We look at the impending Arsenal V Everton match tomorrow night with a look at the expected teams to see how they fare on paper. We anticipate that Gervinho will be dropped and Wiltshire again won’t be fit and we expect Everton to remain unchanged.
Lukasz Fabianski V Tim Howard
The Polish goalie has kept regular shotstopper Wojciech Szczęsny on the bench in recent weeks after a string of strong performances. Over the years he has often been backup and is prone to errors, but his recent run in the team has been successful and Everton will need to be on form to beat the gunners keeper.
Tim Howard will be on a high after keeping a clean sheet against QPR which included an outstanding save from Loic Remy. With both keepers in good form, Howard will need to have a good day against a strong attacking team.
Fabianski 7 Howard 8
Bacari Sagna V Seamus Coleman
The Frenchman has been one of the most consistent of Arsenal players this year, but this year has seen himself in and out of the team due to the emergence of Carl Jenkinson. Sagna is no mug though and on his day he is one of the best right backs in the Premier League. Everton will need to be at their best to get past and counteract the flying fullback.
Seamus Coleman has been quite quiet in his last 2 outings against Spurs and QPR, but the Irishman is having a very good season after making the right back slot his own. He could be vital for Everton in this match if they are to get anything against Arsenal and he will have to be on top form should he find himself against the pacey Theo Walcott on Tuesday. This could work to Evertons advantage though, as they may be able to keep Walcott in his own half if they can attack so Walcott has to defend.
Sagna 8.5 V Coleman 7.5
Laurent Koscielny V Phil Jagielka
Koscielny is one of them players that looks a very good player, but he never seems to make the centreback slot his own. My own personal opinion is that he could be an excellent defender with the right team about him. I may be wrong, but he looks like Arsenals best defender, ahead of the likes of Vermaelen who the media seem to love due to his goalscoring feat in his first season and Mertesacker. He has the potential to be the best defender on the pitch tomorrow if he plays at his best.
Jagielka is our new captain fantastic. He is due to take on the mantle from the outgoing Phil Neville in the summer and not many Everton fans can argue with the decision. This could be a wise decision by David Moyes as the England man is a leader. On the pitch, Jagielka is having a decent enough season, although I’m sure he would agree it could be better. He will have a tough time up against Giroud, Podolski and Walcott, but he is capable to deal with the threat.
Koscielny 8.5 V Jagielka 8
Thomas Vermaelen V Sylvain Distin
Vermaelen was a scoring sensation in his first season in English football scoring 8 times. He looked excellent and the media hype began. Since then a series of injuries and form have restricted the Belgian. This season Vermaelen has been played at Left back or centre back and he has never truly recaptured his best form. Vermaelen is likely to come up against the inform Victor Anichebe and will have to be at his best. He could be the main target for Moyes tactics come Tuesday along with the new left back Monreal.
Sylvain Distin is like the energiser bunny, he just never looks to end. At 35, most players have hung up their boots or retired to sunnier climes, but Distin doesn’t show many signs of his age in his performances. The strong centreback hasn’t had his best season this year, but still looks a very capable defender and still has the great pace which made him a Premier League regular.
Vermaelen 8 v Sylvain Distin 8
Nacho Monreal V Leighton Baines
Nacho Monreal looks to be a very good signing by Arsene Wenger. Brought in from Malaga for around £8.3m (Imagine having £8m to spend on a leftback!!!!) Monreal has been competing with the impressive, but injury prone Kieron Gibbs for the leftback slot. Monreal is still getting used to the league, so mistakes are bound to happen and for this reason I can see David Moyes trying to exploit the left hand side (which means Coleman and Mirallas will need to be ready on the right).
Leighton Baines like Seamus Coleman has been a little off form for the last 2 matches, but I think he will be back with a bang against the gooners. Baines is the wing man and supply chain that Everton have lacked for years and over the last 2/3 seasons he has put his case forward that he is the best left back in the Premier League and very few people would dispute that. Like the right hand side, his partnership with Steven Pienaar could be key to taking anything from this match.
Nacho Monreal 7.5 V Baines 9
Aaron Ramsey V Kevin Mirallas
Ramsey was the wonder kid that Everton missed out on signing after he chose Arsenal. He started life brightly at the Emirates and looked a touch of quality, defying his age, but after the serious inury sustained against Stoke and subsequent loss of form, the former Cardiff man looks to have become a target from Arsenal fans. That said, Ramsey is still a quality player and the captain of his country, but Arsenal fans are always looking for better and Ramsey may be on his way out.
Super Kev is on everyones lips at the moment. The red hot Belgium has flown in April with 2 wonder goals and a string of mazy dribbles. His fitness record and possibly his attitude was given a bollocking by David Moyes last week as a way of firing up the brilliant attacker, who was signed by Everton from Olymiakos in the summer. Mirallas has everything a top player needs, pace, skill, finishing and brains. He is the one player that excites Everton fans more than any other.
Aaron Ramsey 8 V Kevin Mirallas 8.5
Mikael Arteta V Leon Osman
The best little Spaniard we used to know has had a rollercoaster ride since signing for Arsenal. His gunners career started positively and then nosedived for a few months, but recent displays have been positive. Everton fans know all about the brilliant sexy Spaniard and he will relish playing against his old club. Lets hope he has an off day.
Leon Osman is a player that often goes unnoticed until he scores. That isn’t a bad thing, it happens with a lot of midfielders, especially those that do the donkey work of the more flair players. Ossie is a hardworking midfielder though and he could have a big say in proceedings at the Emirates stadium, especially if Jack Wilshire actually makes the starting eleven.
Mikael Arteta 8 v Leon Osman 7.5
Santi Cazorla V Darron Gibson
Santi has been a revelation in the Premier League this season. He has been an excellent buy for Wengers team, up there with Mata for Chelsea or Silva for Manchester City. The skilful Spaniard wouldn’t look out of place in any team. At 28, Arsenal look to have Cazorla at his peak. Technically he is superb, up there with the best and he also has an eye for goal. If Santi plays well, Arsenal will win. He is that good.
Gibson is a different kind of player to Cazorla, but like Santi, if he plays well, then generally Everton get a result. He is very important to the make up of the Everton team. He’s playing great at the minute and his first goal of the season against QPR will give him a lift. He’s also playing injured and the management team announced he needs thigh surgery in the summer.
Cazorla 9 V Gibson 8
Theo Walcott V Steven Pienaar
Chants of Theo, Theo, Theo have been heard at the emirates for years, but Walcott on so many occasions just didn’t produce what was expected. This season saw Walcott employed upfront and it worked with Theo having his best goalscoring season to date. Recently he has been back on the wing to help out the team, but Walcott looks to have finally got the final ball that his pace has often deserved. He can change a game in an instant and Seamus Coleman will have to be at his best and will require help off his midfielder (Could Pienaar be employed on the right?)
Pienaar will be booed at the Emirates for his Tottenham connection, but he could have a big influence in the defensive half to go alongside his attacking threat. Pienaar is a worker, he seems to be everywhere up and down the pitch and it will be needed against this Arsenal team.
Walcott 8.5 Pienaar 8
Lukas Podolski V Marouanne Fellaini
Lukas Podolski has been described as the luxury item that Arsene Wenger struggles to keep happy. He has only started 1 of the last 11 matches, but he came off the bench at the weekend to inspire Arsenal to victory against struggling Norwich. We expect him to start this match due to his impact at the weekend and lets not forget he is a German international and accomplished at that.
Fellaini is raring to go following his little lay off through suspension. The big curly haired Belgian will be looking at this match licking his lips, as Arsenal are not known for their aerial ability and he will look to impose himself in the air against the gunners. Fellaini has everything in his locker to open up Arsenal and they won’t look forward to facing him.
Podolski 8.5 V Fellaini 9
Olivier Giroud V Victor Anichebe
Giroud took a while to settle at Arsenal following a £9.3m move from Montpellier. The big French target man had a great reputation in Ligue one and Arsenal fans expected big things. In fairness, Giroud has done well this season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions this year, including 11 in the league. He is a strong centre forward with an eye for goal, much like his opposing striker.
Victor Anichebe has come of age this year with a change in attitude to change the mind of even the staunchest opposer to the big Nigerian. Scouse Drogba is the title bestowed upon the man mountain by Everton fans and finally he looks to be delivering the goods. His deft flick in the win against QPR has led Big Vic to his best goalscoring return in a blue shirt yet with 8 goals.
Giroud 8.5 Anichebe 8
Arsenal 90 – Everton 89.5
On paper Arsenal look to have the bulk of the superstars and exciting players and are on a run of form at the moment that should be too strong for Everton. As we all know though, Everton are on a run of form themselves at the minute and always end the season strongly. This match will go along way to determining who gets a Champions League spot and defeat for Everton will consign them to fighting for a Europa league slot.
Both team face competitions from their local rivals with Spurs hoping to pip Arsenal to the Champions League and Liverpool trying to get above their Merseyside rivals into 5th, so this game is crucial to both teams on a number of fronts.
If Everton play at their best they could come away from the Emirates with a rare win, but this could be a step too far for the blues and the strength of the Arsenal team could win through in this tough fixture. Stranger things have happened though.
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