Mark Lawrenson predicts Everton clash v Arsenal
Mark Lawrenson predicts more misery for Everton when they host Arsenal at Goodison Park on Monday night (6 December).
Everton are now winless in eight games after Wednesday night’s (1 December) harrowing 4-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Liverpool.
The pressure has been cranked up to the maximum on Rafa Benitez and his charges ahead of next week’s visit of the Gunners.
Ex-Reds defender Lawrenson has cast doubts over Everton’s ability to turn it around against the North London side, writing in his BBC predictions column on Thursday night that Arsenal will win 2-1.
“Everton are not getting any better,” he said.
“We saw early on against Liverpool on Wednesday that the Toffees really can be got at defensively, and after going 2-0 down inside the first 20 minutes there was no way back from there.
“I’m still not convinced by Arsenal on their travels, and the last time they came to Merseyside, a couple of weeks ago, they shipped four goals.
“There is something still missing about the Gunners but the big difference is they are facing Everton this time, not Liverpool.”
This is entering into must-win territory for Everton now.
With tough trips to London to face Crystal Palace (12 December) and Chelsea (16 December) after Monday, the Toffees really need to start picking up the points.
Just five points separate them from Burnley in the final relegation spot, and the Clarets have a game in hand. The Blues could be in the bottom three by Christmas if they do not start winning.
Monday’s opponents have recovered from an awful start to the season to find themselves in fifth, albeit with two losses in their last three games against Liverpool (0-4) and Manchester United (2-3).
While their position looks a lot more secure, this is still a game Everton should be targeting as a realistic opportunity to snatch all three points.
Mikel Arteta’s side are nothing special, but a strong start from the Blues will be required to offer some inspiration to supporters after the shocking displays they have witnessed in recent weeks.