The first fixture between the Arsenal and Everton was a close fought draw with two goals coming in the last 10 minutes. That day Mesut Ozil opened the scoring, and he did the exact same a few months later with the 4-1 win in the FA Cup. Arteta and another two Giroud goals secured victory for Arsenal that day and the Gunners will be hoping to keep their unbeaten string of games against Everton going with a win at Goodison Park.
Arsenal cannot afford to drop points in this game, but neither can Everton so it really is a super Sunday game. As hard as it may be for Arsenal fans to admit, both teams are challenging for that fourth place spot now and with 17 years of consecutive Champions League football under the belt, it is something Arsenal aren’t looking to give up.
Both sides have had brilliant seasons, with Everton being very ambitious to achieve under Roberto Martinez (a man I wouldn’t mind filling in Wenger’s position when Le prof goes) whilst although the end result in the Premier League campaign may not be looking too promising for Arsenal, lets not forget we were top of the league for at least a few months. Our problem has been against the big teams and although Everton are not naturally seen to be a top four club, they are certainly a strong side that Arsenal need to be very wary of today.
Going into the game, Arsenal have been knocked back with more injury concerns. Both Gibbs and Gnabry have been added to the injury list, although Monreal and Ramsey are available to take part if called upon. I’d expect Monreal to play at left back as Vermaelen will need to fill in at centre back for the injured Laurent Koscielny, whilst Ramsey is only expected to feature on the bench.
Therefore I’m expecting an Arsenal line up as follows:
Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Monreal
Cazorla Rosicky Podolski
Although it is not a bad line up, there are areas I can see being exploited by the Everton side, especially down the wings with crosses into the strong striker Lukaku. It’ll be a tough game yet again for the Gunners, arguably the last big big game of the Premier League campaign, but hopefully the Gunners know how important this game is and that must win if we want to take part that all so familiar battle for 4th place again this season.