top of his running game, then I don’t see why not, especially if we can stay in the game, which might possibly allow the Goodison crowd, to slowly help swing the game Everton’s way🤞

Ian Bennett
23 Posted 04/02/2023 at 08:26:33



This isn't a game for a half-baked Gray, McNeil, or Mykolenko.

I expect he will start Coleman, McNeil and Gray.

Iain Johnston
24 Posted 04/02/2023 at 08:37:41
Wow, woke up today filled with excitement!

Pack the midfield? Not for me, Dyche wont do that.

4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. Me, I'd go 4-4-1-1 with Calvert-Lewin behind Gray running onto the flick ons, Iwobi & McNeil wide and Gueye marking Odegaard, he's the key for Arsenal. Our midfield will be a lot more compact.

But... It's probably why I'm not a football coach!


Eddie Dunn
25 Posted 04/02/2023 at 08:59:16
Firstly, it will be very interesting to see the line-up that Dyche goes for. The centre-half pairing and leftback choice, not to mention the midfield.

If we play well but lose to a side who could well go on to win the title, then we can take some solace. However, I would rather just see total committment to the cause and a point (or three).

Let's see if Sean Dyche can get more out of the group than his predecessor.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:10:30
I'd have liked that back four, Ian @23, only for Godfrey supposedly being injured? And I'd have also swapped Gray, for Maupay, because he could help us flood the midfield when we haven't got the ball, and he's also got the speed to break forward with real pace.

I'm tired, I'm aching, I've had about 4 hours sleep, but I'm sure I will feel like a teenager, once again, in a few hours time. Football is a game of skill, but it's also a game of fight!

Jeff Armstrong
27 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:10:49
Pickford Begovic Lornergan Godfrey Holgate Mina Keane Tarkowski Coady Coleman Mykelenko


Get in👊

I’d play a diamond formation for the 3 keepers

Robert Tressell
28 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:12:33
Despite the disappointment of transfer deadline day, I'm genuinely excited about this. Really tough game. Fascinating to see how we line up and approach the game.

I want to see a good shape, hard work, plenty of balls forward to Calvert-Lewin and bodies in support of him too. Joe Royle wrote the blueprint many years ago. Let's get a headed goal from a corner. COYB

Eric Myles
29 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:13:13
I hope that, as well as getting behind Dyche and the team, and letting our board know what we think of them, the fans can give a warm welcome to The Best Little Spaniard We Know.

After tomorrow, from the bottom of my heart I wish them all the very best, but we are looking to get something at Everton this time.

"Especially because of the years that I had there, the gratitude I feel towards the club, the love I feel towards the club. I hope they can turn this around in the best possible way because [to] everybody who has feelings for Everton they are unique and very special and they deserve the best."


Colin Malone
30 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:14:06
Dominic Calvert-Lewin Will be right up for this. A move to London is his dream.

Any way. I know we will be more organised and we will see more effort than under Lampard.


Dom Kearney
31 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:17:14
On the train up from London with 2 mates. Not been to a home match in 22 years. Can't wait and think/hope we can win in Dyche's first match – COYB!!
John Keating
32 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:18:12
Pity you say Godfrey is injured as I would like to have seen him at left-back. My team would be:

Holgate, Mina, Tarkowski, Mykoklenko
Iwobi, Onana, Gueye, Gray
Calvert-Lewin, Maupay or Simms

Optimistically, a point; realistically, just an improvement in attitude and commitment and not embarrassed with the result.

Mick O'Malley
33 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:25:03
Enjoy the day, Dom, let's hope the Blue Boys give you a day to remember!

COYB!! Believe!

Garry Martin
34 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:29:30
Coady must start, he's a local boy who fully understands the demands from the fans and, who has the desire and skill to raise his game.

Calvert-Lewin will probably put in a good performance due to his desire to get a previous move away from Everton to Arsenal.

Hope the boys can raise their game today and start a revolution.


Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:39:39
You enjoy, Dom.

I finally got on the move. Euston was a nightmare this morning but I persevered and am on my way.

I almost considered a train to Manchester and then a taxi, but I'm inbound.

Here we go.

John Hall
36 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:44:47
Let's hope he makes them into Dyche's die-hards and not Dyche's donkeys!
Anthony Murphy
37 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:45:02
Didn't Dyche keep Burnley up with 12 points after 19 games? He'll play the percentages and target 7-8 games. A big performance today and we've got a chance – the first 15 minutes today could be the biggest 15 minutes in our history.

My concern is our bench – we can't change it up and with 5 subs, we are criminally short of in-game options. I think that will be our undoing today and in other games too, but survival is possible – 6 wins, 3 draws and 9 defeats from 18 gives us 36 points – I'd take that now and think if we can get it, it'll be just enough. In fact, I'd take last game of the season – probably one of the 6 or 7 we'll need.

George McKane
38 Posted 04/02/2023 at 09:50:38
Danny - have arrived back from Puglia - see you in TDH - Dom come up to The Barlow’s - The Dark House.
Tony Waring
39 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:17:41
Somewhat off the point but I see that Chelsea are to appeal for leniency from the "authorities" with regard to financial affairs because they had to do without Abramovich money for several months when he was declared persona non grata. If they can get away with it surely we can also as Usmanov was in the same predicament ???
James Marshall
40 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:18:30

Uncle Alisher never had anything to do with Everton's finances. SShhhhhh

Lee Courtliff
41 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:20:18
I've got a good feeling about today. Remember when we were odds on favourites against a relegation threatened and ultimately doomed Wigan in the FA Cup QF back in 2013 and we capitulated?

Then, precisely 7 days later, we beat defending Champions Man City 2-0 despite playing the last the 30 minutes or so with 10 men!!

Typical Everton...we can't handle being Favourites but just love to be the Underdog. Especially at Goodison.

Rob Dolby
42 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:21:39
Today is a free pass for Dyche.

Playing top of the league and form table against bottom of the league form table.

I am not expecting anything other than fight and hunger. Over the years usually 1 team throws the towell in and ends up adrift and relegated early. I want to see a reaction to the new manager.

We won't have any other choice but to sit deep due to Arsenal's quality. I want us to pack the midfield and make it hard for them. This season we have been wide open in most games. Get back to basics and close the spaces down.

Godfrey, Tark, Coady, Myko
Doucs Gana Iwobi Onana Gray

I would put Gana man marking Odegard and Iwobi on jorghino.


James Marshall
43 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:22:30
As for the game - I have a horrible feeling we'll (typically) start well, it'll be 0-0 after about 20 minutes, Arsenal will score and we'll get done.

They'll go 2 up, we'll get one back at 2-1, push for an equaliser and lose 3-1. Maybe even 4-1. This Arsenal side is streets ahead of us. There's a good reason they're top and only lost one game all season.

Kevin Molloy
44 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:36:48
in the medium term I reckon Maupay may just replace Gray in the team. I think Gray isn't going to like all this running one little bit, whereas I think Dycheball is right up Maupay's street.
the key unknowable at this point is how the players have taken to Dyche and his methods. You can give all the great PCs in the world, but if the players don't like you youre stuffed. this will be new for SD. In the past his squads for most of the time have all been his boys. Now, hardly any of them are. I think the defence will love it, but the midfield and forwards not so much. If Gana Onana and DCL don't want to cover those hard yards, and he can't get in their heads to convince them, we've got a big problem.
Steve Shave
45 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:41:55
I'm nervous about today, I am thinking to think of positives though and hope to see a response from the boys.

I agree, 442 with Iwobi wide right and McNeil wide left. It will be interesting to see who is up front with DCL. I'd love to see Simms be given the gig but could be Gray or Maupay most likely. The defence kind of picks itself but SD might like Yerry's in yer face attitude which he might not know lasts about 17mins until he tweaks something.

I can accept defeat, I can't accept a lacklustre performance with no fight.

Sam Hoare
46 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:42:36
Not sure Dyche will fancy Coady, who is poor in the air and low in blocks/interceptions etc. If fit then it really should be Mina starting over him every time. Also increases our threat at set piece.

Also I’m not sure Gray works hard enough to play wide midfielder for Dyche. Perhaps he’s more likely to start off DCL up front.

If fit I also think we’ll see Godfrey at full back, could be either side.

A tough start but hopefully we’ll see some fight, some team spirit and a better organised plan.

John Graham
47 Posted 04/02/2023 at 10:42:50
Nervous, excited, worried, on edge.
Lots of different emotions, but still hopeful that we can get something out of this.
Think he will probably pack the midfield.
Calver Lewin.
Paul Tran
49 Posted 04/02/2023 at 11:13:20
All the logic in the world points to an Arsenal win. Today's the day for Dyche to put out a marker and for the players to show him and us who wants it badly enough. That's the minimum I want from today.

We're 13/2 to win. The inevitable shock league leader defeat? New manager bounce? Stranger things have happened...

Jay Evans
50 Posted 04/02/2023 at 11:26:50
Doucoure and McNeill both starting.

Danny O’Neill, did you get yourself sorted with a ticket mate ?

Oliver Molloy
51 Posted 04/02/2023 at 11:38:55
Just listened to Dyche on BT Sports - The High Performance Podcast.
Interesting if you haven't listened yet.

I can't make my mind up, if playing the league leaders is a positive or negative, probably edging on the former.

Hoping for a committed effort from the players picked to wear our shirt - don't give one fuck how we play if can get something from the game - it would a huge boost.

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