Arsenal to let Dyche know exactly what he's in for
Sean Dyche takes charge of Everton for the first time on Saturday with precisely the same brief his predecessor Frank Lampard had at a similar stage last season: keep the club in the Premier League. The Toffees have been circling the drain for sometime now, having not won a match in any competition since October, nor were they successful in making a single signing in the January transfer window. Dyche's opening game where he must make the most of what and who are available to him comes against league leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park. Read our preview here:
As is almost always the case when someone new assumes the reins at a relegation threatened side, the first focus will be on making them more difficult to beat. Dyche was (in)famous at Burnley for implementing a 4-4-2 and setting up the defence in a low block to funnel the opposition into crowded central areas and narrow angles. He might implement at least his tried and tested formation in the blue half of Liverpool, and he can turn to players such as James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil who know him well from their time together at Turf Moor to scrap and fight for every ball and goal. He'll also need to get a tune out of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has not been a regular scorer for two years. Dyche is certain to make him the focal point of the approach play nevertheless.
Mikel Arteta made a late move in the window to sign Chelsea defensive midfielder Jorginho, giving the Gunners more options in an area where they were previously light, especially with Thomas Partey's injury record. The Italian veteran could slot in straight away on the left side of a triumvirate, and his natural inclination towards sitting deep and screening the back four should allow his teammates in the engine room to have a touch more freedom going forwards. Elsewhere, Emile Smith Rowe is nearing a return, but the side should otherwise be the same as the one which lost 1-0 to Manchester City in the FA Cup last week.
Arsenal are not going to be minded to let Dyche settle in at Everton - bet365 have odds of 6.00 for the Gunners to get more than three goals as they pursue the title.