Arsenal vs. Everton - fans’ view
By Claire Bloomfield
LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal host Ronald Koeman’s Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in a crucial final Premier League game of the campaign, with Arsene Wenger's side looking to secure a top-four place for the 21st consecutive season.
Everton, who beat Arsenal 2-1 in the reverse fixture in December, cannot finish higher or lower than seventh in the table.
Here is what the fans have to say about their teams:
Arsenal: Akhil Vyas, Arsenal Supporters Trust
Arsenal have finally put a bit of a run together -- it’s a little late but we will go into this game with some confidence as a result. I think if we were to get an early goal then it could be a comfortable afternoon. I’m going for a decent home win.
Almost every team in the league has nothing to play for now and Everton are no different. They cannot finish higher or lower than they are now which means it's a bit of a 'dead' game from their perspective. I think a few players may now be looking ahead and wanting to stay injury free -- Romelu Lukaku in particular.
I think Everton will be disappointed not to be closer to Manchester United, but Ronald Koeman is a good manager who is still developing his team. The issue could be keeping the squad together.
I would estimate that there were around 20,000 empty seats at the Emirates in midweek (when Arsenal beat Sunderland 2-0)... It clearly shows there are a number of unhappy supporters within our fan base.
There’s an overall feeling of disappointment this season; our performance in the Premier League in particular. It has been frustrating and we have certainly underachieved in my opinion.
I’m not sure you can ever be confident when you have to rely on other results to go your way but we can only do our job and see what happens. No one expected us to overtake Spurs on the final day last season so anything is possible, but I wouldn't put my mortgage on it.
Everton: Eric Howell, The Followtonians Podcast
Looking ahead to the game against Arsenal this weekend ... we have secured our place in the Premier League table and our Premier League 2 squad have won their league. With that in mind, why not just play the kids at the Emirates?
The outcome of this game doesn't really matter. Instead, I would just like to see Everton finish the match without injuries. I don’t think we have to worry about ending the season on a winning note for the sake of confidence.
However, Arsenal's hunt for a place in the Champions League has gone right down to the final day. That obviously gives us extra motivation going into this game because it’s either them or Liverpool who will secure fourth place.
The rumours about Ross Barkley leaving Everton for around 50 million pounds ($64.66 million) in the summer are really picking up pace but we haven’t lost him just yet. I really hope he decides to stay at the club.
I think Ronald Koeman is a top manager. We had some issues at the beginning of the year defensively so to be finishing in seventh place in the Premier League table at the end of the year is a very positive sign.
I am hopeful of a top-four finish next season because the gap between us and eighth place is bigger than the gap between us and fourth place. I think if we buy the right players in the summer then it is completely possible.
Our defensive midfielder Idrissa Gueye is my stand out player of this campaign. He has been solid throughout the season and we couldn’t have asked for any more.
($1 = 0.7733 pounds)
(Editing by Toby Davis)