Everton V Arsenal
18th March 2007
Arsenal are still unbeaten in the league in 2007 as they travel to Merseyside on Sunday.
The Gunners last lost 1-0 away to Sheffield United in the last game of 2006 (A game they didn't deserve to lose I might add).
If Arsenal fail to win they could fall back down to fourth in the league, should Liverpool beat Aston Villa. On the other hand, if Liverpool were to lose and Arsenal win the gap would between the two clubs would be extended to 5 points, with Arsenal still having a game in hand over their rivals.
If Arsenal were to lose, we would still be getting one over on Tottenham as Everton would move above them, seeing Arsenal's lesser neighbours fall to 7th.
Everton Manager David Moyes says he aspires to be like Arsene Wenger, and wishes to take Everton the level Le Boss has taken Arsenal to: 'I have said that it is teams like Arsenal that I want this club to aspire to. Now we have a very quick chance to prove we can do it.
'I have been at Everton for five years, Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal for over 10 years and he has built a fine club with great players and constant success.
'Maybe if I am at Everton for 10 years, that is what I could aspire to. I definitely hope so.
'Only ourselves and Newcastle have broken into the top four in recent years, and that was a tremendous achievement. But we have to build and believe we can do it again.'
After recent rumours that a deal that will take Julio Baptista to Arsenal on a permanant deal, Arsene Wenger has said that The Beast's future depends on Real Madrid and Jose Reyes as much as it does Baptista and Arsenal. The Arsenal boss also had praise for the powerful Brazilian: 'Julio is in the right frame of mind to face Everton and he will work hard for the team, even if it damages his efficiency.
'The future for Baptista depends on Real Madrid as well. It is linked with Jose Antonio Reyes (who is on loan at Real). He is injured at the moment with a knee problem. The season in Spain finishes later than us, so I do not know what they will decide.
'Jose wants to stay in Spain and Julio enjoys it very much with us. The passion, the spirit and the fact he plays in the team - he is very positive about his experience here.'
Everton Team News:
Full-back Tony Hibbert should return for Everton while the Blues hope to have Nuno Valente back too.
Tim Cahill is definantly out, along with Andy Van Der Meyde and James McFadden.
Player to watch: Andy Johnson
Without a doubt he is Everton's best striker. He is quick, slippy and he's a good finisher.
I wouldn't say he's a diver but, well, he's a diver. Toure and Co will have to watch out for his antics.
Arsenal Team News:
The best news is that King Kolo is back from his 3-match suspension. Emmanuel Eboue has also served all 3 matches of his ban but he is a doubt with an ankle injury.
Emmanuel Adebayor is to sit out one more match for punching Lampard, no, trying to punch, Lampard, no, acting aggressively towards Lampard...Oh I don't know, the FA are still changing their mind.
Left-back Gael Clichy is also a doubt with a Hamstring injury.
Alex Hleb should return from his knee injury while Tomas Rosicky is pushing for a starting place.
Player to watch: Baptista
Arsene Wenger has praised the powerhouse, so he must be doing something right in training. I wouldn't bet against him grabbing a goal today.
Mark Clattenburg is the ref today. He has taken charge of 20 games this season, dishing out an outstanding ZERO red cards along with 83 yellow cards, an average of 4.15 per game.
I'm really not sure about this one. On the forum I said we would lose 1-0, with Mikel Arteta getting the winner. Part of thinks we will walk it today but I'm a pessismist so I'm going to stick with my forum prediction - 1-0 Everton.
Arsenal will be back on Merseyside on the 31st of March to face Liverpool. The Gunners ran out 6-3 winners the last tiem the two teams met. If Arsenal win they will have beaten Liverpool 4 times this season, not many teams have done that!