Arsenal take on Everton at the Emirates in what will surely be one of the most visually pleasing games of the Premier League season so far.
Under Arsene Wenger, the Gunners have been one of most attractive teams to watch in the Premier League for many years. With Roberto Martinez now in the hot seat at Everton, the Toffees have entertained fans with their expansive football, which has been a huge shift from the days of David Moyes.
With both sides having never been out of the Premier League since its creation more than 20 years ago, this is one of the most played games in the Premier League era. Wenger and Arsenal, however, have seen a lot more success than Everton when the two teams have met.
- Arsene Wenger has managed more wins over Everton than over any other Premier League opponent in all competitions. He has seen his Arsenal sides win 24, draw seven, and lose just four.
- Everton have not won away at Arsenal since the 1995/1996 season, when they won 2-1 at Highbury. Graham Stuart and Andrei Kanchelskis both scored in the second half for the Toffees after falling behind to an Ian Wright goal in the first half.
- The last time Arsenal were top after 14 games was during the 2007/2008 season. They had won 11, drawn three, and lost none with a total of 36 points. They went on to finish third.
- Arsenal have the same points now (34) after the same number of games as they did in 2003/2004, when they went on to win the league without losing a single game.
- Everton have only managed more than one goal against Arsenal in the league three times in the last 25 meetings. The most Everton have managed to score against the Gooners in one game in the Premier League era is three. They went on to lose 4-3.
- Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey is the Premier League’s top goal-scoring midfielder this season with eight, one ahead of Manchester City’s Yaya Toure. The Welshman had only managed seven league goals in total prior to this campaign.
- Arsenal are first and Everton second in goals conceded. Arsenal have let in 10 goals, while Everton have conceded 13 in the first 14 games of the season.
- After their 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, Everton have now overtaken Tottenham as the team with the most clean sheets. The Merseyside club now have eight clean sheets.
- Everton have only lost one game this season, less than any other Premier League side. However, their six draws mean they have drawn more than any team in the league. They have drawn three consecutive games twice already this campaign.
Arsenal have only failed to score once in the Premier League this season, losing 1-0 away to Manchester United. It was also the only match they have conceded a goal in their last six league games.
More often than not when two teams with a similar style clash, it is the side who is better at it which run out comfortable winners. In this case, Arsenal will be able to keep possession better, create more openings and take advantage of their greater number of goal scorers.
Everton do have plenty of pace in their squad, however, which can be very useful on the counter-attack. This was evident during their win over Man Utd. The Arsenal defence will also have the unenviable task of dealing with Romelu Lukaku, who has shown he can battle with some of the Premier League's toughest defenders.
For Arsenal the key will be patience when trying unlock the very durable Everton defence and not committing too much because, as mentioned earlier, this Everton side can break quickly and have a player in Lukaku who can finish. The Gunners, however, have more players who can come up with the goals when they need. Olivier Giroud will most likely be back after a rest in mid-week, as will Jack Wilshere, who came on as a substitute during the 2-0 home win.
This will be one of the most intriguing games of the season so far as the team which has only failed to score once takes on the side with the most clean sheets. In recent seasons this fixture has not produced many goals and this game probably will not be any different.