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Arsenal have the chance to extend their advantage at the top of the Premier League
The defeat by Aston Villa shows that Everton still have work to do in the relegation battle
Arsenal have a formidable home record and they should come out on top in this one
The odds for Arsenal vs Everton are brought to you from the Caesars sportsbook, where new punters can get up to $1250 on Caesars.
Everton are struggling to put the ball in the back of the net and the Gunners should be able to win by a two-goal margin or more.
Back Arsenal with a -1.5 handicap. (+105)
After a 3-1 defeat by Manchester City two weeks ago, some expected Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge to unravel. That loss saw the defending champions climb above Mikel Arteta’s men at the summit of the standings, and it was widely assumed that City would go on to finish on top of the pile at a canter.
They still might, of course, but Arsenal have delivered a firm riposte to that contention over the last fortnight. First, they showed considerable grit to twice come from behind to Aston Villa 4-2 at Villa Park, with their last two goals both coming in second-half stoppage time.
Then, on Saturday, Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. Gabriel Martinelli scored the only goal of the game in the second half.
It was an accomplished performance from Arsenal. It was not their most eye-catching showing of the campaign, but it was the sort of low-key, professional display that shows they are strong contenders for the crown. Topsy-turvy 4-2 victories are all well and good, but there is nothing quite like a 1-0 victory at an opposition stadium.
Manchester City responded by thrashing Bournemouth 4-1, as Premier League fans and the best online sportsbooks anticipated. But Arsenal have the chance to move five points clear of their closest challengers when Everton come to town on Wednesday.
There is no doubt that Arteta’s team are punching above their weight. Hardly anyone expected them to be in this position at the start of the season. Indeed, they were even outsiders in the race for the top four.
Arsenal’s last two victories - both away from home, and after the disappointment of the home defeat by Manchester City - have demonstrated that they are ready to challenge until the bitter end.
Everton’s first two home games under the management of Sean Dyche went exactly to plan. In the first, the Toffees registered a surprise 1-0 victory over the same opponents they will face on Wednesday. Arsenal were below par on the day, but Everton’s triumph owed plenty to the strength of their own performance.
Dyche’s side then lost 2-0 to their local rivals Liverpool at Anfield, before a 1-0 home win against Leeds United lifted them out of the bottom three. By that point, it was clear that Everton’s home form would be integral to their bid to avoid relegation to the Championship.
However, Saturday showed that there are no guarantees at Goodison Park. Everton were targeting a third consecutive home win under Dyche, but they instead slumped to a 2-0 defeat by Aston Villa. That result means they are once again below the dreaded dotted line ahead of their trip to London this week.
The Toffees have only won of their 11 matches away from Goodison this term. Only three teams in the division have collected fewer points on their travels. It is a record Dyche will be desperate to improve, but no one should expect a quick fix.
Games like Wednesday's will not define Everton's season. Anything they get at the Emirates Stadium would be a bonus in their battle against the drop.
But with a crunch clash with Nottingham Forest to come this weekend, the Toffees could do with a morale-boosting performance against Arsenal, especially after the 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Saturday.
Arsenal lost their last home game, going down 3-1 to Manchester City in the match referenced earlier in this preview. Generally speaking, though, they have been very strong at the Emirates in 2022/23.
The Gunners have won eight of 11 contests on home turf. Newcastle United and Brentford are the only visitors other than City to have avoided defeat in the red-and-white part of north London. An improved atmosphere has helped to make the Emirates a tough place to go.
Half of Arsenal's eight home wins have been by a two-goal margin or more, and there is reason to believe they will make it five out of nine in this rearranged fixture.
Everton are still struggling to score goals, having found the back of the net a league-low 17 times to date. They have been particularly poor on the road, notching just six goals in 11 matches at opposition grounds.
Arsenal possess an abundance of attacking options and they will be keen to come flying out of the traps in a bid to increase their lead at the top of the table. Back a home win by two goals or more.
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Teams: Arsenal vs Everton
Location: Emirates Stadium, London, England
Date and Time: Mar. 1, 2023, 2.45 PM EST
How to Watch: Peacock Premium
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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