The gunners go into this match on the back of an undefeated streak in their last five Premier League matches, the last four of which were victories. There is no doubt confidence levels will be high among the players, particularly when you factor in the comfortable AC Milan victory at the Emirates in the UEFA Champions League.
While we languish at fourth on the table, there is a sense that the gunners are in a much different position to what they were at the same stage of the season last year. In contrast to last year, Arsenal are quite clearly on the up and are unusually beginning to see players return for long-term absences and injuries.
The upcoming clash also of course marks the return of Mikel Arteta to his old stomping ground. The Spaniard has been somewhat of a revelation in the Arsenal team in the aftermath of Fabregas. While many initially compared the two like-for-like, they clearly play different games with Arteta playing as a tempo-setter and keeping ball retention high.
On the other side of the coin, Everton have had a relatively mixed bag in recent weeks. Aside from their shock upset against Tottenham, the Toffees have have endured a couple of draws and a heavy defeat to Liverpool. Due to their draw in the FA Cup Everton face a tough upcoming schedule where changes could possibly be made by David Moyes to compensate.
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on changes in the squad from the Newcastle game…
There are no changes. Vermaelen had a kick on his calf and after the game he had a big pain but he is alright. Diaby is back but he is with the reserves at Liverpool. He will play for an hour.
He is fit enough to start but he was like that for the Newcastle game.
He is back in full training now.
on the injury list now, which only includes Wilshere, Mertesacker, Coquelin and Frimpong…
Coquelin will be the quickest back. It will be a few weeks until he is back in training. It is difficult to set a deadline on Jack. We go week by week with him. But his last scan was very good so we don’t have worry anymore. It is about progress and fitness, however I can’t set a date.
Arsenal – Robin van Persie – The Dutchman has been in fine form in recent weeks, most recently in the Premier League with a goal against Newcastle. Hopefully he can produce much more of the same against Everton.
Everton – Tim Cahill – The aerial threat Tim Cahill possesses could prove to be a thorn in the side for Arsenal in set-pieces, considering that is widely known as our weakness. He has also scored three out of the last four appearances against Arsenal.
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs
Walcott Rosicky Chamberlain
Van Persie (c)
Arsenal to win:
William Hill are offering odds of 7/5 for the Gunners to win away
Bet365 & Skybet are offering the best odds at 12/5
Everton to win:
Powerpaddy are offering odds of 21/10 for the Toffees to win at home
allArsenal’s Special Bet:
allArsenal’s Special Bet: Halftime/Fulltime: Draw/Arsenal = 9/2
Four of Arsenal’s six Premier League away victories this season have seen the Gunners come from behind to win and majority of these they have been drawing at half-time.
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