Everton v Arsenal: The Eye-Opening Contrast In Spending And Contrast In Fortunes
On a weekend when the FA Cup semi-finals take centre-stage, the Premier League treats us to just one single fixture on Sunday 7th April.
Arsenal travel up to the north-west to Goodison Park to face Everton in the mid-afternoon kick-off, both sides hoping to start enjoying a thick vein of form after winning each of their previous league fixtures.
It marks an encounter between two sides who have invested individually gargantuan amounts of money into their respective projects in recent years, with noticeably differing results.
Three-time EPL champions Arsenal are beginning to finalize a stellar inaugural season under manager Unai Emery, challenging for a top-three finish with north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Everton meanwhile are trying to make a final push for a respectable position having wallowed around mid-table in Marco Silva’s first year at the helm. The Toffees are currently sitting in 10th in a cluster topped by Wolverhampton Wanderers in seventh and West Ham United at 11th separated by five points.
Arsenal - alongside their league titles and multiple FA Cup successes - managed to qualify for the Champions League in all but two available seasons under Emery's predecessor Arsene Wenger.
Since 2016, the Toffees haven’t been afraid to splash the cash, spending nearly £78million more than the Gunners in the past three seasons, including donating £20million to Arsenal for forward Theo Walcott.
Through fourth managers and over £350million of expenditure, a final position for Everton at their current standing would be ultimately disappointing, especially in comparison to their weekend opponents Arsenal.
Arsenal admittedly operate with a £100million double-barrelled attack in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, however with divided attention to the league and the Europa. They have each scored in both of their previous Premier League appearances against Everton.
This season the Gabonese and the Frenchman have been involved in a stonking 22 goals apiece in the league.
Everton have lost seven of their last eight Premier League meetings with Arsenal, winning just one, and losing the last four in a row. They last lost five consecutively against the Gunners between May 1998 and April 2000.
However, Everton’s 2-0 victory against Chelsea in their last home game ended a run of 25 Premier League games without a victory against so-called ‘Big Six’ sides.
They last won back-to-back matches against such opponents five years ago in April 2014, with Arsenal being one of those teams (Manchester United being the other). Furthermore, to give buoyancy to the Toffees, Arsenal are the only Premier League side without an away clean sheet so far this season. The Gunners have won just one of their last eight league games on the road.
Arsenal have scored more Premier League goals against Everton (107) than any side has against another in the competition and have beaten Everton 97 times in league matches, more than any side has beaten another in English Football League history.
They can go within two of a historic century of wins with victory on Merseyside on Sunday.