Arsenal take on Everton at Goodison Park this weekend, the hosts seeking to end their current eight-game winless run.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of that meeting on Monday night:
Things are beginning to turn sour for Rafa Benitez at Everton, the Spaniard’s initial positive start to life at Goodison now a distant memory following a run of eight league games without a win, including six defeats from their last seven.
The 61-year-old’s Liverpool connections had already made him an unpopular appointment from the outset for a number of supporters, with the negativity having only spiralled in recent weeks following that dismal run of form that has left them 14th in the table and just five points above the drop zone.
The Merseyside derby defeat on Wednesday night was, however, the lowest ebb yet for the former Newcastle United boss, as he witnessed his new side totally outplayed by Jurgen Klopp’s men, with the loss the club’s heaviest in the fixture on home soil for 39 years.
While the Toffees were faced with a far superior outfit, the manner of the defeat and the nature of the opposition has only served to further heighten the club’s current troubles, the gap between the two rivals growing ever wider.
Benitez is, however, seemingly paying the price for years of wayward spending at the club, with the new boss left with an unbalanced and threadbare squad in desperate need of bolstering, the injury to Dominic Calvert-Lewin having proved particularly detrimental.
The England striker is still not yet ready to return to action, while his replacement Salomon Rondon is also a doubt this weekend after limping off in the derby. Centre-back Yerry Mina is also unlikely to be involved, although Mason Holgate is available for selection after missing recent games through suspension.
Like Everton, Arsenal were also on the receiving end of a thrashing from Liverpool two weeks ago, although have since bounced back with a comfortable victory over bottom side Newcastle United at the weekend.
After a dominant, but goalless first-half from the hosts, the Gunners swiftly made sure of the points after the break with goals from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, the Brazilian netting superbly on the volley just over a minute after coming off the bench.
While that commanding win would have no doubt pleased Mikel Arteta after their Anfield horror-show, the Spaniard will be concerned by his side’s wastefulness in front of goal, particularly in the first-half, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inexplicably striking the woodwork from point-blank range.
The Gunners followed that up, however, with defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday night, a second-half Cristiano Ronaldo brace proving decisive in what was a particularly entertaining affair between the two rivals.
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Having lead early on through a bizarre Emile Smith Rowe opener, Arteta may well be disappointed that his side couldn’t kick on to secure all three points, albeit with the north London outfit still in fifth and just a point behind West Ham United in fourth.
On a more positive note, the defeat did see Bukayo Saka return off the bench after the youngster had been forced off late on against the Magpies, while Gabriel Martinelli produced another lively display as he makes his case for more regular involvement.
Arsenal 0-1 Everton, 23 April 2021
Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton side did the double over Arsenal last season, clinching a 2-1 win at Goodison in December, before edging to a narrow win at the Emirates at the tail end of the campaign.
The Gunners had gone into the game amid protests from supporters at the club’s involvement in the European Super League debacle, with that fan fury only heightening as they saw their Champions League hopes all-but ended following a late Bernd Leno blunder.
In what was an even contest, the game’s defining moment saw the German stopper fail to deal with a routine cross from Richarlison, the ball slipping through his legs and ricocheting into the back of the net.
That solitary goal ensured a first away win in the fixture for the Toffees since 1996, while it also meant they completed their first league double over the north London outfit since the 1985/86 season.
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne; Townsend, Doucoure, Allan, Gordon; Gray, Richarlison
Arsenal: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Partey, Lokonga; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang
Who is the referee?
What channel is Everton v Arsenal on?
UK and Irish readers can watch, or stream, the match on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?
Monday 6 December, 20:00 GMT
Everton – 12/5
Arsenal – 11/10
Draw – 5/2