Arsenal v Everton: Goals undervalued in Emirates encounter

Arsenal and Everton lock horns at The Emirates in Friday night's live Premier League action from The Emirates. Mark O'Haire shares his view.

Arsenal held at home

After dismantling Slavia Prague in the Europa League, Arsenal did little to dispel the feeling of unpredictability that surrounds them as they required a 97th-minute equaliser from Eddie Nketiah to earn a share of the spoils against relegation-haunted Fulham last weekend.

The Gunners make an up-tempo start, which saw Gabriel Martinelli twice go close, but the promising opening exchanges soon fizzled out. Fulham found a foothold in the match and opened the scoring from the penalty spot. However, Mikel Arteta's men finished with a flourish and merited a share of the spoils in a 1-1 stalemate at The Emirates.

Arteta saw in-form striker Alexandre Lacazette limp off with a hamstring injury, and with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spending time in hospital with malaria, Arsenal's forward options could be depleted for Friday night's fixture. On-loan playmaker Martin Odegaard remains doubtful, whilst defender Kieran Tierney is also absent for the Gunners.

Errors hold Everton back

Everton's winless streak extended to five Premier League games as the Toffees tabled a 2-2 draw with Tottenham last Friday. Carlo Ancelotti's charges were much improved from their toothless performance in a goalless draw with Brighton but were made to pay after two mix-ups at the back cost the Merseysiders maximum points at Goodison Park.

Michael Keane misjudged a header and flicked a cross into Harry Kane's path and the England defender was involved again for Kane's second goal. As a tame cross came in, he headed the ball into his fellow centre-back Mason Holgate and it deflected to Kane in the box. For a second time Kane gave the returning Jordan Pickford no chance in goal.

There were positive signs in the rest of Everton's performance, however. They created opportunities despite the continued absence of their top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin because of injury. Calvert-Lewin is in contention to return here, as are Bernard, Fabian Delph, Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina. Abdoulaye Doucoure is out for the season.

Gunners too short to support

Arsenal have traditionally dominated this Premier League, although Everton have proven more competitive since the Gunners' title-winning campaigns. The Toffees have returned W4-D5-L8 in the duos most recent 17 league meetings dating back to the start of 2012/13, but are winless in North London since 1996, earning just four draws in 24 here (W0-D4-L20).

Arsenal 1.95 went off as 1.91 favourites when hosting relegation-threatened Fulham here last week and so the Gunners make little appeal at odds-on quotes for Friday's match-up. With key injuries to deal with, the hosts' also boast a bottom-half Expected Goals (xG) process at The Emirates with only four sides creating fewer Big Chances on home soil.

Everton 4.30 are winless in five (W0-D3-L2) but have claimed an impressive W9-D3-L3 on their travels this term. Carlo Ancelotti's outfit have landed W4-D1-L1 on the road to top-half teams, although underlying performance data doesn't support the Toffees eye-catching results, suggesting the visitors have overperformed in the final-third this term.

Both sides to oblige

Both Teams To Score could appeal at 1.90 quotes. Indeed, pricing the BTTS option up based purely off 2020/21 data alone gives us a 1.80 shot, highlighting a decent degree of value between the market and the raw numbers.

The same selection has also proven a profitable formula in six of Arsenal's last nine Premier League outings, only failing against Liverpool, Manchester City and Sheffield United. The Gunners have scored themselves in 15 of their last 20 encounters but have kept their sheets clean just once in 11 league dates since January.

Everton have silenced only four of 16 Premier League opponents this calendar year, notching themselves in 16 of 21 domestic tussles since the start of December. The Toffees have also troubled the scoresheet in all bar three of their 15 away days this season.

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