Arsenal travel to Everton on Saturday evening looking to snap a torrid run of form that has seen Mikel Arteta’s side claim a sole win in their last nine Premier League fixtures.
The Gunners’ results have helped to capitalise their worst start to a season in 46 years, and languish in 15th place ahead of travelling to Goodison Park where Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees are flying high and can move within the Champions League places with a win.
Everton will be fancying their chances of claiming only a second victory over Arsenal since the start of 2017 when the two sides meet at the weekend, having lost five and drawn one of their prior seven top-flight meetings.
But Ancelotti will be unable to name a full-strength line-up after injuries to several key players in recent weeks. So, with that in mind, here’s an XI the Italian could favour…
Ancelotti has confirmed that goalkeeper Jordan Pickford will return to his position between the posts when Everton host Arsenal on Saturday, after benching the England international for AS Roma loanee Robin Olsen at Leicester City during the week.
The decision was purely tactical as Ancelotti sought to keep his options well rested ahead of the hectic festive schedule, and always intended to favour Pickford at home to the Gunners no matter how well 42-cap Sweden colossal Olsen fared at the King Power Stadium.
“Just to rotate the players and keep him involved. He’s a serious professional, good goalkeeper with experience and that’s it. Saturday will be Jordan in goal,” Ancelotti said.
Everton’s makeshift backline of central defenders Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate all stood up to the task of keeping Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester quiet during the midweek encounter, so would expect to start once more on Saturday evening.
However, Ancelotti has confirmed that full-back Seamus Coleman is in line to make his return to Goodison Park following a reoccurring hamstring injury that has prevented the 32-year-old from featuring in Everton’s last five fixtures, likely at the expense of Holgate.
Ancelotti faces question marks over who he fields in midfield for the visit of Arteta’s Gunners to Goodison Park, too, after losing Allan for a “period of matches” after being forced off with a hamstring injury at the King Power Stadium.
Tom Davies should be the man who Ancelotti looks favourably upon to replace the summer arrival from SSC Napoli, having trusted the Toffees product to serve a similar role against Brighton and Hove Albion in October after losing Allan through injury.
Gylfi Sigurdsson will be heading into the Arsenal affair after one of his better performances of late, and will expect to join Abdoulaye Doucoure, Alex Iwobi, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in retaining their starting roles from the Leicester win.