LONDON: Arsenal are aiming to close out 2022 with a bang when the Premier League predecessors travel to Everton this weekend.
In their pursuit of Arsenal, reigning champions Manchester City cannot afford to go wrong in the visit of Everton, as Newcastle look to extend their record win over Leeds.
With Gabriel Jesus out of action for several months due to injury, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could heave a sigh of relief if Eddie Nketiah found his target during the 3-1 win over West Ham on Boxing Day.
In his first start of the season, Nketiah scored the third goal in the London derby encounter and the 23-year-old proved he could replace Brazil striker Jesus who injured his knee during the 2022 World Cup.
While some fans feel Nketiah has not been as sharp as Jesus has been since his move from Manchester City, Arteta believes his young striker can fill that void.
“He’s a confident player. I hope that goal will add to his belief if he doubts himself,” said Arteta.
Victory at Brighton on Sunday will ensure Arsenal enter the new year at least five points clear at the top of the league.
Meanwhile, Manchester City teenager Rico Lewis has been able to give the defending champions a new dimension to retain the title after a touring debut in the Premier League.
Lewis still feels he is not good enough to join City’s star lineup despite putting in an impressive display in last Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Leeds.
The 18-year-old centre-back has repaid the trust shown by City manager Pep Guardiola who chose him over England right-back Kyle Walker and Portugal defender Joao Cancelo.
“I don’t feel like City’s first team. I try to do my best to help the team win.
“I don’t know if I’m going to feel like a player in the first team. It’s probably happening slowly without realizing it,” Lewis said ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Everton.