Arsenal are in Merseyside to take on Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday night looking to close the gap on the top-four.
We currently sit in sixth place, just a point behind the Toffees but five behind fourth-placed Chelsea, so victory tonight is vital in maintaining our top-four hopes this season.
The Gunners head into the game off the back of Saturday’s disappointing 0-0 draw at Villa. We were well below par and hardly got out of first gear, so an improved performance is essential this evening.
Everton also dropped two points at the weekend after Norwich snatched a late draw but victory tonight will make them serious contenders for a top-four finish this season.
Arsene Wenger confirmed that Theo Walcott is back after missing the last two games with a shoulder problem. Hopefully we’ll see Theo come straight into the starting line-up as we’ve serious missed his pace and movement in recent games.
Tomas Rosicky is back in full training but unfortunately this game comes a little too soon for the midfielder. Andre Santos is out with a stomach injury while Abou Diaby is still three weeks away from a return.
A big decision for Wenger will be who to play at centre back. I have a feeling we’ll see captain Vermaelen come back in, with Koscielny missing out. The Frenchman was excellent at Villa Park but Mertesacker has been our best defender so far this season and it would be a bold move to drop your captain for two games running, so i think we’ll see them rekindle their partnership in the middle.
Jack Wilshere will also return after being rested against Villa after a minor flare-up on his troublesome ankle.
Everton will have Marouane Fellaini back after he served his one-match ban. Arsenal will have to keep a close eye on the awkward Belgian, he’s no doubt the home sides biggest threat.
Phil Neville is still out with a knee injury so David Moyes must decide whether to play Tony Hibbert or moving Phil Jagielka to right back.
Arsenal have an excellent recent record against Everton, winning eight and losing none of the last 10 meetings. However, this game has been billed as a potential season-definer for both teams and a positive result is vital for us. After the 5-2 win over Spurs and qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League, our confidence was knocked with a poor showing at Villa, so hopefully the lads can bounce back tonight. I’m going to back us to edge this one. Everton 1-2 Arsenal. COYG!
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