Everton v. Arsenal
Once again football gives a break from the most frustrating transfer in history. I envy the people that don't get too involved in these ordeals, as it is causing my to start pulling out my hair every time I log onto my computer.
Wednesday Arsenal travels northwest to the blue half of Merseyside to take on an Everton team that is literally done to its bare bones and in the attacking department, one could argue they are even missing some bones in their exposed skeletal system. This being considered, their defense held up brilliantly in both trips to the unparalleled, mammoth atmosphere that is Anfield. Arsenal will have trouble breaking down Jagielka and Lescott, who are in the form of their life.
Arsene is ruminating over his centre back options. "Gallas is likely to be involved tomorrow," said Wenger. "I have not picked the team yet but he will be with us of course.
"It will be at the expense of who it will be. That depends on the games and what kind of opposition we have.'
Wenger was also full of praised of Everton's stand in striker, Tim Cahill. "He's a striker now and they are doing well," said the Frenchman. "I think they are on a similar run to ours and that's why it will be a very decisive game tomorrow.
"He's the kind of guy who likes to come from deep and he is good in the air and can always come up with a goal."
The Boss also commentated on the title race. 'We are in a strong position in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup - so let's take advantage of that and let people talk.
'Our job is to focus on what we want to achieve. We got fair criticism this year, but we have overcome that and we are now hungrier than ever. It is a good opportunity to show that on Wednesday.'
Everton Team News:
As stated above Everton are missing many key players. Arteta has a 50-50 shot of playing a part after missing the second match at Anfield with a rib injury. Saha, Vaughn, and Yakubu are all out. Fellaini will return from suspension fresh and ready to go for this one.
Player to watch: Steven Pienaar.
After watching this South African on several occasions, I admire his talent and ability. On the wing, he cuts in and can place a pass as good as anybody. Look for him to cause Arsenal trouble in this one.
Arsenal Team News:
Nothing new to report here, except that Wenger plans to use Gallas instead of one of the starters at Cardiff. I expect Toure to be dropped to the bench, further hampering his thriving relationship with Billy G.
Wenger has set a date for Eduardo's return, but unfortunately his competitive debut will not be with Arsenal. Instead he will line up with Croatia before he joins his first team Arsenal mates on the Emirates pitch. Rosicky, Cesc, and Walcott are all still out.
Possible Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, van Persie, Adebayor
Player to watch: Denilson
He was praised by Arsene last week, then was rested in the FA Cup against Cardiff on Sunday. I see him having a good game tomorrow as he has needed a rest for a while now.
Match Facts & Stats
Home and away
League (inc PL): Everton 54 wins, Arsenal 85, Draws 36
Prem: Everton 5 wins, Arsenal 21, Draws 7
at Everton only
League (inc PL): Everton 38 wins, Arsenal 26, Draws 23
Prem: Everton 4 wins, Arsenal 7, Draws 5
Sagna will make his 50th start in an Arsenal shirt.
Arsenal have beat Everton three times in a row in the Premier League.
Arsenal is undefeated in eight EPL games.
Andre Marriner will be the head official for this tie. He has managed 15 matches this season brandishing 4 reds and 56 yellows, giving him an even four card per game average.
Honestly I cannot see Everton causing us much problems in the attacking facet of the game, but their defense will be very stingy. Not more than one goal will separate these sides. 1-0 or 2-1 to the Arsenal.
31/1 (Sat)- West Ham (H)- Premier League
3/2 (Tue)- Cardiff City(H)- FA Cup
8/2 (Sun)- Tottenham (A)- Premier League