Everton will host The Gunners at the Goodison as Arsene Wenger’s men will look to put behind the disappointment of their Champions League campaign ending with a win over the Toffees.
Arsenal will be out to end a poor run of results in the Premier League as they look to rekindle their title challenge having gone off track in the last few weeks. Everton on the other hand, will look to put away their inconsistencies at home and will look to set the tone for a strong finish to what has been a stop start Premier League season.
Kickoff and Live Telecast
Channel: Star Sports 4
Date and Time: 19th March, 2016; 6:15 PM IST
Venue: Goodison Park
Live Stream: www.starsports.com/football
Everton come into this game having lost both Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas to suspension, but could see the return of Muhamed Besic from an injury that has kept him out since January. Bryan Oviedo is a doubt for the game. Tony Hibbert remains out with an injury as well.
Arsenal continue to miss some big players through injury with Petr Cech, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere all still out with injuries. David Ospina is expected to continue to take his place in between the posts and Francis Coquelin could make a return to the starting line-up as Mathieu Flamini is likely to miss out with a hamstring problem he picked up against Barcelona.
Barcelona (4-2-3-1): Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines, Besic, McCarthy, Lennon, Barkley, Cleverley, Lukaku
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck, Giroud
Everton enter the game on a poor run of form at the Goodison, having lost to West Brom and West Ham in previous outings. Martinez’s men will look to avoid a third successive defeat at home having won only one of their last eight premier league outings.
Their home run has been the reason the Toffees are so low down the table with 12th place hardly flattering for a team that was intent on fighting for the Champions League spot when the season began.
Last 5 Matches: L-W-W-L-W (Last Match: Everton 2-0 Chelsea)
Arsenal enter the game with practical desperation settling in. Arsenal are known to end up making a mess of title challenges before and seem to have lost the initiative on this one with a defeat at Goodison capable of ending their season considering they’re out of all the other cup ties in place.
Arsenal enter the game with indifferent form that has seen them win only one of their last five games in all competitions.
Last 5 Matches: L-D-W-L-L ( Last Match: Barcelona 1-3 Arsenal)
- Everton have only won 1 of the last 17 meetings between the two teams in the League.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored 6 goals in his last 6 games.
- Everton have only managed two clean sheets in their entire League season so far.
- Everton have lost 3 of their last 4 home games.
- Arsenal have won only 1 of their last 8 games across all competions.
- Mesut Ozil has contributed only 2 assists in his last 9 League matches.
Romelu Lukaku vs. Laurent Koscielny
Romelu Lukaku has lit up the premier league with his goal scoring exploits for an underachieving Toffees side. Having scored 18 in all competitions, Lukaku has scored 6 in his last 6 games across all competitions.
Squaring up with him will be a man partially relieved that Lukaku is neither of Messi, Suarez or Neymar who gave Laurent Koscielny every pain in the world across the last two games in the UEFA Champions League.
Koscielny though familiar to Lukaku’s physical style of play will look to put in a specifically strong performance to put the nightmare of Barcelona scoring against his defence at will behind him. Everton will hope for Romelu Lukaku to open the game up early as they look to exploit Arsenal on the counter. With a visible deficiency in set pieces, this could be a game Lukaku relishes.
Aaron Lennon vs Nacho Monreal
Aaron Lennon has had a mini revival to his football career after making the move to Goodison. After years of having been ignored by Tottenham and England, having suffered from indifferent form and maybe even a lack of desire to take games by the scruff of their collar, Lennon has finally found his place at Goodison.
On a fine run of form which has seen him endear himself to the Everton faithful, Aaron Lennon will look to take his good run into the games versus Arsenal.
Having his work cut out on the night in the form of facing Lennon, is Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal. Monreal has had a bit of a revival of his own career with the left-back finally cementing a regular spot in the Arsenal lineup.
It could also be argued that Monreal has been one of the best left-backs in the League this season. With both players immensely quick on the pitch, their movement and attempts to outdo each other makes for a delightful battle for those looking on
Everton have been known to cause the best teams trouble on their day but their home record has been poor this season. Arsenal will be motivated after their midweek loss as they look to respond to allegations that their season may have been ended by rekindling their title charge.
Arsenal have the quality to take the game to the Toffees and it could be reasonable to say Arsenal have more of an impetus for a result. It wouldn’t be too wrong to expect them to win this one.
Everton 1-2 Arsenal