- Gunners can close gap to eight points with victory
- Everton looks for 10th win of the season
- Arsenal has won three of its last 10 matches in all competitions
- Gareth Barry suspended for Toffees
Everton will host Arsenal at Goodison Park on Saturday (Watch live, 8:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra)
While the task remains a great one, Arsene Wenger‘s side does have an outside chance of keeping chase for the PL crown. A very slim chance.
Arsenal should favorites coming into this weekend’s match if you’re basing that judgement off of the table. That’s not the case though, particularly in what has been a tremendously unpredictable season.
The Gunners’ injury woes continue, with key players Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla all rehabbing. Despite Wenger’s optimism that the bunch will return in the near future, that doesn’t help the side’s chances against Everton.
Everton’s uneven record this season has overshadowed the performance of star striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has tallied 18 league goals through 28 matches, and has scored 25 times across all competitions.
What they’re saying
Wenger wants team focused on positive result
“I believe the team are up for it. We know the huge importance this game has to us. We have to not over-think. We just have to go out and perform. A negative result would be very bad for us so we hope for a positive result. The time is now to produce the result we want.
Martinez still sees Arsenal as title contender
“They’re a team that in my eyes still has a real good opportunity to win the league. I know a lot has been said about Leicester, and rightly so because of the distance they have, but with the three-point system the distance is smaller than people think. For me, Arsenal has the experience and the clarity and the way they play football. It doesn’t matter what pressure is on them, they will always play with a certain style, and they’ll always be good in that style.”
Coming off of a big FA Cup win against Chelsea, Everton poses a massive threat to the Gunners. Three wins in 10 matches simply isn’t good enough for Wenger’s boys, and I think that the Toffees’ standing on the table doesn’t truly indicate the club’s talent. The challenge of winning the league is becoming more and more unrealistic for Arsenal. I see a 2-1 Everton win, which would likely end the Gunners’ title hopes.