Arsenal welcome David Moyes’ Everton to the Emirates Stadium this Saturday December 10, amid celebrations of the north London club’s 125th anniversary, and they will hope that victory at home against the Toffees will add the icing to the proverbial celebratory cake. Kick off 3pm.
Everton face a tremendous task if they are to upstage the Gunners this weekend, not least because of the carnival atmosphere that has engulfed the club. Arsenal have been simply outstanding of late, winning five of their last six league games, drawing with London rivals Fulham along the way.
Their resurgence has been attributed to the scintillating performances of Robin Van Persie, who has scored 14 goals in 14 league games for the Gunners, while the return to full fitness of defensive lynchpin Thomas Vermaelen has noticeably settled what had become a shambles of a defence. As a result Arsenal find themselves catapulted into 5th position and Arsène Wenger is positive about his team’s prospects.
Arsenal is 11/8 to finish the season in the top four on Betfair
David Moyes’ men in contrast have been hit and miss this season. In their last six league games, Everton have won three and lost three and they find themselves nestled in 10th position with 16 points from 13 games.
Arsenal’s Brazilian left-back Andre Santos will miss the game after injuring his ankle against Olympiakos. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, meanwhile, returns to the Arsenal squad as Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone are out.
With Gibbs, Jenkinson and Sagna also doubtful, Wenger is potentially missing four full backs, so that may prove detrimental.
Everton’s young midfield maestro Jack Rodwell is again set to be absent after picking up a hamstring injury in training on Thursday, while longstanding servant Leon Osman is also likely to miss the fixture.
On loan winger Royston Drenthe faces a fitness test but French striker Louis Saha is hoping to return after a thigh complaint.
Arsenal’s magnificent form combined with the weekend that’s in it makes it increasingly likely that Wenger’s men will triumph over Everton this weekend. Van Persie first to score (7/2) in a 2-0 Arsenal victory (8/1).