Arsenal host Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday in a crunch tie in the battle for the final two spots for qualification in the Champions League. The Gunners are third in the table after their remarkable 3-1 win over Norwich City at the weekend. A win over Everton will take them a long way in securing themselves a top four finish.
Everton on the other hand, have a must-win situation in their hands, failing which they will fall seven points behind the Gunners and almost out of the running for a finish in the top four. Both teams shared the spoils in the reverse fixture at the Goodison Park, with the Gunners holding the Toffees at 1-1, after taking the lead through Theo Walcott in the opening minutes.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is set for 7:45pm BST. Live coverage will be available on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD.
Arsenal have overcome a seven point deficit over Tottenham and their win against Norwich meant the Gunners have leapfrogged Chelsea and Spurs into third place, leading their London rivals by a solitary point. Their fight back against Norwich may be the turning point in their race, with the Gunners coming back from 1-0 down till the 84th minute, to score three goals in six minutes of each other. Mikel Arteta scored from the spot before Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski put their names on the scoresheet to secure three valuable points for the Gunners.
Arsenal will face a different prospect against Everton, who are also fighting it out for a place in the Champions League and are expected to provide much more resistance than Norwich, who looked out of their depth at the end. However, the Gunners do have a brilliant home record against the Toffees, winning 12 of their last 14 games in all competitions. Arsene Wenger's side are also going through a brilliant run in the Premier League, having won seven of their last eight games, with their only loss coming against Tottenham in the beginning of March. A win here will take them to 62 points, four clear of Spurs, who do not play until next Sunday.
Everton find themselves with a brilliant opportunity to finish in the top four this season, a feat which they last achieved in the 2004-05 season, when they finished above Liverpool in the league. David Moyes' men are currently in sixth spot and a win here will take them level on points with Chelsea and Tottenham and a point behind Arsenal. The Toffees have strung together a good run of form off late, winning four of their last five fixtures in the league, since their loss to Norwich at the end of February. However, all their wins have come at home, with the club collecting only one point from their last two games away from Goodison Park.
Their last game in the league ended in a 2-0 win over relegation doomed QPR, who are currently 19th in the league and with little hope of keeping themselves afloat in the Premier League. Darron Gibson and Victor Anichebe scored for the Toffees in a regulation win for Moyes' side.
- Last Five(all competitions,most recent first): W W W W W
- Last Result: Arsenal 3 - 1 Norwich City
- Last Five(all competitions, most recent first): W D W W L
- Last Result: Everton 2-0 Queens Park Rangers
Wojciech Szczesny is expected to return to the side following an injury to stand-in keeper Lukasz Fabianski, who is set to sit out the game. Tomas Rosicky is back from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the squad against Norwich, while Per Mertesacker has served his one-game suspension and is available for selection. Nacho Monreal is also expected to come in place of Kieran Gibbs, who played last weekend. Jack Wilshere is also set to make way for Rosicky, with the midfielder clearly lacking match fitness, which was evident against Norwich.
Probable Line-Up: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal; Ramsey, Arteta, Rosicky; Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla
Everton have no injury or suspension worries from their game against QPR and David Moyes is expected to start the same squad that won them the match at the weekend.
Probable Line-Up: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar; Fellaini; Jelavic