Arsenal make the trip to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Premier League, after being knocked out of the Champions League and the FA Cup in their last two games. The Gunners are having a bad time in recent weeks and will want to win this game against the Merseyside outfit if they wish to remain in the title race. It will be a tough ask to make the away trip on Saturday, after playing on Wednesday night and fatigue could be a factor that might impact Arsene Wenger’s side. The north London side will want to avoid any slip-ups, as they at present find themselves 11 points behind league leaders Leicester City with a game in hand.
In their last five games in all competitions, Wenger’s team has won just once with 3 losses and a draw. The Toffees, on the other hand, have lost two and won three in the same
number of fixtures and will want to improve on that. On head to head last five fixtures, Everton has just one win, one draw and three triumphs for the visitors. However, the
home crowd’s support could make a difference on the day. It will be 3rd place vs 12th in the points table and Roberto Martínez will want his side to really shine in the match
and give their opponents a tough fight.
The away side still have eight players out with injuries and could once again miss this game. Stars like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Flamini, Petr Cech, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are ruled out from the game while Aaron Ramsey could possibly make it to the side on time. Flamini picked up an injury in the game against
Barca in midweek and was taken off just before half-time in that fixture.
On the other hand, Everton have a total of six players injured themselves. Tyias Browning, Steven Pienaar and Tony Hibbert are all out injured while Bryan Oviedo could possibly return to the squad on time as he recovers from an illness. Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas are both suspended for the game and will not be part of the squad.
Robles; Baines, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Coleman; Besic, McCarthy, Lennon, Barkley, Cleverley; Lukaku.
Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny, Ozil, Alexis, Campbell; Welbeck.
1. Bellerin vs Baines:
It will be a battle of pace and trickery on the wings as Hector Bellerin will be up against Leighton Baines. The two players are good not only for the back but can also influence the
attacking play in a major way. This will be one intense battle and it will be interesting to see who comes on top.
2. Lukaku vs Koscielny:
Romelu Lukaku will be the main threat for the Arsenal defence and it will be up to Laurent Koscielny to keep him quiet. The Frenchman did not have a good game against Barca and the trio of
Neymar, Messi and Suarez. It will be interesting to see how he recovers and improves in this game, after returning from an injury recently. Further, the Belgian international will be full of
confidence after scoring a brace against his former club Chelsea in the FA Cup, which saw them getting knocked out of the competition.
Everton 1-3 Arsenal
Based on current form though Arsenal are not winning games, they have played some really good football in the last match. It would seem that if they could replicate some
of that form, they should have an easy win in this one though things are never certain in football.