Arsenal VS Everton – LIVE Reddit Soccer 22/05/2022
Arsenal will be gunning for a win over Everton and hope for a favour from elsewhere to secure Champions League football, although their chances look grim. At the start of Arsenal’s season, nobody would have predicted this Arsenal team would finish fifth or above. The Gunners have put themselves in a situation where they cannot finish below fifth, although a few weeks ago, the fourth spot was theirs for the taking.
Two losses against Tottenham and Newcastle United have pushed the former in pole position to finish in Champions League places on the final day. Arsenal will qualify for European football’s top competition only if Norwich City manage to beat Spurs and Arsenal secure three points against Everton. Such a scenario is still possible, but improbable to think of right now, given Norwich’s form during the entire season. The Gunners will be keen on ending their season with a victory. Arsenal may have to carry on the tag of ‘bottlers’ into the next campaign, despite a fifth-place finish, which is still considered an overachievement.
The visiting team at the Emirates for the last time this season are Everton, who will be in a joyous mood after what transpired in midweek. The Toffees had been in a relegation dogfight for the many weeks leading up to Matchday 37, and deserve massive credit for changing their fortunes. Frank Lampard’s men secured a superb comeback victory over Crystal Palace, sending Goodison Park into raptures by securing their safety from relegation. Michael Keane, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin became the faces of the match, as their goals were enough to collect three points.
Everton will now enter the last game of the season in an optimistic mood and under no pressure whatsoever to get a result, which may go both ways for the Toffees.
There are not many new problems for Arsenal after the Newcastle United game, although Takehiro Tomiyasu could sit out the final match. The Japanese full-back appeared to go down holding his thigh, which may be a hamstring problem.
Fit-again centre-backs Gabriel and Ben White are expected to be available, while Rob Holding returns from suspension following his red card against Tottenham. Thomas Partey returned to training, although there is no chance of Mikel Arteta involving him and taking a risk with his fitness in the last game of the season.
The manager may also not take a risk with Ben White, as Holding could take his place in central defence alongside Gabriel. Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares are expected to start in full-back roles.
Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka are likely to remain in central midfield, while Arteta could make one alteration to his attacking lineup. Gabriel Martinelli could replace Emile Smith Rowe on the left side after a below-par performance against Newcastle.
Bukayo Saka will likely keep his place on the right side of the attack, while Martin Odegaard will play in the No.10 role behind the leading striker. Eddie Nketiah will start once more ahead of Alexandre Lacazette in that role. The Frenchman could bid farewell to the Emirates crowd with a cameo appearance at some point during the game.
Still in with a slight chance of clinching a top-four place on the final day, Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday to round off their Premier League season. Meanwhile, the Toffees head to the capital with the pressure firmly off after securing survival in dramatic fashion against Crystal Palace on Thursday night.
Mikel Arteta admitted that Arsenal’s performance at Newcastle United did not warrant Champions League football. Granit Xhaka told those who were not up to the task to “stay at home”. There are no two ways about it – it was a St James’ Park disaster. Knowing that a win would see a top-four place remain in their hands heading into the final day, Arsenal were outplayed and bullied by Newcastle, who struck through Ben White’s own goal and Bruno Guimaraes – a rumoured January target for the Gunners – in the second half.
The inquest into Arsenal’s collapse has already begun, with many pointing to a lack of January incomings to bolster a thin squad, and only a spectacular set of circumstances would see Arteta’s side clinch a spot in the Champions League for the first time in six years.
The Gunners currently sit two points behind Tottenham Hotspur and realistically need their North London rivals to suffer a shock defeat to 20th-placed Norwich City at Carrow Road to stand any chance of making the top four, and nothing less than a win will do for them on the Emirates turf.
Defeat to Newcastle also extended Arsenal’s run without a clean sheet to nine matches – a far cry from their previously resilient defence – but they have won each of their last 10 final-day matches in the Premier League and will certainly be the fresher of the two sides this weekend.
Last weekend, Everton were on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline against Brentford and continued to run the risk of an unthinkable relegation from the top flight. On Thursday night, however, the tables turned.
Jean-Philippe Mateta’s header and Jordan Ayew scrambling home led to even more groans of discontent around Goodison, with Everton seemingly set to be involved in the relegation dogfight until the final day, but not even the home crowd could have envisaged the magnificent second-half turnaround.
Michael Keane, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s efforts sparked rapturous scenes around the blue half of Merseyside – some of whom took it too far during the pitch invasion and felt the force of Patrick Vieira’s boot for their troubles – but most importantly, Everton are safe.
Frank Lampard’s side can now finish no lower than 16th and would have been relieved to secure their survival before a journey to the Emirates, especially seeing as they have won just twice away from home all season, although one of those triumphs did come at Leicester City earlier this month.
The Toffees also dented Arsenal’s top-four bid earlier in the season with a 2-1 win at Goodison Park – their third consecutive victory over the Gunners – but not since 1924 have the North London club suffered a quartet of successive league losses to their Merseyside counterparts.