Arsenal will be desperate to bounce back from their midweek Champions League anguish by seeing off Everton and regaining third place in the top-flight.
It is key that the Gunners do recover, having come under heavy criticism for their dismal effort against an under-strength Monaco on Wednesday. Olivier Giroud had a poor night in front of goal, but it was a display that lacked fluency and discipline, with the French side given too much freedom on the counter-attack.
Manager Arsene Wenger was unusually critical of his defence following that disastrous result and some supporters have been quick to point the finger at the Frenchman, but it must be remembered that their Premier League form has been terrific, with eight wins out of nine putting them in pole position to finish in the top four for yet another season.
Most of the attention will be on the hosts, but Everton are under some pressure themselves having slipped to 14th in the Premier League following Saturday’s results. They have still only won once in the domestic game since mid-December, and their draw with bottom side Leicester City was far from convincing.
That said, Romelu Lukaku had enough chances to win the game for the Toffees, but constantly misfired in front of goal. The Belgian has enjoyed more success in the Europa League, although he is not the only Everton player under scrutiny. Goalkeeper Tim Howard for one has looked decidedly shaky of late.
Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey are both unlikely to feature for Arsenal, who are without Jack Wilshere agter he underwent minor ankle surgery.
Everton are still without the suspended Gareth Barry, but have Aaron Lennon and John Stones back after they missed the clash with Young Boys on Thursday.
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