On the back of a disappointing draw against Besiktas, Arsenal are facing a clash against a very competent Everton side. With injuries, losses of form and some surprise selections on the cards., this could be an interesting clash.
Everton operated a 4-2-3-1 formation last weekend, and attack-wise it worked to great effect. Kevin Mirallas, who impressed greatly last season, may be on the bench after superb performances from Aiden McGeady, Steven Naismith and Steven Pienaar. They may not change their midfield, although Seamus Coleman is now fit, and will come in for John Stones, who was defensively at fault last weekend. Everton can definitely feel optimistic ahead of this tie, and have a chance to repeat their victory of last season.
Everton XI: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Coleman, Barry, McCarthy, Pienaar, Naismith, McGeady, Lukaku.
Captain Mikel Arteta and Kieran Gibbs are both injured and will not be playing, while Olivier Giroud must prove his worth after a very poor performance in the Champions League qualifier. He is, however, the favourite to start. The three Germans, Lukas Podolski, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker are all fit once again after their World Cup campaign, and Calum Chambers could well be given a well-deserved break after a string of excellent performances.
Santi Cazorla should also be dropped, as he's looked far from his best in the start of the season, a break would do him good. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain probably deserves a spot in the side, and he may well get it. As Santi Cazorla is suspended, Oxlade-Chamberlain is probably the best choice for Left Winger that Arsenal have. Ramsey, suspended from the return fixture against Besiktas, will keep his place, probably in a deeper midfield role. Alexis Sanchez will doubtless start again,
Arsenal XI: Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Debuchy, Flamini, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud.
The significance of this game is great. If Arsenal have any hope of winning the Premier League, they should be able to beat this sort of opposition. However, fatigue from the clash in Turkey midweek, injuries and lack of form mean that they will definitely be put to the test. Both sides have goals in them, but are quite evenly matched.
Predicted Score: 2-2.
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