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Arsenal v Everton – 1st March 2015

Arsenal made up for the last away outing, which was a 2-1 loss against North London rivals Tottenham, by winning against 2-1 against Crystal Palace. Following Man Utd’s 2-1 loss to Swansea City, Arsenal were able to climb to third place in the Champions League. Priority number one will be to hold that spot from now until the end of the season.

Everton really screwed up in their 2-2 home draw against bottom-placed Leicester City. Incredibly, Leicester were close to a 2-1 victory until a Matthew Upson own goal in 89th minute put pay to that dream. Nearly losing to Leicester highlighted that Everton cannot be depended on from now until the end of season, setting Europa League form aside.

Expectations

Arsenal have been remarkably reliable at home, winning a perfect six from their last six league games. Winning against Everton would extend that stretch and set Arsenal up well in their quest to finish third. Last season, this would have been a nervous game for arsenal, but this year Everton are playing so very poorly.

For all the talent at their disposal, Everton have conceded too many goals and not scored enough in the league. Defending has never been a speciality of manager Roberto Martínez, which is why Everton needed to score lots of goals this season in order to come close to what they achieved last season.

As things stand, the likes of Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku are not going to be particularly concerning for Arsenal centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. Halting the attacks of Everton’s young attackers will give Arsenal some freedom to cause trouble for Everton’s defence. Alexis Sánchez has the ability to cause Everton a whole world of trouble.

Match Tips

Tip one: Over 2.5 goals, best odds 1.80 @ BetVictor
Tip two: Arsenal to win, best odds 1.57 @ Betfred

Even if Arsenal take a clear lead, the chances are high that they will concede a late goal. Backing over 2.5 goals makes sense for two teams that can make mistakes in defence. Another opportune bet is to back an Arsenal win. Everton have struggled badly of late and have a difficult matchup ahead against Arsenal.

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