Only Liverpool have picked up more points (24) than Everton (17) since Carlo Ancelotti took over the reins at Goodison Park but the fixtures have been kind to the Blues in recent weeks and they travel to the Emirates this afternoon for the first of four very difficult looking games with Manchester United (H), Chelsea (A) and Liverpool (H) to follow.

Ancelotti will know more about the ability of his squad by the end of the Merseyside derby and he will be trying to offload some of the dead wood at Goodison in the summer. That will be easier said than done, however, granted the wages the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott are on at the club.

I am expecting to hear a number of comments coming out of Goodison over the summer such as “I want to stay and fight for my place” which really means “nobody will match the daft wages you pay me so I’m going nowhere.”    

The Gunners have more energy and desire since Mikel Arteta took over as manager and they managed the game very well – save a poor opening 10 minutes – in Piraeus against Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday night. Arsenal scored four times in the second half against Newcastle last Sunday and they will leapfrog Everton in the table with a win.

Arsenal are Evens with BetVictor to keep the points with Everton 27/10 and the draw at 13/5.  Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are becoming a potent strike force for the Blues and I would be surprised if Everton didn’t have their own opportunities, but Arsenal are a confident selection to give Mikel Arteta a win against his former club.

Liverpool entertain West Ham at Anfield tomorrow night, and they had to thank substitute Sadio Mane for their late winner at Carrow Road last weekend. It has been a strange week for the Senegalese striker, only on the bench against Norwich and then substituted at halftime as a result of his yellow card in Madrid against Atletico midweek.

Mane is 5/6 at BetVictor to find the back of the Irons’ net tomorrow and that might be a shade overpriced given David Moyes is unlikely to be looking forward for his return to Merseyside. West Ham are 19/1 to cause a shock with BetVictor and this is, arguably, a free game for the Irons ahead of next weekend’s visit of Southampton.

It has been a good week for Manchester United who got a valuable away goal in Bruges on Thursday having put themselves back in the mix for a Champions league spot with an impressive win at Stamford Bridge on Monday. United entertain Watford this afternoon and the wheels have come off the Hornets renaissance in recent weeks and they have dropped 17 points from winning positions so far this term – the highest in the division. Watford start the day in the drop zone, but they are 13/8 to be playing Championship football next term. United won’t have it all their own way this afternoon and I don’t expect to see many goals. Under 2.5 goals is the recommendation at 20/21 with BetVictor

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