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PREVIEW: Arsenal v Everton: Injury News, Preferred XI + Prediction
Another mind-numbing international break is finally over and we can get back to watching Arsenal tomorrow when Everton come to the Emirates in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
For me, this is a far more important game than the Bayern Munich second leg on Tuesday. Let’s be honest, we have far more chance of winning the FA Cup than turning around a 2-goal deficit away at Bayern and then going on to lift the Champions League.
Therefore, I think Arsene should prioritise tomorrow’s game. If he’s planning on resting players, he shouldn’t be doing it tomorrow. That’s just my opinion and I have a feeling we’re going to see a few players left out tomorrow, which will be a huge shame if it back-fires.
We head into the game after last weeks disappointing 1-0 loss away at Stoke which dealt a huge blow to our title hopes. Realistically, I think the title is beyond us now. We’d have to beat both Chelsea and City to have any chance, and I just don’t see that happening, which is even more reason to go all-out for the FA Cup.
If we can get past Everton, that leaves only City as an ‘elite’ Premier League club left in the competition so we’d have a great chance of ending this much talked about trophy drought.
Once again the international curse has hit us with Jack Wilshere being ruled out for 6-8 weeks with a broken foot. We really have no luck when it comes to injuries but this has been the case for over five years so it’s coming to a point where it can’t be considered as ‘luck’ anymore and we really need to look at why our players get injured so much.
Laurent Koscielny is also a doubt after picking up a hamstring problem while away with France. It’s not though to be serious so I think we’ll see Kos start tomorrow.
Arsene confirmed today that Aaron Ramsey and Kim Kallstrom should return to the squad against Tottenham next week, which will be a major boost, particularly now Jack’s out.
Nacho Monreal is still out so he joins Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby on the sidelines.
As many of you pointed out yesterday, Wojciech Szczesny is suspended for Tuesday’s second leg against Bayern so it would make sense for him to play against Everton to protect Lukasz Fabianski.
I really do hope Arsene resists the temptation to make too many changes and I’d like to see us go with our strongest side. That means our first choice back four. If Kos is ruled out then obviously Vermaelen will come in.
In midfield I’d like to see Tomas Rosicky replace Jack. I fear we may see the dreaded Arteta-Flamini combo but Rosicky would give us a lot of energy in the middle and he could do the box-to-box role well.
The Ox is a must on the right wing as he was excellent when he came on against Stoke and deserves to start, while I’d go with Cazorla and Ozil behind Giroud. I think Arsene might give Sanogo another run-out but I think we should stick with the experienced first team players for this one.
So here’s my line-up:
The team above has more than enough about it to beat Everton at home, but things could get tricky if the boss tinkers too much. Everton are a dangerous side and they showed earlier in the season that they are a match for any team when they got a well-earned 1-1 draw against us.
Hopefully we’re up for this game and book our place in the semi’s. Arsenal 2-1 Everton COYG!!!
What are your thoughts ahead of the game? Are you confident we’ll make it through?