Everton v Arsenal - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 6th April 2014 at 13:30. Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.

Odds: Everton 8/5, Draw 5/2, Arsenal 2/1

Last season: 1-1

Preview & injury news

This match could go a long way to deciding who takes fourth place in the Premier League, and gains Champions League football for next season. Also, Everton will look to exact revenge over the Gunners after they lost their FA Cup meeting at the Emirates Stadium 4-1 last month. Everton are on a terrific run in the league having won each of their last five league matches to put them within four points of Arsenal going into this fixture. The visitors, however, have struggled for form having only won one of their last five matches, but their second half performance in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City will give them reason to believe they can hold off Everton for fourth place.

On the injury front, Roberto Martinez hopes to welcome back centre-half Phil Jagielka but has stressed that he wants him to return fully fit after rushing him back too early earlier on in the season. The defender has been recovering from a hamstring problem, and Everton will hope that Ross Barkley will be fit for the game after picking up a calf problem in the win over Fulham last week. Steven Pienaar has a cartilage injury whilst Everton still have long-term absentees in Bryan Oviedo, Arouna Kone and Darron Gibson. On-loan striker Lacina Traore is still out with a hamstring problem.

Arsenal also have their fair share of injury problems. Laurent Koscielny is still absent with a calf problem but could return next week. Two other players who are nearing a return, but are unlikely to return this week, is the midfield duo of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey who have been recovering from a broken foot and a thigh problem respectively. Mesut Ozil is expected to make a return from a hamstring problem later on this month but Nacho Monreal could be in contention for a place in the squad this weekend after an ankle problem. Theo Walcott is still recovering from a long-term knee injury whilst Abou Diaby is said to have returned to full training. 

Key stats

Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League this season:

Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 13 30 2,598
Romelu Lukaku Everton FW 12 24 1,937
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 8 18 1,495
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 6 29 2,599
Kevin Mirallas Everton MF 6 29 2,061
Ross Barkley Everton MF 5 28 1,879
Theo Walcott Arsenal MF 5 13 858
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 4 26 2,169

Their average possession statistics:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Everton 55.87 31
Arsenal 55.78 32

And the amount of clean sheets the two sides have kept:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Arsenal 13 32
Everton 11 31

5 players to watch

Phil Jagielka - Though Martinez doesn't want to rush him back, these are the types of games that you will want your best players available for. Arsenal do possess a good attacking threat so Jagielka returning would be a big boost for the Everton side as they look to enhance their chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League. Jagielka included in the back line would give them a great chance of keeping a clean sheet.

Mikel Arteta - Arteta returns to his old club this weekend and he may have a key role to play in what is likely to be an eagerly contested midfield battle at Goodison Park. With the visitors looking to control possession, if the Spaniard plays he is likely to be in for a tough, yet important role. 

Romelu Lukaku - Lukaku seems to cause every defence he comes up against a big headache, and he managed to get on the scoresheet in the FA Cup meeting between the sides not so long ago. Against an Arsenal side that has conceded a few goals in recent weeks, Lukaku must fancy his chances of striking again this weekend.

Per Mertesacker - The Arsenal defence did look a little tighter against Manchester City, but Mertesacker is likely to be in for a big physical battle against Lukaku, and it is one that he must relish if he is to come out on top, as it is a battle that could decide the outcome of the game.

James McCarthy - McCarthy has had an impressive first season with Everton and has formed a very effective midfield partnership with Gareth Barry. McCarthy is a hard working player with two very quick feet and expect him to try hassle and hurry Arsenal players whilst, on occasions, looking for that killer final pass.

Earlier on in the season

Arsenal 1-1 Everton, December 2013

Arsenal had the opportunity to go seven points clear at the top of the Premier League but Everton were good value for their point at the Emirates Stadium and caused the Gunners several problems. Both of the goals came late on in the game, and it looked as if Everton's good work would go unrewarded as Mesut Ozil turned in Theo Walcott's cross. However, the visitors hit back almost immediately thanks to substitute Gerard Deulofeu's wonderful strike inside the area. Arsenal almost nicked the win after Olivier Giroud's 30 yard volley hit the corner of the goal frame in the closing stages.

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