Everton with a new boss at the helm
Gunners looking to increase lead over Man City
Dyche could be Everton's saving grace
Although Everton were the only Premier League club not to bring a new player in during the month of January, they did make what could be a season-defining acquisition. The floundering Frank Lampard was replaced by Sean Dyche, a proven Premier League performer who defied the odds at the helm of Burnley time and time again. Not only did he keep the Clarets afloat in the Premier League, but he also took them into European competition.
Dyche has been typically pragmatic about the failure to sign fresh players, and in truth there is raw material to work with.
They have the England goalkeeper, two England centre-backs (yes, James Tarkowski twice turned out for the Three Lions), a highly-promising Ukrainian international left-back, a midfielder in Idrissa Gueye who has been an African champion and won nearly 100 caps, a midfielder in Amadou Onana who has already sparked top-six interest and a centre-forward in Dominic Calvert-Lewin who when fit is a capable scorer at this level.
While these players have rarely performed as a unit this term, Dyche has the tactical chops to get something out of them, but at the moment it's admittedly a leap of faith. Everton are in the dropzone on merit - they have won just three of their 20 league matches, and have scored a pitiful 15 goals. According to the Infogol Expected Goals data, Everton are exactly where they should be in the standings.
Nathan Patterson, James Garner, Michael Keane and Andros Townsend are all still injured, while Ben Godfrey is a doubt.
Gunners have deepened their options
You don't always get what you want in life, and although Arsenal didn't acquire their primary targets in the January transfer window, they showed admirable agility and adaptability in the market.
Bringing in Jorginho from Chelsea could prove to be a smart piece of business - the European Championship and Champions League winner has the kind of mentality that will really help a young squad in the closing months of the season. Polish international Jakub Kiwior is a promising centre-back that can cover Gabriel, while Leandro Trossard is a proven performer in the Premier League.
Let's not forget, it's not just the Premier League that Arsenal are trying to win. Yes, they are five points clear of champions Manchester City with a game in hand, but they are also one of the leading contenders to win the Europa League. The Gunners haven't won a European trophy since 1994, so going all the way on the continent this term isn't to be sniffed at.
Arsenal's away form has been truly remarkable this term, and they have won their last four road matches in the Premier League. Those victories include mature successes at Chelsea and Spurs, wins that were fully deserved. Arsenal's only away defeat in the league this season was a 3-1 loss at Old Trafford against Manchester United and it's widely accepted that United were fortunate to take maximum points.
With Thomas Partey an injury doubt, Jorginho might have to step straight into the side for his Gunners debut. Emile Smith Rowe has suffered a setback in his recovery, while Gabriel Jesus isn't yet ready to return to action.
Dyche will try to build a barrier
It would be a surprise to see Everton adopt an expansive approach here, and Dyche will surely try to reduce the quality of shots he allows Arsenal to have.
For all their problems, Everton have actually got some good defensive players, and their new manager knows how to set a team up to defend and frustrate. On that basis, backing Under 2.5 Goals at 2.0621/20 looks a decent play, not least because that bet has paid out in six of Arsenal's last ten top-flight matches. In those ten games, Arsenal have leaked just six goals.
Arsenal are a bit too short to be of interest in the Match Odds market here at 1.454/9. Dyche will doubtless get the crowd going, and this feels like a tricky test for the league leaders. They are absolutely the fair favourites, but not attractively priced.
Saka continues to sparkle
Bukayo Saka has been one of the leading lights in Arsenal's title push so far, and I'm happy to include him in a Bet Builder here. We can back Saka to have at least one shot on target, Under 3.5 Goals in the game and Amadou Onana to commit at least one foul at 2.68/5.
Onana has picked up five yellow cards in his first Premier League season, and averages 1.8 fouls per 90. Saka is averaging 0.72 shots on target per 90 in the league, and he has scored in five of his last 11 games for club and country.