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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Everton v Arsenal: Can the Toffees derail Arsenal's top four hopes?


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Arsenal find themselves just one point behind their nearest rivals Tottenham and victory tonight could see them leapfrog those in third, but there's no such thing as an easy win against Everton - unless of course you forget that 6-1 thrashing on the opening day of the 2009/10 season!

Since that eventful day in August three years ago, a lot has changed at the Emirates. Out of the five scorers for Arsenal that day, only Thomas Vermaelen remains, Mikel Arteta has swapped the blue of Everton for the red of Arsenal, while the man who grabbed Everton's late consolation that day, Louis Saha, is now at White Hart Lane. However, there's one thing that you can always rely on, David Moyes's Everton will press and harry Arsenal right from the off to the final whistle.

Recent meetings have been a lot closer fought though. Just one goal has separated the two sides in the past three encounters, with Arsenal always managing to find that killer touch in front of goal. With Robin Van Persie in sparkling form, the Gunners start the game as favourites.

Arsenal recently left Merseyside with maximum points after a hard-earned win at Anfield and Arsene Wenger knows that with Chelsea hanging on their coattails they must keep winning to remain in the Champions League places.

Everton's main focus appears to be the FA Cup, following Moyes's decision to rest key players in the Merseyside derby. With a replay against Sunderland next week and a visit to Swansea on Saturday, I wonder how serious the Scot will take this game?

The Toffees don't have the greatest record against Arsenal in the league. Their last victory over the Gunners was in 2007 thanks to a late strike by Andy Johnson. Can Jelavic, Drenthe or Cahill step up to the plate tonight? Our pundits are not convinced.

 

Everton v Arsenal; Kick Off 8pm March 21 2012


Prediction Panel                 

Arsenal

Don McMahon

0

V

1

Aston Villa

Frank Pattison

1

V

1

Blackburn

Terry Kennedy

1

V

1

Bolton

Dave Blackburn

1

V

2

Chelsea

Joe Tyler

0

V

2

Everton

Chris Goodwin

0

V

2

Fulham

Neil Springate

1

V

3

Liverpool

Mark Williams

2

V

1

Man City

Callum Rothwell

1

V

1

Man Utd

Peter Lee

1

V

1

Newcastle

Michael Stout

1

V

2

Norwich City

Sue Read

1

V

2

QPR

Arjun Swaminathan    

1

V

0

Stoke City

Philip Eccleston

2

V

1

Sunderland

Tony Ratton

1

V

2

Tottenham

Mike Richards

1

V

2

Swansea

Jim White

1

V

3

West Brom

Andy Wakeman

1

V

1

Wigan

Alan Moore

0

V

2

Wolves

Chris Cox

0

V

2

 

 

 

 

 

OUR EXPERTS

 

 

 

 

Writer

Colin Illingworth

1

V

3

Writer

Steve Coulter

2

V

0

Writer

Phil Bundy

0

V

1

Writer

Mitch Waddon

1

V

2

Writer

Matt Turner

TBA    

V    

TBA

Writer

Chris Pettitt

0

V

1

Writer

Hugh Larkin

1

V

1

Aston Villa fan

Lynette Ranson

TBA

V

TBA

Blackpool fan

Phil Trow

1

V

1

Boro fan

Sue Gardener

1

V

3

Fulham fan

Russell Goldman

2

V

2

Pompey fan

Dan Taylor

1

V

2

Pompey fan

Peter Rendle

0

V

2

West Ham fan

Matthew Beeby

0

V

2

West Ham fan

Nigel Telfer

1

V

1

Editor

Antony Melvin

TBA

V

TBA

Panel Verdict

It should be another red letter day for the Gunners.

Home: 4; Draw: 9; Away: 20. TBC 3

* Do we have it right or do you know better? We’d love to hear from you.

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Colin Illingworth

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