Educated Guesswork: Arsenal v Everton

Leighton Baines

Andi Foster previews Arsenal's huge Premier League encounter with Everton.

It’s the business end of the season now. Mistakes have consequences and slip ups are more costly with each game.

But as the end of the seasons draws closer – the fight for the Champions league places is seriously heating up with 4 teams in the hunt for two places.

Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Everton are all in the fight for the Champions League spots and with Arsenal and Everton facing each other on Tuesday night there could well be another twist in the fight for Europe approaching. But on paper – what is the most likely result?

Behind Manchester United – Arsenal are 2nd in the form table at the moment and appear to have finally got rid of some of the inconsistency that marred the first two thirds of the campaign.

In their last 6 games at home – Arsenal have won 5 games and lost just 1. Arsenal’s home form is formidable and they rank in 1st place for attacking play at home this season.

Sacrifices have been made though as their superb attacking form has come at the expense of defence (Arsenal lie 14th this season overall for their home defensive play – but note that their record has much improved over the last few matches).

Teams playing Arsenal however are pretty much guaranteed chances.

Behind Arsenal in the form table is Everton – who are currently ranked 3rd form-wise (from the last 6 games). Traditionally Everton finish seasons strongly – and this season is no different.

But Everton’s form has come from their home games - as away from home they are without a win in their last four games and have conceded more goals than they have scored.

Overall Everton rank 5th for their away attacking play this season – but something has changed along the way to halt this trend. Everton have a 13 per cent away clean sheet record this season and at the Emirates – I can’t see that record improving.

Everton have a recent history of poor away form against the top teams – and I can’t see that form changing against an on form Arsenal team.

Arsenal score for fun at home but can’t defend whereas Everton can score away from home but recently have also started conceding more.

Whatever happens – I think there will be a few goals in it – but I’m going to go for Arsenal to win 3 – 1 – and because of Wenger’s comments in the last few days about Podolski - I’d also be willing to bet that he will be on the score sheet....

image: © wonker

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