Sean Dyche will be looking to make an immediate impact when his Everton side welcomes the league leaders Arsenal to Goodison Park in Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off.
After taking charge of the Toffees just a few days ago following the departure of Frank Lampard, Dyche will want to see his side come out fighting for his first game, despite the former Burnley boss having just a couple of days on the training ground to work with his new players.
Everton are in need of a fresh start, after a poor opening to the season which meant that the sacking of Lampard was inevitable. The Merseyside outfit have lost six of their last seven in the league, their last three on the bounce, and have won just three of the 20 Premier League games they have played all season. Lampard’s final game was a 2-0 defeat away to another struggling at the bottom end, West Ham, with a Jarrod Bowen brace condemning Lampard’s side to another loss. It leaves the Toffees second-from-bottom in the table, level on points with rock-bottom Southampton, and two points from safety. Depending on other results, a win could be enough to take Everton out of the bottom three, but that is an almighty ask against an in-form Arsenal side that are on fire at the top of the table.
Mikel Arteta’s men are five points clear at the summit, with the champions Manchester City hot on their tail as the Gunners look to keep their noses in front in a thrilling title race. Arsenal have lost just once so far this season, but they did manage to avenge that loss earlier in the season at Manchester United, with a huge win in the return fixture in their last league game. A brace from Eddie Nketiah and a Bukayo Saka goal saw Arteta’s side pip the Red Devils in a back-and-forth clash two weeks ago. The win was Arsenal’s fourth win in their last five league games.
Arsenal’s last game saw them knocked out of the FA Cup at the fourth-round stage following defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last Friday. There were positives to take from the 1-0 loss, with the Gunners going toe-to-toe with City and pushing the Premier League champions right to edge. Nathan Ake’s second-half strike was just enough to see the Cityzens through to the next round at Arsenal’s expense. Arteta’s men will want to return to winning ways with a return to Premier League action.
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