Arsenal vs Everton: Preview, Preferred Line-up & Predicted Score
Arsenal return to Premier action this weekend looking to keep up their resurgent form of late. Here’s a match preview, preferred line-up and predicted score.
Arsenal return to Premier action this weekend coming off the back of a 3-1 Champions League defeat to Olympiacos in midweek. Arsene Wenger rested the majority of his first team for that game with only Thomas Vermaelen and Andre Santos playing in Greece.
However, Wenger’s gamble backfired as Santos picked up an injury and is now ruled out for three weeks. Many fans, including myself, have questioned why the manager decided not to rest our only fit first team left back for a meaningless game. Reserve defender Miquel could easily have slotted in at the back in place of the Brazilian and gained some valuable experience. As it turned out, the youngster came on anyway early in the second half for the injured Santos and played very well. But for me, he should have started and Santos should not have travelled. now we will go in to a busy festive period with no recognised left back.
Anyway, what’s done is done and now we’re faced with a headache at the back. The most likely solution is to shift Vermaelen to left back, play Djourou at right back and bring Koscielny in to play alongside Mertesacker in the middle. Playing four centre backs is hardly ideal and will surely stifle our attacking threat as Arsenal like the full backs to bomb forward, especially at home.
In other injury news, Manuel Almunia is forced to return to the bench after both Lukas Fabianski and Vito Mannone picked up injuries during the week as well. Lets just keep everything crossed that Szczesny stays fit! No other injury news to report so the attacking third should look familiar. Here is my preferred starting team.
Djourou Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen
Walcott Ramsey Gervinho
This team, despite the difficulties at the back, should have more than enough to beat Everton. The Blues have their fair share of injury problems as well and have struggled to score goals all season. The midfield trio of Song, Arteta and Ramsey are growing as a unit and should be able to dominate Everton in the middle of the park. Walcott and Gervinho will cause plenty of problems with their pace and the flying Dutchman up front is in the form of his life. A rested Arsenal side should see off the Merseysiders 2-0.