Bernard excited by Richarlison partnership

Everton's Bernard believes he and fellow Brazilian Richarlison could be at the start of something special for the club.

The duo joined the Toffees in the summer, with Bernard a free transfer, a move that was in stark contrast to his compatriot, who came in as the Merseysiders' record signing.

After scoring twice on his debut at Wolves, Richarlison's form has seen him called up for Brazil, netting a brace in September against El Salvador.

Marco Silva has moved him into a more central role in recent weeks, allowing him to team up with Bernard, while also accommodating Theo Walcott and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

After winning 2-1 at Leicester before the international break, Everton sit 11th in the Premier League table.

Sunday sees the Toffees take on Crystal Palace and they are 4/5 to win the game, with the draw 5/2 and the Eagles 7/2.

Bernard will again be hoping to get the nod alongside the former Watford man and is clearly encouraged by what they have produced so far.

The 26-year-old says Richarlison deserves the current plaudits coming his way and is confident their understanding will prove increasingly fruitful as they continue to build their bond.
 
"Richarlison has been doing brilliantly and is a great player to have with us," Bernard told evertontv.

"He deserves everything he has been getting. It feels good to play together.

"For his goal [against Leicester], it felt good for me to help the team and with it being a Brazilian player scoring, it was even more special. Now we want to keep going and achieve more."

Everton are 8/1 to finish in the top six this season.

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Sigurdsson earns Silva support

Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has won praise from his Everton manager Marco Silva for the way he has performed in recent games for the Toffees.

The 29-year-old Iceland international has scored three times in his last three games, including two in the 3-0 win at home to Fulham last time out – both of which came after he had missed a penalty earlier on in the match.

And Silva is delighted with the form of the former Swansea City and Tottenham schemer, who he says is being rewarded for hard work both on and off the pitch.

He told reporters ahead of a Saturday afternoon trip to Leicester City: "It's not just what he's doing on the pitch.

"In some games he's performed well, in others not so well, like all the players, but he's working all the time.

"He's a professional and a winner. He doesn't wait for things to come to him. He works to improve as a footballer and in his behaviour on the field."

Sigurdsson can be backed at 10/3 to score at any time against the Foxes, with Everton 12/5 to earn a draw at Leicester and 3/1 to keep a clean sheet.

Meanwhile, Silva also confirmed that he hopes to have Andre Gomes, Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman all available for selection straight after the upcoming international break.

He added: "Andre has trained with the team this week and both he and Yerry have progressed as I expected, Seamus as well.

"After the break, we have the Crystal Palace match and they will be available to play if I decide (to select them)."

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Hughes hails Saints’ cup progress

Mark Hughes was delighted after his Southampton side won on penalties at Everton to book their place in the last-16 of the Carabao Cup.

The Saints boss made five changes to the side which lost at Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, but still put out a strong line-up at Goodison Park.

However, it was fringe goalkeeper Angus Gunn who won the plaudits in only his second appearance after he denied Theo Walcott during the shoot-out before Cedric scored the winning spot-kick.

Ironically, it was Walcott's 85th-minute goal which cancelled out Danny Ings' effort just before half-time to take the tie into penalties.

And, while it took the lottery of a shoot-out to decide the winner of the tie, Hughes felt it was the right outcome and he is pleased to progress.

"We're really pleased with how we performed, irrespective of the result, I thought we were good value to proceed in the cup," he said.

"We're happy to get through, it was the right result in my view. I thought we were the better team on the night.

"We played the more progressive football, and had sustained periods of control. It showed what a good team we are.

"Obviously it is nerve-wracking when it goes to penalties, but we got the job done.

"A number of guys have come into the side who haven't played a huge amount of football lately, but acquitted themselves really well. It gives me food for thought."

The Saints, who are 25/1 to win the Carabao Cup this season, while Manchester City are 9/4 to retain their trophy and Chelsea are priced at 4/1.

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Silva ponders Richarlison’s role

Marco Silva has indicated that he will hand Richarlison a striking role in Everton's Premier League match against Fulham on Saturday.

The Brazilian, who has scored three goals in four games since joining the Toffees from Watford in the summer, is usually used in a wide position by Silva.

However, Everton have struggled for goals this season and were particularly blunt in attack in last weekend's 2-0 loss at Arsenal when they created plenty of early chances but failed to take any of them.

Silva said of the 21-year-old Richarlison: "He could be one of the strikers. It is possible, everything is possible. This week I can tell you he worked some moments as a striker. It is up to me to decide on Saturday.

"We have Dominic (Calvert-Lewin), Oumar (Niasse) and Cenk (Tosun) and Richarlison can play there as well. It is something he already did with me.

"What I know is he performs well whereever he is playing, on the sides on left or right – he can perform well on the sides."

Colombia international Yerry Mina will miss the match after suffering an injury in training but Silva hopes he will be able to return to training next week.

Everton are 12th in the table and 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season while they are available at 7/10 to beat Fulham.

Pickford pens Toffees extension

First-choice England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is determined to keep on improving, having signed an improved six-year contract with Everton.

The 24-year-old moved to Goodison Park from Sunderland just over a year ago and has since established himself as his country's top keeper, playing a key role as England reached the semi-finals of World Cup 2018 earlier this year.

Now he has penned an extension to the initial five-year deal he agreed when he moved to Merseyside and Pickford sees only exciting times ahead for both himself and his team.

He told his club's official website: "When I made the move last year I thought Everton would be a great club to come to and the right step in my career.

"Getting the opportunity to become England's No.1 was down to being at Everton, I believe, and being able to put in solid performances week in and week out.

"Hopefully, I can continue to progress, become a better goalkeeper each and every day and keep that England No.1 shirt as well. That's another aim.

"My focus is on the team here and, as a team, we want to be pushing right up the table as high as we can be.

"There is a lot of strong competition out there, but in the next year or two, if we can get into a final of a cup and perhaps win a trophy, that would be a great step forward."

Everton are priced at 80/1 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season, while they are 14/1 to secure a top-six finish, with the Toffees 20/1 to lift the FA Cup this season.

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Silva convinced tide will turn

Marco Silva remains optimistic about Everton's future even after Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Arsenal left his team 12th in the Premier League table.

Everton have only won one of their six top-flight fixtures so far this season but Silva thought they were unfortunate to lose to the Gunners.

The visitors wasted several presentable openings to take the lead against Unai Emery's team who then scored twice in quick succession in the second half through Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

However, former Hull City and Watford boss Silva remains upbeat and is hopeful Everton will return to winning ways when they take on Fulham at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Everton, 4/5 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season, can be backed at 3/4 to beat Fulham and at 4/1 to win the match by a two-goal margin.

Silva said: "The result is really disappointing and didn't reflect, in my opinion, what I saw on the pitch.

"Our performance was good and we created chances from the first minute, with Dominic [Calvert-Lewin], until the last minute. We dominated many moments of the game as well.

"We've had two bad results. It's hard, but I've told the players we need to rest now, analyse the match and then work hard because we need to change this next week with the support of our fans at home."

Gunners make it four in a row

Arsenal have made it four league wins in a row after two goals in two second half minutes accounted for Everton.

The Gunners won 2-0 with goals from striking pair Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but were unconvincing for long spells before the goals went in.

Everton, smarting from their home defeat to West Ham last weekend, made a positive start and could have been ahead in the opening minutes.

Tom Davies found Dominic Calvert-Lewin in a great position but he couldn't round Gunners keeper Petr Cech who was able to smother the ball.

Everton again threatened on the half hour when Lucas Digne did well get a free kick up and over the wall but Cech was on hand to touch it over for a corner. Theo Walcott, up against his old club also went close but Cech again did well to deny him.

Arsenal had chances of their own, going closest with Aubameyang almost catching out Jordan Pickford but his cross came off the woodwork and to safety.

The second period again saw Everton start on top without carving out any clear chances but, after 10 minutes of the restart the Gunners were ahead with an excellent strike from Alexandre Lacazette from just inside the area, the striker making room and curling a wonderful shot past Pickford.

There was no time for Everton to regroup before the home side scored again, a move involving Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey ending with Aubameyang finishing from close range, the goal given despite the striker appearing offside.That double blow ensures that, after a difficult start to the new season, the Gunners are beginning to adapt well to life under new manager Unai Emery.

In the other Premier League game on Sunday Chelsea lost the chance to move top of the table, dropping their first points of the season in a goalless draw away at West Ham.

They dominated possession at the London Stadium but couldn't find the net and it was the Hammers who went the closest to scoring, Robert Snodgrass finding Andriy Yarmolenko unmarked in the area but he sent his header wide.

The results mean that Arsenal, 15/8 to finish in the top four, are up to sixth in the Premier League table with Chelsea staying third, two points off leaders Liverpool who are 7/4 to win the Premier League title.

Arsenal are at home to Watford next weekend and 2/5 are to make it five league wins in a row with the Hornets 11/2 and the draw 4/1.

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Mkhitaryan in race against time

Henrikh Mkhitaryan could miss Arsenal's Premier League match against Everton on Sunday because of an injury to his right ankle.

The Armenia international sustained the problem during Thursday's Europa League win against Vorskla.

Sead Kolasinac continues to be sidelined with a knee injury and is expected to return to full training in early October, while Laurent Koscielny should be training by November as he battles back from his Achilles problem.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles (broken leg) and Carl Jenkinson (ankle) are also currently out of action.

Arsenal are 4/9 to beat Everton and 2/1 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season.

Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka has vowed to silence his critics. The Switzerland international midfielder, who joined the Gunners from Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2016, has often been the subject of derision from fans and pundits alike for his crucial lapses in concentration.

"Criticism can make you stronger, and that's what it should do," Xhaka said. "If you are criticised, you can't let your head go down or let it destroy you inside.

"You have to keep going, keep working and improve on those weaknesses, as well as your strengths.

"We're people who live in the public eye. Lots of people talk, lots of people write things and I have no problem with that. Everyone has their own opinion – some may really like a certain player but not another."

Xhaka is 14/1 to be the first goalscorer in the Everton game.

Premier League: Gunners are Beginning to Fire

Arsenal vs Everton

The Emirates is the place to be for Sunday afternoon football when Marco Silva brings his Toffees to Arsenal in a classic Premier League encounter.

These two have been in the UK’s flagship competition since its inception and in England’s top flight for many years before. But in recent times, there have been slim pickings in North London and Merseyside with the trophy cabinets at Arsenal and Everton not exactly over-laden.

Both teams have new managers this season, with growing reputations having taken on the biggest jobs in their careers so far. Silva has been charged with transforming Everton from also-rans to Europe hopefuls, while the Premier League 2018 odds suggest a Champions League place is the very best Unai Emery can expect in his first year in charge of the Gunners.

Of the two, Arsenal have been making bigger strides in the last couple of weeks.

Talking Points

Unai Emery may have a good thing going at the Emirates, but only time will tell. This match is a decent barometer, though, as Everton are expected to be in the hunt for seventh place. But they are the sort of team the top clubs should really expect to put away.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be vital for Arsenal when they face Everton in the Premier League

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang kicks the ball during the Europa League Group E soccer match between Arsenal and Vorskla

Much depends on continuing his encouraging progress so far and the consistent form of his flair players. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has impressed in fits and starts since his £56m arrival at the Emirates last January; he scored a double last night as the Gunners started their Europa League campaign with a win over Vorskla Poltava.

The oft-maligned Mesut Ozil was on target too, but Emery won’t have been overly pleased to see a 4-0 lead turn into a 4-2 result. Arsenal’s defence has been too easily breached this season, conceding 11 goals from six competitive games, often late in the game.

The centre-back partnership between Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos is yet to develop an understanding which can produce clean sheets, and that’s not good news for the goalkeepers. Petr Cech is the man in goal so far but Leno, bought for £22m from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, played in the Europa League tie and, while there wasn’t a lot he could do, seeing his own net bulge twice in the closing minutes can’t have helped his cause any.

But with four wins on a run, in all competitions, they are doing something right at the Emirates and they have a great chance to make it five on Sunday.

Everton have been in the shadow of their Merseyside neighbours for decades, and it won’t please the blue side of Liverpool that the Reds are enjoying a perfect start one bit. And Silva is under some pressure to deliver. He arrived at Hull with fanfare two seasons ago but failed to keep them up. Then, after a good start at Watford, once his head was turned by Everton, the results at Vicarage Road took a nosedive.

So now he’s where he wanted to be, but he knows full well he must fulfil his well-trumpeted potential.

Former Arsenal star Theo Walcott is enjoying his rebirth at Everton and has likened the methods of his new boss to those of the great Arsene Wenger.  Walcott has scored five goals in his 19 appearances for the Toffees so far, and his pace and poise on the ball is a real asset. How he would love to score once more at the Emirates.

History

These two teams are part of the Premier league fabric and have been in the top flight of English football for 164 consecutive years between them, Arsenal since 1919.

Arsenal’s Premier League 2018 results have certainly picked up since back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea. The Gunners have been accused of being flat-track bullies in the last, and we are yet to see evidence to the contrary. But the Gunners managed to beat West Ham, something Everton failed spectacularly to do last week. And that means Marco Silva’s team has won just one of its opening five games.

The head-to-heads show how Arsenal has dominated their visitors during the Premier League era, with 35 wins, 12 draws and just seven wins for Everton from 54 meetings. And the Gunners handed out two hammerings last season: Aaron Ramsay scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 victory at the Emirates while the Gunners 2-5 earlier in the season at Goodison Park.

Betting Tip

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Arsenal vs Everton Arsenal -1.25 @ 2.01
September 23, 23:00 (GMT+8)

Our pre-match us odds point to a comfortable home win, with the margin of 1.25 goals evening things up. Everton with that +1.25 advantage is at 1.94, but the Gunners have greater momentum and history heavily weighed in their favour.

Both teams have contributed to four out of five league games yielding over 2.5 goals, and Everton has scored in every game, while neither has yet managed a clean sheet.

So a four-goal match will pay dividends, with odds of 1.99 on over 3.25 goals, or 2.41 on 4-6 goals.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Knee injury worries Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic admits the knee injury he picked up during West Ham United's 3-1 win against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday is concerning him.

The Austria international had been in sparkling form as the Hammers clinched their first three-point haul of the campaign following four consecutive defeats.

Arnautovic set up Andriy Yarmolenko to open the scoring before grabbing West Ham's third goal. However, he had to be substituted shortly after netting with an injury to his left knee.

He said afterwards: "I don't know, we need to check now. It's not my calf, it's my knee. It hurts a lot. We will need to check this week."

However, the former Stoke City star was delighted to emerge victorious on Merseyside, adding: "It was important for us to come back and put in a performance, because we didn't win any of the first four games.

"It wasn't just the forwards. It starts from the goalkeeper and I think everybody did an unbelievable job. The midfield were everywhere and then it's down to us [as forwards] to score the goals to win games."

West Ham, 9/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season, are 6/1 to win their next match on Sunday against Chelsea, while they are available at 7/1 to keep a clean sheet in the encounter.