Struggling Everton host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday. Here, we take a look at some of the main talking points ahead of the game at Goodison Park.
Pressure mounting on Koeman
Everton boss Ronald Koeman insists he still has strong support from the club’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, but the Dutchman knows football is a results business, and he could certainly do with a positive one here. The pressure has been increasing on him, with his side tasting victory in only two of their last 12 games in all competitions, and Thursday’s Europa League loss to Lyon extending their winless run to four matches. If the Toffees suffer many more setbacks, Koeman’s position will surely look precarious.
Something similar to last season?
As they look to halt their slump this weekend, Everton may well take encouragement from their meeting with Arsenal at Goodison last term. Having gone into that fixture with one win in their previous 11 games and none in their last five, Koeman’s men emerged triumphant after Ashley Williams’ late goal sealed a 2-1 come-from-behind victory.
Thoughts of that encounter may well be in people’s minds on Sunday – and of the fixture from 15 years ago. That also finished 2-1 to the hosts, and famously saw a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney net a spectacular winning strike past David Seaman. Rooney is set to be back for Everton on Sunday, having been rested for Thursday’s match.
Big guns back for Arsenal
Arsenal were in Europa League action on Thursday as well, beating Red Star Belgrade 1-0 away, and also had notable players missing who are expected to be back involved this weekend, including Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette. Making nine changes in all for the contest, boss Arsene Wenger went to considerable lengths to try to avoid the Gunners feeling any hangover from the trip to Serbia come Sunday.
Trouble on the road so far
While that was a win for Arsenal on their travels, in the Premier League Wenger’s side have taken only one point from four away games this season. They lost 2-1 at Watford last weekend and their difficulties on that front is something else that may bolster Everton’s belief for Sunday’s clash.