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Arsenal v Everton - Match preview and team news

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By Adam Mazrani

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Arsenal will look to continue their excellent recent form as they welcome fellow Champions League chasers Everton to the Emirates in what could prove to be a pivotal encounter for both teams.

Emirates Stadium

Arsene Wenger looks to have masterminded a stunning recovery from his side nearly 12 months on from a similar run that helped secure Champions League football at the expense of Tottenham.

The Gunners took advantage of Chelsea and Tottenham’s inability to take the field on the weekend to defeat Norwich, their seventh victory from their last eight Premier League games and fourth success in a row, to move into third position in the table. Indeed, should Arsene Wenger’s men see off Everton on Tuesday night, they will move a full four points ahead of London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham before the Blues take the field on Wednesday night at Fulham.

Wenger should have Tomas Rosicky fit again after the midfielder missed the Norwich win with a hamstring injury. The veteran Czech could come straight back into the starting line-up ahead of Jack Wilshere, who looked a little off the pace in his return from ankle trouble against the Canaries.

Elsewhere, there is a doubt over current first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski so Wojciech Szczesny could be set for a recall while Per Mertesacker is available again after serving a one-match suspension. Up front, the Gunners must choose whether to call on Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who all made an impact off the bench against Norwich.

Opponents Everton however will not be counting themselves out of the race for the top four just yet. The Toffees have put together a superb run of league form, winning four out of their last five, with the draw coming against European rivals Tottenham, to leave them sixth, just three points behind Spurs and Chelsea and just four behind Arsenal.

Indeed, with all to play for at the Emirates on Tuesday evening, David Moyes will know if his side can put together a similar performance to the one that almost defeated Tottenham at White Hart Lane two games ago, and that was without the suspended Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, then they could cause serious problems for an Arsenal backline that still does look shaky on occasion.

Moyes has the luxury of a near fully-fit squad to choose from and it will be interesting whether he chooses to face Arsenal with the physicality of Fellaini and Victor Anichebe up front ahead of Nikica Jelavic.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal v Everton

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