1) Giroud to get his chance against United?
Olivier Giroud has had to be patient this season. Although he has been a regular starter in the Europa League, the man who was once Arsenal’s leading striker has not started a game in the Premier League this season.
Alexandre Lacazette has overtaken his fellow Frenchman since his arrival from Lyon, giving Arsenal’s attack greater unpredictability with his elusive, speedy movement, and the 26-year-old scored his seventh goal of the season in the 5-0 win over Huddersfield.
Lacazette then went off with a groin injury at half-time and his enforced absence against Manchester United on Saturday will force Arsène Wenger to make adjustments up front. Giroud, who scored twice as a substitute against Huddersfield, will hope that his chance has arrived. He would be the obvious choice.
Yet Arsenal will not be as mobile if Wenger brings in Giroud. If their performance in the win over Tottenham Hotspur is anything to go by, they will look to implement a high pressing game out of possession. Danny Welbeck does not look ready to start such a big game, so it could be Alex Iwobi who steps off the bench, with Alexis Sànchez taking Lacazette’s role in the middle.
2) Allardyce to profit from travelling Terriers
Considering the horrors that preceded it, few could have begrudged David Unsworth his caretaking curtain-call that was the shellacking of West Ham and with the Everton interim manager presumably off for a lie-down in a darkened room, it’s time for Sam Allardyce to take the reins.
While it’s true that you can only beat what’s in front of you, Everton fans need to bear in mind that a win over the current rabble representing West Ham will not necessarily kickstart their season, even if it does provide solid foundations on which to build.
Anyone expecting instant improvement under Allardyce may be disappointed; he needed six games to mastermind his first win at Crystal Palace and lost three of his first four as Sunderland manager. While he can be counted on to get the job done when parachuted in before Christmas to save struggling sides, his philosophy can take time to impart. In Huddersfield, who have lost their past four away games by an aggregate score of 14-0, he could scarcely have handpicked more suitable visitors for his first game in charge.