How Everton could line up against Arsenal in Sean Dyche’s first game in charge
Sean Dyche will take charge of his first game as Everton manager on Saturday when his struggling side travel to London to face Premier League leaders Arsenal.
The Toffees have been dragged into another relegation scrap and opted to part ways with previous boss Frank Lampard, who had led them to safety in the 2021/22 season.
Dyche arrives at Goodison Park with an established style of play and ethos, having spent many campaigns in the top flight with Burnley. The Clarets became a bogey side for a number of Premier League teams and Dyche will be aiming to channel that into this current Everton lineup.
Assignments don’t get much tougher than battling the top ranked team in the division, but here’s the side Dyche may field with the hope of claiming three precious points at the Emirates.
GK: Jordan Pickford
England number one Jordan Pickford made some remarkable saves towards the back end of the 2021/22 season to earn Everton some precious points and he’ll need to do similar in the coming months.
Pickford has only three clean sheets in the Premier League this campaign but will hope that number can rise quickly with the arrival of defensive master Dyche.
RB: Seamus Coleman
His days as a marauding and attacking full back are firmly behind him, but there’s no doubt Toffees captain Seamus Coleman has the steel required to play in a Dyche defence.
The Republic of Ireland international has been an incredible servant to the Goodison Park faithful since arriving in 2009 and his stature would only grow if he can help the club avoid relegation.
CB: James Tarkowski
Tarkowski alongside his teammates has been responsible for some horror-show defending at the back but he will almost certainly improve following the arrival of his old manager.
The 30-year-old made two England appearances in 2018 but hasn’t featured since owing to Burnley and Everton’s more recent struggles.
CB: Conor Coady
There may well come a time when Michael Keane is fit and Dyche elects to partner him alongside Tarkowski, a tried and tested partnership at Burnley.
However, Keane is still edging his way back to full fitness and Coady has the leadership skills required to lead Everton out of the mess they find themselves in.
LB: Vitalii Mykolenko
An ever-present for Everton this season, Vitalii Mykolenko has put in some decent shifts at left-back despite results invariably going against the Toffees.
His natural understudy Ruben Vinagre has only been afforded 24 minutes of actions this season, meaning this is likely one of Dyche’s more straightforward selections.
RM: Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi largely featured in a central role for Lampard, causing defences problems with his direct running. However, Dyche may elect to utlise his industry out wide on the wing.
The 26-year-old leads Everton’s assist rankings with five so far this season – the only player in the squad to have more than one – but more end product is undoubtedly needed.
CM: Idrissa Gana Gueye
Idrissa Gana Gueye hasn’t quite been the same destructive force at Everton this season as he was before his move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.
However, the Senegal international remains one of their more dependable central midfielders, even if he did have a complete meltdown in the heavy home defeat to Brighton.
CM: Amadou Onana
Amadou Onana’s impressive performances at Lille in France earned him a £33m move to Everton in 2022. It’s only his first season on Merseyside but he’s been thrown into the deep end of a relegation battle.
The Belgium international scored his first Toffees goal in the recent 2-1 defeat to Southampton and will be a key player in the middle of Everton’s midfield for months to come.
LM: Dwight McNeil
Winger Dwight McNeil is another to have played under Dyche at Burnley, though his breakthrough came towards the end of his tenure with the Clarets.
His two goals make McNeil Everton’s second top scorer in the league this season behind Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon. Gordon has since moved on to Newcastle.
ST: Demarai Gray
With Gordon’s exit, Demarai Gray is Everton’s leading league goalscorer this season, but three strikes is hardly enough to get excited about.
The former Birmingham prospect has enjoyed streaky runs of form in recent years but rarely anything truly sustained. That needs to change if he is to be a leading figure in Everton’s escape from the drop.
ST: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
The last time Dominic Calvert-Lewin was properly fit and firing, some people were talking about a potential title challenge from Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton.
A fair bit has changed since then – where once stood a suave Italian now hosts a burly Kettering native – but if Calvert-Lewin can receive decent service from Everton’s wide players, who should be able to score the goals needed to give his side a chance of safety.
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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