Arsenal have been handed a boost with Sean Dyche confirming that one of Everton’s key players will miss the trip to the Emirates.
The Gunners host the Toffees on Wednesday night as they look to extend their advantage over Manchester City in the Premier League title race, which is currently just two points though they still have a game in hand.
It also presents Mikel Arteta’s side with the chance to get revenge after Everton beat Arsenal just under a month ago in Dyche’s first game in charge since replacing Frank Lampard.
The result meant that Everton kept up their impressive unbeaten run against Arsenal at Goodison Park but their record in north London leaves a lot to be desired.
They have lost eight of their last nine visits to the Emirates including a 5-1 thrashing at the end of last season, with Dyche adding in his pre-match press conference on Monday: ‘Everton haven’t done well there, this is what you want to change.
‘If everyone expects you not to get anything, go and get something. All these mind dynamics, you can look at it in different ways. For me it’s always glass half full, going down there giving a performance and seeing where it takes us.’
But the manager will have to make do without the influential Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who will miss Wednesday’s game with a hamstring injury.
The striker hasn’t played since starting the 1-0 win over Arsenal and though he has scored just once this season, the 25-year-old remains a key player for Everton and Dyche’s style of football.
Asked about Calvert-Lewin’s fitness, Dyche could only say: ‘He’s recovering,’ and was unable to provide a time scale for when he’d return.
The Toffees have scored just 17 goals this season, the fewest in the top-flight, not great for a side currently 18th in the table and battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League for the first time in their history.
‘That’s been a thing with the season. There’s lots of work to be done. The team mentality has to be that we’re all allowed to score. It’s not just one player.
‘I ask that from them defensively, to keep clean sheets and it starts with the front players working hard for the team, so therefore it’s only fair to ask that the other way round.
‘We’ve got to ask questions and attack different ways. The Premier League is unforgiving, we’ve shown signs of development in its defending, it’s how you open the door when you’re attacking.’
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