Roberto Martinez predictably stuck with his two defensive midfielders against in-form Arsenal for the late afternoon televised kick-off game, with Cleverley on the bench. Gerard Deulofeu gets a start, however, with Mirallas and Naismith also on the bench.
Everton kicked off in increasingly wet conditions and had good possession; Deulofeu put in his first cross, straight to an Arsenal defender. He soon had another chance, taking the ball to the bye-line: goal-kick. But early passing by both sides was poor, with plenty of turnovers. Coquelin overhit his first cross and Everton showed much better pace, building through middle.
Everton were looking already far better than last week in the early exchanges, but needed to take more care in possession, Jags putting Galloway in trouble and gifting Arsenal their first corner that Giroud got his head on, but wide (off a defender. McCarthy was deemed to be overly aggressive when he won the ball back as Arsenal advanced down their left
The turnovers continued, and another corner to Arsenal, off a block, Cazorla's delivery headed over by Gabriel this time. Arsenal were ominously mounting more of the attacks, Galloway tacking superbly but another forward play from defense ending at Arsenal feet, and they were attacking again, Bellerin's greta cross cleared by Stones for another corner, the pressure relieved only through a foul by Ozil.
Lukaku did well on the long ball but Coleman was easily outpaced by Sanchez and a long switch ball had Stones and Jags in knots, Howard's legs saving a certain goal in the chaotic afters. A rare spell of Everton possession in the Arsenal half stalled hopelessly in midfield, then Deulofeu could not get past Monreal.
The pendulum was swinging increasingly Arsenal's way despite gifted balls, such as to Barkley, being wasted by backward passing as the Blues looked increasingly awestruck with The Gunners increasingly slick passing and movement. And it needed an excellent challenge from Jagielka to stop Koscielny, at the expense of yet another corner that Gabriel again headed wide.
Barry's long ball to Lukaku was delayed and left the big man isolated. Coquelin slid in too hard on Galloway and was booked. From a throw-in, Galloway surrounded by four Arsenal players but it led to a slightly better attack, Galloway wining the first Everton corner and an awkward chance came too quickly for Stones who could not direct it goalwards.
Everton's old problem though, shown again with pointless passing at the back, Barry looking up and floating a ball straight to a red shirt. Lennon blocked Alexis and gave away a free-kick that Koscielny almost got his head to. Alexis then fired a snapshot well beyond the Everton goal
Barkley and Lukaku were too often facing the Everton goal and playing the ball backward, but eventually it got to Deulofeu who tried to dribble in through the middle but found his path blocked. AT the other end, Ozil dodged inside and floated in a nice cross for Howard to come for and pluck out of the air but Giroud was better placed to glance the ball over him for the dreaded opening goal.
Seconds later, it was 2-0, almost identical in reflection from the other side and a free-kick, this cross even closer for Howard but it went in off Koscielny's head. Two flaps from Howard: two goals down... sad.
Everton responded a little, Galloway and then Deulofeu getting into the Arsenal area but no end result, Everton hardly even having a shot at goal in the first half until a good quick break by Deulofeu and an excellent pass to Barkley who drove on and shot, picking up a nice deflection off Gabriel's leg to beat Cech.
Deulofeu looked to be getting free and making space but felt the restraint of an outstretched Arsenal arm and collapsed a little too easily in a heap, but nothing from referee Lee Mason, who ended the half.
Arsenal resumed and Alexis almost threatened coming around the blind side. Everton looked to break with Deulofeu down the left this time but the ball hit him on the back of the legs. Galloway did well to defend but Jagielka, following through, got his foot kicked and it opened up his knee joint, down and screaming for attention. Funes Mori eventually replaced him.
An excellent play by Deulofeu was utterly spoilt by Barkley and Arsenal were off to the races, Howard saving with his feet for a corner. Everton repeatedly won turnovers but repeatedly failed to retain possession as the game built for the crucial fourth goal, Howard stopping a smart shot from Giroud for another corner.Giroud was then inches from converting off a great cross.
Past the hour and still no sign of Mirallas with Deulofeu still running at Arsenal with no end product, Barkley getting stymied. Lennon had been poor but remained on the field; Ozil got off a shot that Howard held. Barry picked up his customary booking; still no Mirallas to turn the game. Barkley had a snapshot at Petr Cech. At the other end Giroud smacked the crossbar. and at least 10 minutes late, Lennon finally got the hook for Mirallas.
Lukaku put in a meaty cross that seemed set for Barkley but it was intercepted. Cech came out confidently to catch the corner, with Lukaku limping a little. Everton were having their best spell of possession ending with a great McCarthy cross to the far post where Galloway misjudged his header with Lukaku in front of him.
Deulofeu was finally awarded free-kick that ended up with a corner. It led eventually to Barry's cross perfect for Lukaku, his header bouncing off the top of the bar. Arsenal suddenly upped the tempo noticeably, Mirallas not yet able to get into the game.
More determined effort from Everton but they could not dig out from the corner where Coleman and Deulofeu were blocked off, and the Arsenal were soon forcing separate measures in the Everton rearguard, Flamini firing wide. Flamini then had a free header, straight at Howard. Straight up the other end, and Lukaku getting in a ball that saw Deulofeu take an extra touch that prevented him from beating Cech with a wonderful chance.
It was an excellent end-to-end finish to the game, Everton finally playing as they should have been all game long. Kone replaced Coleman with barely a minute left. Ozil lashed a shot that skinned the foot of Howard's left post.
Everton had a fantastic chance for a breaking goal but Lukaku was not strong enough at the end of the move. At the other end, Barry upended Walcott with a dangerous challenge and saw his second yellow to end the game. Everton were better in the second half, but all too little, too late to change the all-too-predictable script.
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin [Y:25'], Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain (80' Flamini), Γzil, Sanchez (89' Gibbs), Giroud [Y:69'].
Subs not Used: Macey, Debuchy, Chambers, Campbell, Walcott.
Everton: Howard; Coleman, (89' Kone), Jagielka (52' Funes Mori), Stones, Galloway; Barry [Y:67', YR:90+4'], McCarthy; Lennon (69' Mirallas), Barkley, Deulofeu; Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Cleverley, Osman, Naismith.
Referee: Lee Mason
Though Roberto Martinez has been able to slay a few "old Sky four"-related demons in his time as Everton manager, two of the club's longest and most unwanted away hoodoos remain very much alive despite his efforts to rid the club of the fear that seemed to surround these games under his predecessor namely the records away at Chelsea and Arsenal. Evertonians will need no reminding of the fact that it is almost 20 years since Andrei Kanchelskis earned the Toffees a 2-1 win at Highbury and that they haven't recorded a win on the Gunners' turf since.
David Moyes came very close in January 2010 when Steven Pienaar's wonderful breakaway goal looked to have secured three points, only for Tomas Rosicky to grab a heart-breaking injury-time equaliser. Since then, though Martinez's side passed their hosts off the park for much of their meeting at the Emirates in December two years ago, they ended up having to salvage a draw thanks to Gerard Deulofeu's famous strike after Arsenal had struck first through Mezut Ozil at the other end.
On Everton's last visit to this part of London, Arsenal were coming off the back of an awful defeat in Europe, having been beaten at home by Monaco with a result that set the decks for their elimination from the Champions League. The Blues were unable to capitalise on any jitters or self-doubt in the Gunners' ranks and lost 2-0 but perhaps the psychology will work in reverse this time in the wake of their impressive victory over Bayern Munich on Tuesday night in the same competition.
If there is cause for some optimism away from Everton's own desire to atone for last weekend and improve the Blues' awful record on Arsenal's turf, it's that Arsene Wenger will not be at full strength for this one. The strength and depth he has in the squad means it ordinarily wouldn't make much difference but the fact that there are question marks over Alexi Sanchez's fitness can only work in Everton's favour.
The Chilean was substituted late on Tuesday night, with Wenger suggesting that he was exhausted following his international commitments this month and that could signal that the in-form ex-Barcelona man might at least be dropped back to the bench for Saturday.
The likely beneficiary in that event, though, will be Olivier Giroud who has scored against Everton in three of the last four meetings between the two sides, including a brace in the FA Cup Quarter Final in March 2013, the damaging equaliser at Goodison Park in the first Premier League home game last season and what was effectively the winner in this fixture last season before Rosicky killed the contest with a late second.
Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey is ruled out after suffering a hamstring injury against Bayern and he joins fellow midfielders Rosicky and Jack Wilshere in the treatment room as well as forward Danny Welbeck and second-string goalkeeper David Ospina who are all injured.
In Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal have a ready-made replacement, however, and a player whose pace and energy will still need to be watched by Everton's defensive-midfield axis of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy, as will the enigmatic Santi Cazorla, the mercurial Ozil and the in-form Francis Coquelin.
Having witnessed his side comprehensively nullified by Manchester United last weekend the Red Devils themselves coming off a humiliating defeat at the Emirates a fortnight before and failure to beat an average Liverpool before that, Martinez seems to be searching for answers to a problem of consistency, a lack of regular chances and, consequently, a shortage of goals. He has switched in Steven Naismith and Arouna Kone with mixed results in the past few weeks and deployed both Gerard Deulofeu and Aaron Lennon wide on the right but is yet to find a reliable formula.
For that reason, he may turn belatedly back to Kevin Mirallas who has started just one Premier League fixture so far the opening day draw against Watford and who was overlooked almost completely in three of the subsequent four games (against Southampton, Manchester City and Chelsea) and only came on at half time against Spurs because of Tom Cleverley's injury. Martinez spoke about the Belgian in his press conference yesterday but it remains to be seen whether or not he gets a place in the starting line-up.
Unless Martinez sees him as a viable alternative to Kone or Naismith, playing off Romelu Lukaku as they have sometimes done for Belgium, Mirallas is likely vying for a slot with Lennon who can provide more defensive cover than might Deulofeu who struggled to make an impact in the derby or when he came on against United last week. The manager's reluctance to use two wide men means that the odds are on one of Kone and Naismith being selected the assumption being that Cleverley is not deemed fit enough to start and the three wingers waiting to see which of them is preferred. It would be nice to see some variation on the theme, though.
The fact that they have won three on the spin since losing to Olympiakos at the end of last month, scoring eight and conceding none in the process, makes this trip to Arsenal slightly more daunting than it has been in recent seasons. Throw in Everton's performance last weekend and it's enough to bring on that familiar feeling of resignation to another poor result that used to hang around this fixture like a millstone for Blues fans in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
As the Greeks, and West Ham before them, have shown, though, anything is possible if you can get at them early, disrupt their flow and score some goals. The potential loss to Wenger of Sanchez's lightning pace may change Martinez's thinking slightly but placing the emphasis on patient, possession football like that which frustrated the Gunners in that 1-1 draw here in 2013-14 may be a more prudent avenue than relying solely on the counter-attack because they have pace in their ranks to get men back quickly.
Whatever happens, it's going to take a top-level performance across the park if Everton are to score a precious win. Most of the sold-out travelling contingent would surely be happy with a creditable draw.
Kick off: 5:30pm, Live on Sky Sports 1
Referee: Lee Mason
Predicted line-up: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway, Barry, McCarthy, Lennon, Barkley, Kone, Lukaku