4:30 AM (AEDST) Sunday, February 4 at Emirates Stadium, London
Arsenal will be hoping to get a win over ninth placed Everton on Sunday so as to stay within reach of the top 5 sides in Round 26 of the Premier League.
Arsenal: Cech; Monreal, Koscieiny, Mustafi; Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Bellerin; Sanchez, Lacazette, Ozil.
Everton: Pickford; Jagielka, Williams, Keane; Balnes, Schneiderlin, Gana, Martina; Rooney, Ramirez, Calvert-Lewin.
There have been 193 League games between these two outfits, with the Gunners holding a commanding advantage, scoring 95 wins to the Toffee’s 56 victories, while 42 games have been drawn. They last met earlier this season where it rained goals as Arsenal won 5-2.
Arsenal spent plenty of time last season as one of the top 3 teams on the ladder and were looking set to challenge firmly for the top spot, but an inconsistent run home saw them drop down to fifth place on the table by the end of the year. They opened this season with a tough 4-3 win over Leicester City before surprisingly dropping their second round clash with Stoke 1-0. They were then hammered 4-0 by Liverpool before hitting back with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth. After the Gunners played out a scoreless draw with Chelsea, they beat both West Brom and then Brighton 2-0 before dropping their game against the Wasps 2-1. They since beat Everton 5-2 and Swansea 2-1 before going down to Manchester City 3-1. They bounced back with a strong 2-0 win over the Spurs, 1-0 over Burnley and then flogging Huddersfield 5-0. The Gunners then lost to Man U 3-1 before scoring back to back draws with Southampton and the Hammers. Last week they toppled the lowly Newcastle 1-0. They had a 3 all draw with Liverpool prior to a 3-2 win over Crystal Palace before a 1 all draw with West Brom and 2 all tie with Chelsea. The Gunners then dropped their match to Bournemouth 2-1 before belting Palace 4-1. Last week they were embarrassed 3-1 by last placed Swansea.
Everton started this season with a 1-0 victory over Stoke before playing out a 1 all draw with heavyweight side Manchester City. They then suffered three straight losses against defending champions Chelsea 2-0 and last seasons runners-up Tottenham 3-0 before going down 4-0 to Manchester United. They then beat Bournemouth 2-1 before going down 1-0 to Burnley. They then had a 1 all draw with Brighton before copping a 5-2 hiding from Arsenal and a 2-0 loss to Leicester. Everton then snuck home against Watford 3-2 and were then held to a 2 all draw with lowly Crystal Palace before dropping their game to Southampton 4-1. They won their next two games against Hammers 4-0 and Huddersfield 2-0. They then managed to hold Liverpool to a 1 all draw before beating Newcastle 1-0. They beat Swansea 3-1 and then had back to back scoreless draws with Chelsea and West Brom before losing three straight matches to Bournemouth 2-1, Man U 2-0 and Spurs 4-0. They drew 1 all with West Brom before finally bagging their first win in over a month when they toppled Leicester 2-1.
Defensively – Both sides have been very poor at the back this season, especially given the quality of personnel at their disposal.
Arsenal should romp home, but last week’s loss could be a sign that their attack has lost its ability to fire. Intriguing contest.