Premier League

Arsenal-Everton Preview

Rafael Benitez is taking inspiration from Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as he fights for his Everton job heading into Monday's Premier League clash between the two sides.

Everton lost 4-1 to Merseyside rivals Liverpool in midweek and have collected just one point from their last seven games, heaping further pressure on unpopular boss Benitez.

Arteta was under similar pressure after Arsenal lost their first three league games without scoring this term, but the Gunners have responded well since then.

Arsenal are now knocking on the door for a place in the top four and Benitez believes his side are capable of something similar once back to full strength.

"I think he is doing well and could be an example of a new manager at a new club under pressure from the beginning last year, from the beginning this season," Benitez said.

"Little by little he has continued working the way he wants to work and the team is getting better. They've spent money and they did well as they have signed some good players.

"He is an example of a manager at a new club who needed time and everyone was talking about 'We need to give him time' and now he is collecting the prize of that."

Arsenal have lost two of their last three matches - against Liverpool and Manchester United - but those are their only defeats in their last 13 matches in all competitions.

Monday's clash will see Arteta return to Goodison Park, where he spent eight seasons during his playing days, and the Spaniard is expecting the hosts to be up for the fight.

"Obviously it's a very special place to go back to because I had some amazing years there, so I'm looking forward to it," he said.

"They're a team that wants to put things right and win, and on Monday at Goodison I know what to expect under the lights with the fans they have so it will be a tough game."

Arsenal - Emile Smith Rowe

Smith Rowe is an injury doubt for Arsenal after sustaining a knock against Manchester United, but Arteta will give the youngster every chance of starting the contest. He has had a hand in eight goals in his last eight games in all competitions - only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (nine) has more goal involvements for Arsenal this term.

Everton - Demarai Gray

Gray scored what proved to be a consolation for Everton in their heavy loss to Liverpool, taking his tally for the season to four goals in 14 Premier League appearances. That is the most goals of any Toffees player in 2021-22, while the winger has never netted more times in his six previous top-flight campaigns.

- Everton won both Premier League games against Arsenal last season - they have not won three in a row against the Gunners in league competition since April 1986.

- Arsenal are without a win in their last three Premier League away games against Everton (D1 L2), last having a longer winless league run at Goodison Park between 1989 and 1994 (six games).

- The Gunners have scored 111 Premier League goals against Everton, more than they have against any other side in the competition. Indeed, only Manchester United have netted more against a single opponent in the competition (112 v Newcastle).

- Everton lost their first Monday Premier League match this season 2-1 at Wolves - they have not lost consecutive Monday games in the competition since April 2006/January 2007 (v Chelsea and Manchester City).

- Arsenal have lost two of their last three games in the Premier League (W1), conceding seven goals in the process. Prior to this, the Gunners had gone unbeaten in their previous eight matches (W6 D2) and conceded only four times.

Updated December 4, 2021

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