Mikel Arteta Takes Charge as Arsenal Prepare for Everton

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Arsenal Everton
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) New Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta is unveiled at London Colney on December 20, 2019 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal have appointed Mikel Arteta as their new head coach as they prepare to face another one of his former sides in Everton. The Gunners are coming off another concerning defeat in the Premier League to Manchester City. They will hope the Arteta age begins with three points.

Everton v Arsenal Preview

Team News

After a period of time when Arsenal’s injury list seemed quite manageable, they now have a few players unavailable. While Granit Xhaka has recovered from a concussion sustained against West Ham United, he is the only recovery to report this week.

Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil and Rob Holding all face late fitness tests ahead of the trip to the Toffees. With the Arsenal defence still struggling, the two defenders will be more vital when they eventually do recover.

Kieran Tierney remains a long-term absentee after suffering a dislocated shoulder. His deputee, Sead Kolasinac, went down to an ankle ligament injury against City and won’t return to training until January.

Dani Ceballos hasn’t featured since well before Unai Emery’s sacking. He won’t make Arsenal’s trip to Everton but he is expected to return to full training next week.

Duncan Ferguson will also have absentees to contend with. Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin missed the last two matches due to injury while Fabian Delph has missed the last seven weeks. Meanwhile, Djibril Sidibe and Gylfi Sigurdsson also missed out due to illness.

According to Ferguson: “I hope to have one or two players back but there is still some sickness in the camp.”

Finally, Lucas Digne went off injured against Manchester United last weekend.

Prediction

Both of these teams are in a transition in management. Unai Emery was only just replaced by Mikel Arteta while Carlo Ancelotti has yet to officially take over for the outgoing Marco Silva.

So, both sets of players will be plenty motivated to impress their new bosses. Good thing because neither clubs have really shown their true quality this season, despite there being obvious deficiencies in the two sides.

Both Everton and Arsenal have taken just one win in their last five matches with the Toffees drawing one and the Gunners drawing two. Arsenal have scored 24 and conceded 27 while Everton have netted 20 and given up 29 this season.

There are sure to be goals at either end in this match with neither side proving to be defensive stalwarts to this point in the campaign. So, if nothing else, it should prove good value for money.

Predicted score: Everton 2 Arsenal 3

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