Everton vs Arsenal – Match preview and team news

Fifth plays sixth at Goodison Park as Everton host Arsenal in a battle of Champions League qualification contenders.

Everton have been in patchy form, drawing five of their last seven games – including all three fixtures in October – and winning and losing one each of the remaining two games. The Toffees were seconds from beating Norwich City in their last home outing on Saturday until a defensive lapse allowed Sebastian Bassong to equalise. Steven Naismith had given David Moyes’ side the lead.

Arsenal have had their struggles too, particularly on their travels. The Gunners have won only one of their last five matches away from the Emirates Stadium domestically and in Europe, needing extra time to see off Reading in the infamous 12-goal affair. Arsenal were on the road last time out, drawing 0-0 with Aston Villa at Villa Park, and are currently a place and a point behind Everton having each played 13 games.

Marouane Fellaini is available for Moyes after missing the Norwich draw through suspension, but doubts linger over midfielder Darron Gibson and winger Kevin Mirallas. Arsene Wenger will be able to call on Theo Walcott after a shoulder injury, but will be without the trio of Andre Santos, Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby, who are all still short of fitness.

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