Premier League

Everton-Arsenal Preview

Mikel Arteta is keen to move on from a "rollercoaster" week regarding the collapsed European Super League when Arsenal face Everton.

Arsenal were among 12 elite clubs to announce their involvement in the controversial breakaway competition last Sunday.

The tournament was designed to rival the Champions League but with the founding members - including Arsenal - guaranteed participation in a move criticised as anti-competitive elsewhere.

As pressure built on England's 'big six', they each backed out of the plans on Tuesday, with the Gunners apologising to their supporters.

Manager Arteta did not hide it had been a testing time for his team, but he was hoping to focus on the future, starting at home to Everton on Friday.

"I am getting used to it," he said. "Since I joined it has been a rollercoaster and more things have happened in those 18 months than probably in the last 20 years.

"(We have been) dealing with it, trying to maintain the unity and commitment of everybody, trying to be clear and transparent with the news that we have, and trying to move on.

"It's been a really challenging week for everybody in world football but we have to move forward.

"There are a lot of lessons we can take from it and we have to learn and probably reflect and put football in a better position."

Everton counterpart Carlo Ancelotti said he thought the idea was "a joke", but he insisted it had not distracted the Toffees.

"Honestly we didn't talk a lot about this because there was nothing to say," he said. "It was quite clear for us that it was not going to happen.

"We were focused on training and the game.

"I think that the reaction of all the world - politicians, players, managers, supporters - was really, really strong.

"That shows how important the supporters are in this world."

Arsenal - Nicolas Pepe

It is time Arsenal winger Pepe showed his best form in the Premier League. The record signing has just six goal involvements in 24 league games this season but nine in 16 in all other competitions - a return far more in keeping with his reputation.

Everton - Gylfi Sigurdsson

Sigurdsson enjoyed playing against north London opposition last time out, scoring twice at home to Tottenham. He has now been involved in five goals in his past seven Premier League games, as many as in his previous 23 outings.

•Arsenal are unbeaten in their past 24 Premier League home games against Everton (W20 D4) since a 2-1 loss at Highbury in January 1996.

•Everton are looking to complete their first league double over Arsenal since the 1985-86 season, following their 2-1 win at Goodison Park in December.

•This will be the 200th top-flight meeting between Arsenal and Everton. The Gunners have won 98 of the 199 so far, more than any side has beaten another in top-flight history.

•Arsenal have kept just three clean sheets at home in the Premier League this season, with only Everton, Sheffield United (two each) and Newcastle (one) keeping fewer. The Gunners have conceded the first goal in each of their past four Premier League home games.

•Everton's past three league games have all ended level, with the Toffees last drawing four consecutive Premier League matches back in November 2012 under David Moyes.

Updated April 22, 2021

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