Why Arteta’s decisions are inviting scrutiny

“I want more from my team,” Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports. The Arsenal manager offered no excuses for his side’s poor display in Monday’s 2-1 loss to Everton but to many supporters, the players aren’t the only ones underperforming right now.

A third defeat in four games has left Arteta under mounting scrutiny. “It was a worrying sign, how they lost,” said Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher. After the 3-2 reverse at Manchester United, this was the second game in a row in which Arsenal have surrendered a lead.

The momentum of their 10-game unbeaten run has been lost at a time when rivals are finding their own. Arsenal have slumped to seventh place as a result, behind Manchester United and Tottenham – two clubs who were in crisis as recently as a few weeks ago.

It would be a stretch to call Arsenal’s current plight a crisis. They are only four points behind fourth-placed West Ham, whom they face at the Emirates Stadium next week. “They can win the next home game and they will still be challenging for the top four,” added Carragher.

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Watch highlights from Everton’s win over Arsenal

But it is nonetheless concerning how quickly their progress has unravelled and Arteta did not help himself with some of the decisions which ultimately contributed to their latest defeat.

Granit Xhaka, back in the side after a three-month absence with a serious knee injury, was already tiring when, on 63 minutes, he fouled Anthony Gordon for the booking which later prevented him from stopping Andre Gomes in the build-up to Everton’s winner.

Arteta could have turned to Albert Sambi Lokonga, outstanding in the recent 2-0 win over Newcastle, but instead his first change was to introduce Nuno Tavares for Kieran Tierney.

Tavares’ erratic showing was in keeping with his recent performances and only added to the nervousness engulfing Arsenal. The 21-year-old lost possession eight times, according to Opta, most notably in the moments before Everton’s equaliser.

Arteta’s remaining changes were similarly difficult to make sense of.

Eddie Nketiah, who has recently rejected Arsenal’s offer of a new contract, had not made a single Premier League appearance this season before his introduction against Manchester United on Thursday and yet he was chosen ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when Gabriel Martinelli was withdrawn on 71 minutes.

Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White applaud the Arsenal fans at Goodison Park

Nketiah would go on to miss a glorious chance to put Arsenal in front and the decision to hold Aubameyang back was even stranger given Alexandre Lacazette’s obvious struggles.

The Frenchman, who is without a goal since mid-October, didn’t muster a single shot and only had one touch in Everton’s box. Why, then, was he kept on until the 85th minute?

Arteta was not oblivious to Arsenal’s attacking shortcomings. In fact he summed them up succinctly afterwards. “No penetration, no threat,” he told Sky Sports. But Aubameyang’s late miss, when he snatched at his effort while unmarked in the Everton box, suggests his already fragile confidence may now have taken another hit.

Others are being overlooked altogether.

Nicolas Pepe has been an unused substitute in the last five games. Lokonga has been pulled out of the side just when it seemed he had found his feet. Mohamed Elneny was given 90 minutes at Old Trafford, having barely featured all season, only to find himself back on the bench, unused, at Goodison Park.

It all feels muddled and while Monday’s game might have ended differently had Everton’s Ben Godfrey not somehow escaped punishment for his stamp on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s face in the first half, Arsenal were already struggling at that point.

Arsenal are taking a high volume of shots from distance
Arsenal are taking a high volume of shots from distance

Individuals are out of form, Thomas Partey chief among them, but this was another game to heighten the lingering sense of ambiguity about Arteta’s overarching offensive strategy.

Arsenal are taking more shots at goal this season but many of them are speculative and creativity is still lacking. Only Norwich have created fewer big chances among Premier League clubs.

Arsenal have scored just 18 goals in 15 Premier League games so far, placing them 12th in the division this season, and the underlying data offers little reassurance. In fact, their net expected goals total of -3.9 ranks them even lower, at 14th.

It could be argued those numbers are skewed by Arsenal’s heavy defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool but the meeting with Everton was the ninth game this season in which they have been outperformed by their opponent in terms of expected goals.

It is actual goals that really matter, of course, but another worry is how Arsenal react to scoring them.

Martin Odegaard’s strike at Goodison Park should have been a platform to build on but, like Emile Smith Rowe’s opener at Old Trafford four days earlier, it instead prompted Arsenal to cede control and hand their opponent the initiative.


“In the Premier League, when you have the opponent there for the taking, you have to kill the game,” said Arteta afterwards. No arguments there. But out on the pitch Arsenal could be seen timewasting with 20 minutes still to play.

His players seem unsure whether to stick or twist after taking the lead and it is a reoccurring issue, as shown by the fact they have dropped eight points from winning positions this season – matching their total for the whole of the last campaign in only 15 games.

All this is coming at a time when they should be better. Arteta has reshaped the side to his liking. The lighter schedule afforded by their failure to qualify for Europe has given him more time with the players on the training pitch. And yet familiar problems are still unsolved. The fog of ambiguity around their playing style remains.

Arteta wants more from his team. He is entitled to ask for that after their recent performances. But events at Goodison Park on Monday night were a reminder that he must look inwardly too.

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Ref Watch: Should Godfrey have seen red?

Should Ben Godfrey have been shown a red card for his challenge on Takehiro Tomiyasu in Everton’s 2-1 win over Arsenal on Monday Night Football? Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher is back with his verdict…

Everton 2-1 Arsenal

Takehiro Tomiyasu argues his point to referee Mike Dean
Tomiyasu argues his point to referee Mike Dean

INCIDENT: Ben Godfrey survived a VAR check for a red card after standing on Tomiyasu’s face on his follow through. The Everton defender’s studs came into contact with Tomiyasu’s face and the incident was referred to VAR. VAR Stuart Attwell got referee Mike Dean to pause the game, however, the check was completed and no action was taken.

How the incident unfolded…

Here’s how the incident unfolded in our live blog of Everton’s win over Arsenal…

29: VAR CHECK! Out of nothing, we’ve got a potential red card on our hands!

Full marks to VAR official Stuart Attwell noticing Godfrey leaving his studs on Tomiyasu’s face after the Arsenal man goes down in a 50-50 between the pair.

Does he mean it, or is he just off balance? They’re still looking at it…

Sky Sports’ Alan Smith:

“Looking at that again, he’s bang in trouble. It looks like it’s something he could have avoided.”

30: NO RED CARD! I’m afraid to say the VAR monitor will have to wait for its first run-out. Attwell has another look and decides to wave it away.

Sky Sports’ Alan Smith:

“You just never know what conclusion they are going to come to.”

DERMOT SAYS: “For me, no, but there are going to be a lot of people that say yes. I spoke to people last night and this morning, and there are lots of mixed feelings.

“The reason I say no is because there is an element of doubt about it and because of a stamping situation, I’ve always taken the mindset that only he really knows. Going through the pictures and walking through it, you see the challenge and it doesn’t look good. His foot comes down, but his foot has to come down somewhere.

“In his defence, he is looking away. Some people will say maybe he’s looking away deliberately, but he is looking away and that is what sways me a little bit.

“You look at it from a refereeing point of view, well Mike Dean obviously doesn’t see the challenge because if he does, he will stop the game as it would obviously be a head injury. So, you presume Dean doesn’t see it, the game goes on and in real play it then defaults back to VAR Stuart Attwell and he looks at it.

Ben Godfrey escaped a red card for this incident involving
Godfrey escaped a red card for this incident involving Tomiyasu after a VAR check

“He looked at it in great depth, for a long time and I think he took the same view as me in that he couldn’t be convinced. So therefore, he had to clear it because the unfortunate thing is, there is nothing other than a red card. It’s got to be a red card or leave it as it is. There is no provision for a yellow card or a free-kick so, that’s where Attwell was sat.

“I was asked could he send the referee to the screen. If he sends the referee over to the screen, he’s given the referee an indication that he feels it is a little bit more.

“I know you still retain all options, but the likelihood is that if Dean is sent to the screen, looking at the pictures, it’s almost as if Attwell has led to believe it is a red card.

“So, if he doesn’t think it is a red card in itself, he clears it and it is cleared to nothing, and that’s an unfortunate part of the process that there is no middle ground.”

That decision is made, I’m sure the VAR has reviewed it, but I want more from my team.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on the incident

Neville: He meant that | Carra: He’s a very lucky boy

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton’s win over Arsenal

Analysing the incident at half-time on Monday Night Football, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher both thought Godfrey showed intent when his studs met the face of Tomiyasu.

However, Neville understood why VAR did not recommend a red card for the Everton defender, while Carragher described the 23-year-old as a “very lucky boy.”

“You are talking to two of the masters of following through into the face and trying to make it look like it is accidental,” Neville said on MNF.

“We think he definitely means that. You just know he’s there and he’s followed through over the top and he obviously tries to make it look he didn’t. The reaction after is where he realises what he’s done and it’s like, look it’s an accident.

“As a professional, he 100 per cent means that, but I can understand why VAR have said it’s accidental, we can’t prove it’s an obvious error.

“But as a professional, you know about it. He’s meant it, but I can see why it is not a red.”

Carragher added: “He’s a very lucky boy.”

‘It looks worse than it is’

Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell on Sky Sports News:

“I’ve seen these challenges given as red cards and I’ve seen a lot less given as red cards, but I agree with Dermot up to a point.

“I saw the challenge on the monitor and when it slowed down because Tomiyasu is sliding towards Godfrey, who is in the air, he’s actually played the ball and is looking away. As he’s coming down you can’t stop where your foot is going to go, and it catches the Arsenal defender in the face.

“It looks worse than it is, and I think they got it right on the night, I really do.”

Richarlison denied twice; Gordon’s escape…

Godfrey’s challenge wasn’t the last talking point from Everton’s win with referee Dean and VAR Attwell enduring a busy evening at Goodison Park…

INCIDENT: Everton thought they had taken the lead in the 44th minute when Richarlison headed in from Andros Townsend’s free-kick, but the effort was ruled out for a tight offside following a VAR check.

Richarlison saw his first half header ruled out for offside
Richarlison saw his first half header ruled out for offside

DERMOT SAYS: “Richarlison’s first disallowed goal is really interesting.

“You look at Tomiyasu at the bottom of the picture and at normal speed I thought he’s played Richarlison onside.

“It’s so tight they had to draw the lines and when you see the lines drawn they go through Richarlison’s body with a part of it that can score a goal.

“It’s that tight and unfortunately when we talk about offside with VAR, as we’ve said many times it is yes or no, and if the lines show like they did in that game, it’s factual.

“It’s the one part of VAR that’s absolutely factual. It’s not subjective and it’s not up for debate.”

INCIDENT: Richarlison was denied by VAR again. After the interval, the Brazilian had the ball in the net after a smart finish past Aaron Ramsdale, but once again he was ruled offside following a VAR check after just getting ahead of Gabriel when latching onto Abdoulaye Doucoure’s pass. It was another extremely tight call.

Richarlison had a second goal ruled out by VAR for offside
Richarlison had a second goal ruled out by VAR for offside

DERMOT SAYS: “The second disallowed goal is even tighter.

“Without hiding or sitting on the fence, it’s a factual decision.

“The VAR has drawn those lines and he’s come to the conclusion that the lines show Richarlison is just ahead.

“What I would say is it is a really tough call. It’s made tougher by the fact Richarlison’s foot is actually in the air.

“I say it’s really tough because I’ve said many times if the feet are on the ground you have a start point. If the feet are in the air you’ve then got to draw it through.

But he did draw it through and he took his time. Let’s be fair, he took his time, he measured it all up, and in his view, that was factually offside. So, again, you have to go with the system.

INCIDENT: Anthony Gordon is late with a tackle on Nuno Tavares, catching the Arsenal defender on the ankle with his studs. There was no foul given and although the tackle was checked by VAR, the game restarted with a throw in.

Was Anthony Gordon lucky to escape a red card for his challenge on Nuno Tavares?
Was Anthony Gordon lucky to escape a red card for his challenge on Nuno Tavares?

DERMOT SAYS: “It’s an interesting tackle. It’s not a good tackle and certainly not a throw in as they restarted the game.

“I think the referee’s missed the tackle on the field and the assistant is very close. It threw to the VAR Stuart Attwell, who looked at it.

“What I would say is it is very similar to the Godfrey tackle in so much as, I think it’s a yellow card. It’s a reckless challenge.

“What you would say is it is very difficult for Attwell because if he thinks it’s a yellow card as well, he’s hamstrung because as I said earlier, it is either a red card or nothing. He can only give a red card and I don’t think it is. Attwell also doesn’t think it is and they clear it and default back to a throw in.

“So, it’s a yellow card lost and a free kick to Arsenal lost, but that is the vague nature of the system. There is no middle ground.”

‘It’s no more than a yellow’

Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell on Sky Sports News:

“Again, I’ve seen red cards given for a challenge like that, but again, I thought it was no more than a yellow.

“It was a game where there were challenges going in thick and fast at times, and it was just an unfortunate incident.

“Maybe it was a yellow, but at the time I didn’t think it was any more than that.”

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Gray stuns Arsenal with late thunderbolt to lift Everton

Demarai Gray’s late thunderbolt lifted the mood at Everton as Rafael Benitez’s side came from behind to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory against Arsenal at Goodison Park on Monday Night Football.

It looked like another night to forget for Everton’ when Richarlison was twice denied goals after being ruled offside by VAR, the first coming moments before Martin Odegaard gave the visitors the lead in stoppage time at the end of the first half.

However, the Brazilian wasn’t to be denied a third time as he headed home the rebound to bring the scores level after Gray’s strike had hit the crossbar.

Arsenal, who will feel aggrieved Ben Godfrey didn’t see red after his studs caught Takehiro Tomiyasu in the face in the first half, had a glorious chance of their own to retake the lead in the final 10 minutes when Eddie Nketiah headed against the post from inside the six-yard box, but it the points were Everton’s as Gray’s powerful effort hit the inside of the post and went in to start the home celebrations.

Ben Godfrey escaped a red card for this incident involving
Ben Godfrey escaped a red card for this incident involving

The victory sees Everton, who saw a small section of their supporters walk out in protest at the running of the club in the 27th minute, move up to 12th, relieving the pressure that was building on Benitez after an eight-game winless run.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, who stay seventh, lose ground in the race for fourth after wins for West Ham, Tottenham and Manchester United at the weekend.

How Everton relieved the pressure on Rafael Benitez…

Richarlison scored Everton's equaliser against Arsenal after having two previous efforts disallowed by the VAR
Richarlison scored Everton’s equaliser against Arsenal after having two previous efforts disallowed by the VAR

Everton went into the game looking to halt their long run without a win and started brightly, but they did look like a side lacking rhythm in the early stages.

Benitez asked for “big effort and commitment’ in his programme notes, and an early crunching tackle from Godfrey whipped the home fans up as they looked to get behind their side.

Player ratings

Everton: Pickford (6), Coleman (8), Keane (7), Mina (6), Godfrey (6), Doucoure (7), Allan (7), Gray (8), Townsend (7), Gordon (7), Richarlison (8).

Subs: Holgate (6), Gomes (7), Iwobi (n/a).

Arsenal: Ramsdale (6), Tomiyasu (7), White (6), Gabriel (7), Tierney (7), Partey (5), Xhaka (6), Saka (6), Odegaard (7), Martinelli (6), Lacazette (5).

Subs: Tavares (5), Nketiah (5), Aubameyang (n/a)

Man of the match: Demarai Gray.

The 27th minute of the game – chosen because it is 27 years since Everton last won a trophy – did see some Everton fans leave their seats in a planned protest, and a banner was unfurled in the Gwladys Street End that read ‘we demand nil satis nisi optimum, it’s about time our club did too’, referring to the club’s motto that translates as ‘nothing but the best is good enough’.

Back on the pitch, Godfrey survived a VAR check for a red card after standing on Tomiyasu’s face on his follow through. The VAR Stuart Attwell got referee Mike Dean to pause the game, but Godfrey, who Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher described as a “lucky boy” during his half-time analysis, survived.

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher both thought that Everton’s Ben Godfrey showed intent when his studs met the face of Arsenal’s Tomiyasu. The incident was referred to VAR but the defender escaped seeing red.

Everton – who were forced to bring Yerry Mina off in the 31st minute, with Mason Holgate coming on – thought they had taken the lead in the 44th minute when Richarlison headed in from Andros Townsend’s free-kick, but the effort was ruled out for offside following a VAR check.

Richarlison saw his first half header ruled out for offside
Richarlison saw his first half header ruled out for offside

To add to Everton’s frustration, Arsenal struck moments later as Odegaard volleyed into the bottom corner after being teed up by Kieran Tierney.

After the break, Richarlison had the ball in the net again, but once again he was ruled offside following a VAR check.

Richarlison had a second goal ruled out by VAR for offside
Richarlison had a second goal ruled out by VAR for offside

It proved a case of third time lucky for Richarlison as he equalised in the 79th minute, heading in on the follow-up after Gray had curled a shot against the bar.

Arsenal had a golden chance five minutes later when substitute Nketiah headed against the upright from four yards out, and it proved a costly miss for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Team news

  • Yerry Mina returned to Everton’s defence as boss Rafael Benitez made two changes to his starting line-up for the clash with Arsenal at Goodison Park. Fit-again Mina came in for Lucas Digne, who was not part of the matchday squad, while the other adjustment in personnel from last week’s 4-1 loss to Liverpool saw the injured Salomon Rondon replaced by Anthony Gordon.
  • Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made four alterations from the 3-2 defeat at Manchester United as Alexandre Lacazette, Bukayo Saka, Granit Xhaka and Kieran Tierney were brought in for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Emile Smith Rowe, Mohamed Elneny and Nuno Tavares. Smith Rowe (knock) was the only one of the quartet not featuring in the 20.

Everton took the lead in the second minute of added time when Gray’s fierce long-range strike clattered a post on its way into the net, leaving Aaron Ramsdale with absolutely no chance.

There was still one final chance for the Gunners, and it fell to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was left out of the starting line-up, but the Arsenal skipper’s barren run in front of goal continued as he steered a shot wide as Everton held on to lift the gloom that had been building over Goodison Park.

What the pundits said…

Demarai Gray (No 11) takes the congratulations after hitting a late winner for Everton against Arsenal
Demarai Gray (No 11) takes the congratulations after hitting a late winner for Everton against Arsenal

‘That was Everton football’

Sky SportsJamie Carragher: “When you think he’s really under the cosh as a manager, he just doesn’t panic.

“That’s the biggest strength of Rafa. Under pressure, he doesn’t panic.

“It’s a huge win. I mentioned when Rafa came in about understanding Everton football. That’s what it was – it’s not about possession.

“Arsenal dominated possession, but Everton were the better team. As soon as they got the equaliser, you felt there was only going to be one winner.”

‘Everton worthy winners’

Sky SportsGary Neville: “They absolutely deserved it. They were better than Arsenal, you’ve got to get the crowd involved, and the Richarlison disallowed goals fuelled them.

“It gave Rafa and his team something to hang onto, and he’ll be absolutely delighted. The talks of walk-outs never materialised, it’s a great night for them.”

‘Arsenal timid at Goodsion’

Neville added: “It was a really timid performance from Arsenal. You’ve got to compete when you go to Goodison Park, I know they’re on a bad run, but those decisions, the VAR decisions, fuelled the crowd.

“The players responded, it’ll be a massive relief for the fanbase and the people upstairs who were under massive pressure too.”

Man of the match – Demarai Gray

Opta stats: Three in a row for Everton against Arsenal…

Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah can't believe he's missed from close range against Everton
Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah can’t believe he’s missed from close range against Everton

Everton have won three consecutive league matches against Arsenal for the first time since April 1986.

Everton have won 10 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side in 2021-22.

Arsenal have lost consecutive Premier League matches when scoring the first goal in each match, the first time they’ve done that since December 2016, with one of those defeats also a 2-1 loss against Everton at Goodison Park (the other was a 2-1 defeat to Man City).

Demarai Gray’s winner for Everton was scored after 91 minutes and 21 seconds, their latest winning goal in a Premier League match since December 2015 v Newcastle (92:46), and latest at Goodison Park in the competition since March 2014 v Cardiff (92:33).

Gray has now scored five Premier League goals this season for Everton, his best ever return in a single campaign. Gray has scored five in his last 14 Premier League games, with his previous five goals coming over a 54-game run.

What’s next

Everton travel to Crystal Palace on Sunday December 12 (4.30pm) in a game you can see live on Sky Sports Premier League, while Arsenal host Southampton on Saturday December 11 (3pm)

Sunday 12th December 4:00pm

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Sky Sports Main Event HD

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Arteta: Auba part of Arsenal success but needs more goals

Mikel Arteta has defended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s recent Arsenal performances, but says the forward needs to score more goals.

The Arsenal captain has not scored in his last five Premier League outings and has only scored four top-flight goals so far this season.

Further questions marks were raised that things may not be quite right when the striker was substituted during the midweek defeat to Manchester United as the Gunners searched for an equaliser.

Monday 6th December 7:00pm

Kick off 8:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League

However, Arsenal boss Arteta was quick to set the record straight, claiming the decision was for tactical reasons and did not point to any underlying issue with the player.

“We made a decision to get the best out of the team and I believe in that moment it was the right call to get some fresh legs on,” Arteta said.

“He worked really hard and we were chasing the game and that was the decision.

“The way he trains and the way he’s behaving he doesn’t look any different to me. We need his goals and his performances and we know he is part of our success.”

He added: “Of course, you’re always concerned when your main striker doesn’t score goals but he’s trying his hardest and he’s aware of how much we need him to score goals.

“At the moment they are not coming but everything else we ask him to do, he is doing his best.

With Arsenal scoring 17 goals from the opening 14 Premier League games, Arteta was also asked whether he would make a move in the January transfer window.

Speaking ahead of Monday night’s game at Everton, live on Sky Sports, Arteta said: “We have to focus on the players we have and try to make them better and just take more of the chances than what we are doing.”

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is looking forward to facing Everton in Monday’s Premier League match at Goodison Park, a ground he described as a ‘special place’

Arsenal’s striker problem: Should Arteta stick with Aubameyang?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s form has once again come into question, with the Arsenal captain on a run of five Premier League games without a goal ahead of his side’s trip to Everton on Monday Night Football.

Aubameyang has had a torrid time in front of goal in recent weeks. His miss against Newcastle was labelled “unforgiveable” by former Gunners striker Ian Wright, while Arsenal’s record goalscorer Thierry Henry suggested something was not right after the 32-year-old was substituted by Mikel Arteta with his side needing an equaliser in the final 11 minutes of their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United.

“Aubameyang is your captain. He is your goal scorer,” Henry told Amazon Prime Sport after the game.

“You put him as your captain. 15 minutes to go, you’re losing 3-2 and you take him off. 3-2 away from home, you need a goal and you take your captain, your symbol, off the field. You know he can score goals so something is not right there.”

So, what is up with Aubameyang and should Arteta stick with him for the trip to Everton, which is live on Monday Night Football? Sky Sports football features writer Nick Wright spoke to the Essential Football Podcast to discuss Aubameyang’s form and his recent struggles in front of goal…

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Everton vs Arsenal on Sky: Mina being assessed

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Everton vs Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday; kick-off 8pm.

Team news

Everton centre-back Yerry Mina could come back into contention for the squad to face Arsenal after two months out with a hamstring problem.

The Colombia international returned to training this week and will be assessed before Monday’s game.

Midfielder Andre Gomes is back in the squad after a calf problem but long-term absentee striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (thigh) is still at least two weeks away from returning while midfielder Tom Davies (knee) remains out.

Arsenal will check on the fitness of Emile Smith Rowe ahead of the trip to Goodison Park.

The England international was substituted during the second half of Thursday’s defeat at Manchester United after suffering a knock.

Midfielder Granit Xhaka is nearing a return from a knee injury but this game may come too soon. Sead Kolasinac is still out.

How to follow

Monday 6th December 7:00pm

Kick off 8:00pm

Sky Sports Premier League HD
Sky Sports Premier League HD

Follow Everton vs Arsenal in our dedicated live match blog and watch live on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm; kick-off 8pm.

Download the Sky Sports Scores App: Apple | Android

Last time out…

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win against Everton

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Manchester United’s win against Arsenal

Opta stats

  • Everton won both Premier League games against Arsenal last season – they’ve not won three in a row against the Gunners in league competition since April 1986.
  • Arsenal are without a win in their last three Premier League away games against Everton (D1 L2), last having a longer winless league run at Goodison Park between 1989 and 1994 (6 games).
  • Arsenal have scored 111 Premier League goals against Everton, more than they have vs any other side in the competition. Indeed, only Manchester United have netted more against a single opponent in the competition (112 vs Newcastle).
  • Everton lost their first Monday Premier League match this season 2-1 at Wolves – they’ve not lost consecutive Monday games in the competition since April 2006/January 2007 (vs Chelsea and Man City).
  • Arsenal have lost two of their last three games in the Premier League (W1), conceding seven goals in the process. Prior to this, the Gunners had gone unbeaten in their previous eight matches (W6 D2) and conceded only four times.
  • Everton have lost six of their last seven Premier League matches (D1) and are winless in their last eight (D2 L6). The Toffees haven’t gone nine without a win since a 12-game run between August and October 1994.
  • In his Premier League career, Everton manager Rafael Benítez has seen his sides concede more goals against Arsenal (27) than against any other team in the competition. Indeed, the Spaniard has seen his teams keep just one clean sheet in 17 top-flight games against the Gunners (1-0 with Liverpool in February 2016).
  • Everton’s Demarai Gray has scored more Premier League goals than any other Toffees player this season (4), while Gray has never netted more than four in a Premier League season in his career, also netting four in 2018-19 at Leicester City.
  • Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored eight goals in nine Premier League games played on Mondays, with only Ian Wright (14) netting more on this day of the week for the Gunners in the competition. Aubameyang averages a goal every 85 minutes in the Premier League on Mondays, his best such record on a specific weekday.
  • Emile Smith Rowe has had a hand in eight goals in his last 11 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal (6 goals, 2 assists). Indeed, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (9) has more goal involvements for the Gunners this season than the 21-year-old (8).

Premier League Preview – Gerrard’s Villa impact assessed | Rafa’s problems at Everton | Brilliant Bernardo Silva

Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports News Midlands reporter Rob Dorsett, features writer Nick Wright and football journalist Oliver Yew to look ahead to the Premier League weekend.

PART 1 | Rob Dorsett discusses Steven Gerrard’s impact at Aston Villa, the club’s ambitious plans, and the reasons behind Leicester’s underwhelming start to the season.

PART 2 | Nick Wright assesses the problems facing Rafa Benitez at Everton and what Mikel Arteta must do to get a misfiring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back in form.

PART 3 | Oliver Yew reflects on Bernardo Silva’s brilliant performances for Manchester City, the strength in depth at Pep Guardiola’s disposal, and whether there’s a chance of an upset at Watford.

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