Arsenal would want to put all their European disappointment behind as they prepare to host an in-form Everton side who will be coming on the back of a successful round of 32 Europa league tie.
Arsenal had a shocker at home against Monaco, losing 3-1 and now have everything to play for when they travel to France in two weeks’ time. Despite the defeat, Arsenal would look to get a win against Everton and put a daylight between themselves and the rest of the teams in the top 4 race.
Everton will be fresh from their 7-2 thrashing of Young Boys in Europa League. Part of the reason for this dominating was striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored 5 goals over the two legs. The Belgian striker would hope to replicate his European form and cause troubles for the under fire Arsenal defence.
Arsenal will be without Jack Wilshere, who is set to be out for 7-10 days due a slight discomfort to his ankle. Arsene Wenger confirmed that the midfielder will be ready for the reverse leg against Monaco.
Midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini (both hamstring) did train on Friday but chances of them playing in the game will remain very slim.
Apart from the injuries, Arsene Wenger will think twice on whether to start Olivier Giroud for this game or not. Giroud was wasteful in front of the goal against Monaco and perhaps Wnger would like to go with Alexis Sanchez up front to allow Giroud some time away from the game to recover from his horror show in Champions League.
Probable Line-up for Arsenal against Everton: Ospina, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazrola, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has reassured the fans that there is nothing to worry about Romelu Lukaku’s hamstring and the striker is expected to play against Arsenal. Lukaku came off early in the second half in the victory over Young Boys.
The Toffees will also welcome back have John Stones and Aaron Lennon in the squad but will still miss the likes of Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert, Aiden McGeady (all knee), Christian Atsu (illness), and Bryan Oviedo (hamstring).
Roberto Martinez must be tempted to hand Darren Gibson a start in the team after he ran the show for Everton in the Europa League triumph in both the legs. Martinez has Baines and Coleman fit and ready to play their best football, it should be good news for the Everton fans.
Probable Line-up for Everton against Arsenal: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Coleman, Gibson, Besic, Mirallas, Naismith, Lennon, Lukaku
Alexis Sanchez vs Seamus Coleman
The Dazzler vs the Stopper, this is how this battle will be fought out. Sanchez has been the star man for Arsenal this season but if Seamus Coleman can be on his game, he can even stop the very best in the world. Seamus will have to cut out his natural instinct of bombing forward for this game. Against Sanchez, Martinez would want his right back to stick closer to the Chilean throughout the 90 mins.
Romelu Lukaku vs Gabriel Paulista
Gabriel is expected to make his first start for the Gunners against Everton tomorrow. Lukaku, who has been in fine form lately will look to go one-on-one against the inexperienced Gabriel. On his day, Lukaku can outmuscle any defender in the league. Arsenal must not hand the initiative to the Belgian and Everton if they want to win this game with ease.
Francis Coquelin vs Muhamed Besic
The Enforcers for their respective sides. Coquelin and Besic have been one of the better defensive midfield players this season. Both like to get stuck to their tackles and make the opponents realize of their presence. In this high-stake clash, both will look to be at their most competitive best and this mid field battle might decide the outcome of this clash.
- Arsenal have now gone five games without a win against Everton, their worst such run in the history of this fixture.
- Steven Naismith has scored in his last two Premier League appearances against the Gunners.
- Everton have won none of their last 20 away matches against Arsenal in all competitions (D4 L16).
- Mesut Ozil has scored two goals and set up one more in three appearances against Everton in all competitions.
- Only Everton (17) and Swansea (16) have dropped more points from winning positions than Arsenal (14) in the Premier League this season.
Recent Meetings between the two sides
I have a feeling, Arsenal will still be haunted their result in Europe and Everton will be flying high after their great result midweek. Form could be the vital factor going in to such an important game and I fancy Everton in this one to get something out of the Emirates stadium tomorrow.
I am going with a score draw with 2-2 being the most likely outcome.
Betting Odds: Arsenal: 1.57, Draw: 4.50, Everton: 6.00
Stats Credits: Opta
Image Credist: telegraph, scaryfootball