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Premier League

  • 16 April 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 60071
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Arsenal - Everton Preview: In-form sides gear up for crucial top four race clash

Arsenal - Everton Preview: In-form sides gear up for crucial top four race clash

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The Gunners have won eight of their last ten league games as they look to secure Champions League football, with the Toffees also in the hunt and just three points from fourth

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ARSENAL

Szczesny
Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs
Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere
Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla

EVERTON

 
Howard
Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar
Fellaini
Jelavic


Out-of-favour goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny looks set to return to the Arsenal starting XI, with Arsene Wenger admitting Lukasz Fabianski is a "major doubt" after taking a kick to the ribs against Norwich.

Per Mertesacker could return from suspension to the starting line-up in place of Thomas Vermaelen, who along with Nacho Monreal will challenge left-back Kieran Gibbs for the team.

Theo Walcott’s return from injury could see the forward start on the right flank in place of Gervinho, while manager Arsene Wenger faces a choice between keeping Aaron Ramsey in midfield and naming Santi Cazorla on the left flank, or moving the playmaker infield and adding Lukas Podolski on the left.

Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is doubtful and could miss out along with long-term casualty Abou Diaby (knee).

Everton have no new injury concerns and could name the side that beat QPR on Saturday, with Seamus Coleman set to continue at right-back while Tony Hibbert lacks fitness after a long-term injury.

Striker Victor Anichebe has started the Toffees’ last four league matches and could again lead the line ahead of the recently returned Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, but Nikica Jelavic is another option.


  DID YOU KNOW?

  • Arsenal have reached the Champions League last 16 in each of the last 12 seasons and are currently third, a point ahead of rivals Tottenham and Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
  • The Gunners have won eight of their last ten games and are second only to runaway leaders Manchester United in the form table.
  • Since Christmas, Arsenal have scored in every game bar the 2-0 loss to Manchester City. When Arsene Wenger's side have scored first in the league this season, they have never lost a game.

  • Each of Olivier Giroud's last ten Premier League goals this season have been scored at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Everton have not finished in the top four since 2005 and are currently in sixth place, three points from Chelsea and Tottenham and four from the Gunners as they seek to qualify for the Champions League.
  • The attacking contribution of the returning Marouane Fellaini (pictured right) has been vital for David Moyes' men this campaign. The Belgium midfielder's goals and assists have won the Merseysiders 12 points in the league.
  • The Toffees have scored the joint-highest amount of headed goals (13) in this year's Premier League. The other side are league leaders Manchester United.
  • Everton have failed to beat Arsenal in the sides' 11 most recent encounters, but went close earlier this season in the 1-1 draw between the two at Goodison Park in November.

 

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
10Jack WilshereMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
19Santi CazorlaMidfielder
12Olivier GiroudStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
25Vito MannoneGoalkeeper
23Thomas VermaelenDefender
17MonrealDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
9Lukas PodolskiStriker
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
27GervinhoStriker
24Tim HowardGoalkeeper
3Leighton BainesDefender
6Phil JagielkaDefender
15Sylvain DistinDefender
23Seamus ColemanDefender
4Darron GibsonMidfielder
20Ross BarkleyMidfielder
22Steven PienaarMidfielder
25Marouane FellainiMidfielder
11Kevin MirallasStriker
28Victor AnichebeStriker
1Jan MuchaGoalkeeper
5John HeitingaDefender
8Bryan OviedoMidfielder
10Thomas HitzlspergerMidfielder
-Phil NevilleMidfielder
18Nikica JelavicStriker
14Steven NaismithStriker
Players to Watch
Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 24-year-old returned from injury against Norwich on Saturday to set up the Gunners’ third goal, and has now scored or assisted in all but three of his league starts for the Gunners since the New Year. His blistering pace will prevent the Toffees from playing a high line and help create space for his fellow midfielders, as well as posing a substantial threat on the counter-attack.
Marouane Fellaini
Marouane Fellaini
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 25
Games Goals YC RC
1 0 0 0
The Belgium international is the Toffees’ top scorer with 11 goals and will pose a substantial threat in the air, while his power and stamina could be crucial in helping to disrupt the Gunners' attempts to control the game from midfield.
Prediction
Both sides have a record of strong finishes to the season but Arsene Wenger's side are on an excellent run of form and look to be high on confidence following the return of Theo Walcott and their late win over Norwich on Saturday.

David Moyes’ side are boosted by the recent return of Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar along with their own good form, but the Gunners could prove too strong for the Toffees on Tuesday.
Editor's Prediction

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