Everton v Arsenal

Duncan Ferguson’s short spell in temporary charge of Everton is set to come to an end this weekend when Arsenal visit Goodison Park.

During his three games so far, the Scot has managed released an inner fight within the Toffees’ squad that went amiss towards the end of Marco Silva’s reign.

Carlo Ancelotti is set to take his place in the Goodison hotseat for the Burnley clash on Boxing Day. 

Former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has been announced as Arsenal’s new manager prior to the fixture, but the Spaniard will not take charge of the Gunners on Saturday, with Freddie Ljungberg also managing of his last game as interim boss. 

So much was expected from North London club going into Unai Emery’s second season in charge, but it has proved to be an absolute nightmare thus far. 

After 17 games they find themselves 10th in the Premier League, four points and six places better off than Everton before kick-off.

Arsenal have only picked up one win in their last 12 outings in all competitions, a 3-1 win away at West Ham two weeks ago in a game the Gunners were second best for most of the clash before a late surge sealed all three points. 

In that time, they have lost five and have played out stalemates in the other six. 

But Everton have to be wary on Saturday afternoon, all the Arsenal players will be playing for a future under Arteta so an upbeat approach is expected despite their recent troubles. 

This fixture last season ended in a 1-0 win for the Blues, thanks to a strike from former captain, Phil Jagielka. 

A home win could see Everton rise to 12th.

One to watch

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starts game week 18 as the third highest scorer in the division.

The 30-year-old forward has netted 11 times so far this campaign and will fancy his chances of netting yet another goal against Everton this time around. 

Since his move to Arsenal in January 2018 he has faced off against the Blues three times, firing two goals past Jordan Pickford. 

His blistering pace could cause Michael Keane a world of pain just like Jamie Vardy did during the midweek cup tie.  

Team news

Ferguson is hoping to welcome a few players back to first team affairs after a reason injury crisis.

But for the time being they are still definitely without Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes, Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott.

Djibril Sidibe, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Fabian Delph are all doubts. 

The visitors will be without Dani Ceballos, Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney. 

It is unclear whether Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Mesut Ozil will be fit enough for the match. 

Man in the middle

Kevin Friend will be in control of the whistle this week, in 14 games this season he has shown 41 yellow cards and three reds. 

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