Arsenal are all gun-blazing. The north London club Thursday night’s Europa League win over Greek side Vorskla extended the Gunners’ winning streak to four matches and this could be extend more to five wins on Sunday as they welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium for their sixth Premier League fixtures of the season.
Everton have never won a game in their thirteen visits to The Emirates, including a 5-1 thrashing at same venue last season, and Marco Silva’s men are task with another strong task in facing Unai Emery’s all gun-blazing team.
That said, we pick out three key battles that will define Sunday’s afternoon’s game between Arsenal and the Merseysiders:
Alexandre Lacazette v Kurt Zouma
Alexandre Lacazette wasn’t given a chance to play for Arsenal on Thursday’s Europa League fixture but he looks certain to start his third Premier League game in a row on Sunday. The former Lyon striker has flourished when given a chance and he now has 15 goals in 28 starts in the top-flight for Arsenal.
It’s at Arsenal where Lacazette produces his very best for the club as 11 out of his 15 goals have been scored on home soil, while he has notched four in his last three starts at home.
Should he get a nod to start for Arsenal, Lacazette could be going up against Kurt Zouma. The on-loan Chelsea defender had been registering many starts for the Toffees due to injuries to Phil Jagielka, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina. However, he looked a bit shaky in the defence and he’s yet to keep a clean sheet in six appearances across all competition, whilst conceding ten goals.
Richarlison v Sokratis
Arsenal also, are yet to keep a clean sheet in defence this season as their defence have been similarly shaky at the back, conceding eleven goals in six fixtures in all formats, and their summer signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos could be in for a tough test at Emirates. Sokratis will be tested by the returning Richarlison, who is making his return back in the Everton squad after serving a suspension for his idiotic sending off against Bournemouth.
The Brazilian had been tearing all defences apart before his sending off, netting three goals in three appearances after he joined the Merseysides from Watford in the summer, and his pace will be a real task for Sokratis. There’s no denying Richarlison will be looking to get into Arsenal defence, although the Gunners still have Hector Bellerin as one of the few defenders who can beat Richarlison’s speed and trickery. But in doing so, the Spaniard will need full support from his centre-back, Sokratis, at every opportunity in taking down Richarlison.
Aaron Ramsey v Morgan Schneiderlin
Aaron Ramsey’s form for Arsenal so far has been below-par. The Welshman, who has been started the past three Arsenal’s EPL fixtures, his working his way back to form and while he’s a guaranteed starter for Emery, he will be hoping to put in a superb performance.
Ramsey scored three goals in the 5-1 win over Everton at The Emirates in February and the Welshman has now netted an eye-watering six goals in his last four appearances against the Toffees. Ramsey ran Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin ragged earlier this year, with the latter still struggling to find his best form since returning from a confidence-crushing spell with Manchester United.