Sport Arsenal v Everton preview

01:35  20 may  2017
01:35  20 may  2017 Source:   Sky Sports

Arsenal v Everton preview

  Arsenal v Everton preview Arsenal are reliant on other results to make the top four as they host Everton in what could be Arsene Wenger's last league game in charge.Arsenal are reliant on other results to make the top four as they host Everton in what could be Arsene Wenger's last league game in charge.

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Arsenal are reliant on other results to make the top four as they host Everton in what could be Arsene Wenger's last league game in charge.

The Gunners currently sit fifth in the Premier League, one point behind Liverpool in fourth.

Arsenal need to win and hope Liverpool drop points or that Man City lose (while overhauling City's superior goal difference in the progress). Arsenal can also make the top four if they draw and Liverpool lose (while overhauling Liverpool's superior goal difference in the progress).

Wenger, whose contract is up in the summer, could be on the verge of finishing outside the top four for the first time in his 20-year tenure as Arsenal boss.

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Predictably, Arsenal have finished the season strongly, winning their last four Premier League games and they are unbeaten in their last 11 final day fixtures (won nine), winning each of the last five.

Meanwhile, Everton, who are set for a seventh-placed finish in Ronald Koeman's first season in charge, are on a run of seven games without a win away from home in the Premier League.

Team news

Arsenal are once again sweating on the fitness of Laurent Koscielny ahead of their final Premier League game of the season.

The France defender is struggling with a calf issue and could be left out as a precaution ahead of the FA Cup final having missed two of the last three games.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) is definitely out but Aaron Ramsey (leg) should be available despite limping out of Tuesday's win over Sunderland.

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Blog Teams Arsenal Arsenal v Everton preview – FA Cup or bust? Whereas Everton will be hoping Romelu Lukaku can build on last week’s winning goal against West Ham as he returned after a month out injured.

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Everton are set to have an unchanged squad.

Goalkeeper Joel Robles replaced Maarten Stekelenburg (groin) for the club's 1-0 home win over Watford last week.

Along with Stekelenburg, the Toffees remain without Aaron Lennon (stress-related illness), James McCarthy (hamstring), Seamus Coleman (broken leg), Ramiro Funes Mori (knee) and Yannick Bolasie (knee).

Opta stats

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League home games against Everton (W16 D4); their longest ever unbeaten streak against a side in the competition.

Indeed, this run started when Wenger became manager in 1996, beating all five Everton managers he has faced in that time.

After beating the Gunners in the reverse fixture this season; the Toffees are looking to do the league double over Arsenal for the first time since the 1985-86 season.

Olivier Giroud has scored four goals in his last three appearances in all competitions against Everton at the Emirates.

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Arsenal have won each of their last nine matches on home turf contested on the final day of the season, scoring four times in each of the last five.

After failing to win in 11 successive games on the final day of the season, Everton have picked up victories in seven of the last nine seasons (L2).

Romelu Lukaku has now gone four games without scoring for the Toffees. He last went longer without a goal in the Premier League between March and August (11 games).

If Lukaku does end the season as the Premier League's top scorer, he'll be the first Belgian to win the Premier League Golden Boot and the first player to win it from a club outside the top four since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for Chelsea in 2000/01.

Alexis Sanchez has 23 Premier League goals this season and is in the race for the Golden Boot. The last Chilean player to finish as top goalscorer in one of the big five European leagues was Iván Zamorano in La Liga for Real Madrid in 1994-95 (28 goals).

Sanchez has now scored in three successive appearances in all competitions for Arsenal and will be looking to net in four in a row for the first time since April 2016.

The Gunners attempted 36 shots in total in their midweek win over Sunderland - their most in a Premier League game analysed by Opta (since 2003-04) and more than in their previous three Premier League matches combined (30).

Merson predicts

I expect Arsenal to win. They need to win and Everton haven't been great away from home recently. Lukaku will want to score to make sure he wins the Golden Boot, but Arsenal need the three points to give them a chance for the top four.

PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)

Arsenal players shocked by surprise team selection for final .
Arsenal players are said to be shocked with the team selection in the build-up to their FA Cup final against Chelsea. The Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger is set to start second-choice goalkeeper, David Ospina over Petr Cech. Ospina has been Arsenal’s cup keeper and featured throughout their Champions League campaign, but the decision to overlook the experience of the former Chelsea goalkeeper is thought to have shocked the Gunners’ camp. Cech has previously featured in the FA Cup and started and impressed during their semi-final win against Manchester City in the previous round. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also expected to start the game in an unusual left-wing back spot, despite Kieran Gibbs being available for selection. Gibbs has been a doubt in the build-up to the final and will face late fitness tests ahead of kick-off. A defeat to Chelsea would confirm what has been a disappointing campaign for the Gunners, who missed out on Champions League qualification.

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