Another weekend, another Sunday game.
In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we’ve gotten our writers together for a short prediction on how they think the game will pan out against Everton at the Emirates on Sunday.
If you think we’re just going to throw these predictions out there and then forget about them, fear not.
We’ll be back to take a look at how we did and laughing at the person who got it wrong more than anyone else.
Lee Hurley Draw 1-1
I want to say we will see a reaction but after expecting one after every major loss over the last few seasons, what I’ve learned is we get a ‘first do not lose‘ mentality and end up with a draw.
I’m not sure how borne out by facts this is, but that’s how it is in my head if not anyone else’s.
We could also win quite comfortably as Stephen predicts, and this is what my heart thinks will happen, as it does every week, especially after a poor game previously.
But my heart is an idiot and should not be trusted.
Prediction: A nervy, at times dull, game that ends with Everton happier than Arsenal.
Helen Trantum Win 2-1
When you’re trying to bounce back from a disappointing result there are two types is opposition you want – either a tough game with nothing to lose to get the adrenaline pumping or relegation-fodder to get the goals flowing.
Not a banana skin.
Everton are in something of a false position driven by sheer inconsistency. It’s ably demonstrated by their opening two league games of the season – back to back 2-2 draws with Leicester (disappointing) and ourselves (respectable). Let’s hope it isn’t an omen for Sunday with their last league result being – you guessed it – a 2-2 draw with Leicester!
Our record against the Toffees isn’t great, just one win in five, albeit only one loss as well. Lukaku seems to be hitting a bit of form, Baines is back in the side, and Mirallas and Naismith – our regular bogeymen – are both fit and available. A tough game then.
I expect us to have a very strong focus on defence early on as we look to calm some of the panic from midweek. However, we simply can’t afford to drop points at home given the competition for the top four this year.
I’m backing our forwards to pick Everton off but I can’t see a clean sheet given Lukaku’s style of play being pretty much the nemesis of our defence and pace either side.
Prediction: I reckon it’ll be a cagey affair but we’ll win by the margin of a solitary goal – 2-1.
Stephen Bradley Win 5-0
This game is an ultimate no-win scenario for Arsenal.
There is no scoreline that won’t get criticised. If we lose or draw, then the team will get slated for not responding in the right fashion. If we win, the team will get slated for not playing like that on Wednesday.
Saying all that, this team has to respond to all the criticism that they rightly got in midweek.
Personally, I don’t think they can play that badly twice in a row.
Maybe I’m naive, maybe hope is blinding me, but I think Arsenal will come all guns blazing and sweep Everton aside.
Prediction: It certainly helps that Everton played on Thursday, and will have one eye on Dynamo Kiev, but I’m predicting a totally one-sided, totally convincing 5-0 win.
Paul Williams Win 2-1
As Neil Finn once wrote, “It doesn’t pay to make predictions”.
We saw the truth of that statement on Wednesday evening.
I expect Arsenal will be better on Sunday, it’s not like they could be much worse, but I think do think Monaco exposed failings that will exist as long as Arsene is the man in charge at Arsenal.
Will Everton be good enough to expose those failings? Based on the evidence of this season, it seems unlikely but we know Roberto Martinez won’t set his Everton team up as lambs to the slaughter.
He may even have a plan to unsettle our creaking defence.
Lukaku is scoring again, Ospina has proven to be the emperor’s new clothes. There is a whiff of danger in the air.
I’d like to see Gabriel in and Szczesny restored and, if he’s recovered from treading on the ball in the build up to Monaco’s 3rd goal, I think we need the Ox’s energy back in the starting line up.
Giroud should start again on the basis that he can’t be any worse than in midweek.
Prediction: I think we’ll win, but I don’t think it’ll be easy. 2-1.
Sylvain Jamet Win 1-0
Obviously Wenger said there would be squad rotation, so I would expect Walcott, Chamberlain, Gabriel, Chambers, Montreal and Rosicky to start.
There is a need to consolidate the third place in the League, so three points are must. The biggest worry for me is on the mental side after that horrible midweek defeat.
We don’t know how the players will react if they go 1-0 down again.
Hopefully, all those who will come into the side on Sunday will have no mental scars and express themselves without fear or mental block.
Prediction: I am gonna go for a 1-0 win with a goal in the last 10 minutes by….Koscielny.
Lewis Ambrose Win 2-1
With Spurs and Liverpool having no more Thursday night distractions the ‘race for fourth‘ is now even more difficult.
Every game is huge and Sunday is all about how we react.
Everton have solidified with Stones partnering Jagielka but still aren’t anything like the side from last season.
They might suffer from playing on Thursday, while we’ve had an extra day and will probably rotate quite a bit.
We can’t play that badly two games in a row.
Prediction: A tight 2-1 win.
Nia Griffiths Draw 2-2
Although Everton haven’t exactly set the Premier League alight so far this season, after our midweek performance against Monaco, I’m unsure we’ll get all three points.
In the corresponding fixture earlier this season, we found ourselves 2-0 down very easily and although we fought back for the point, it highlighted just how easy we can make it for teams to score against us.
I have a feeling we’ll still be a little hungover from our thumping in the Champion’s League; Everton will no doubt try to exploit this and capitalise on what’s likely to be a skittish Arsenal team.
Expect lots of long balls and high pressure.
Of course, I’d love it if we could stride onto the pitch looking like we have a point to prove (which we kind of do) but I’m temporarily going back to my pessimistic routes where it’s safe and warm.
Prediction: A Champions League hangover and a 2-2 draw.
Andi Foster N/A
Andi is still missing and still assumed drunk.
Prediction: He’s in for one doozer of a hangover.
Sean Ferguson Win 2-0
Hopefully we will see a reaction after Wednesday and I’m guessing we’ll also see Walcott, Rosicky, Monreal and Gabriel come in for Welbeck, Cazorla, Gibbs and Mertesacker.
Alexis, Ozil and Giroud will probably keep their places and it should be a game where Giroud bounces back after his terrible performance on Wednesday.
I can see Everton suffering from a Europa League come down and that will play nicely into our hands. It’s going to be a tough game but the sooner we can get the Monaco game out of our system the better.
Prediction: Going to go for a 2-0 win with a Giroud brace!
Mark Fine Win 3-2
If there ever were a match between two schizophrenic sides, this would be it.
As much as Arsenal have been inconsistent, Everton have conceded just one to likes of Man City and Chelsea, yet play out 2-2 draws with defensively-styled Leicester.
They have trouble scoring more than two in the Premier League, yet manage a 7-2 aggregate versus Young Boys in the Europa League.
A lot of the credit goes to Romelu Lukaku, who scored five in the tie, yet hadn’t scored in a Premier League match since Crystal Palace on 31st Jan.
Purportedly suffering an ankle injury this week, and mumbling things to the press about missing being in a “big team“, Lukaku might not even appear against us on Sunday.
There is a strong possibility that Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar, both injured since December, will return for this match. There is also a possibility of seeing Gareth Barry return from a one-game suspension after getting sent off at Chelsea. A near-full-strength Everton could be a significant handful.
Our defence will be dealing with Everton’s two other leading scorers, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith, who are both not afraid to get their hands dirty, and will look for ways to break us down.
Conversely, if we apply a fast-attacking side we will have no problems getting past Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, and Baines – it’s Tim Howard I worry about.
But even he hasn’t been himself this year.
Arsenal are bouncing back after a horror show against Monaco and I’m counting on the fact that we generally bounce back a lot harder after a fall.
Prediction: 3-2 to the Arsenal in a real scrappy one that both sides need to win, and one that sees Andre Marriner show at least 5-6 yellow cards.
Anita Sambol Win 3-1
Everyone’s talking about a proper response after Monaco, and I’ll continue in the same tone.
From my point of view, Everton is a great team to be playing after that horror show in mid week.
We tend to respond pretty well after a bad defeat and I don’t expect this to be any different. Everton aren’t playing well, at least their results are showing that, yet they are still a “big name” and our players won’t underestimate them like they did with Monaco.
I have to admit, I haven’t watched Everton much this season (saw last 10 minutes vs Leicester) so can’t say how we should play or what should we focus on while defending.
Lukaku has started scoring lately so he might be an issue.
As for us, hopefully Gabriel and Szczesny will get a spot in starting line up. I’d go with Rosicky too.
Prediction: 3-1, Alexis one of the scorers and Naismith on the other side.