Premier League Preview: Arsenal vs. Everton

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  • Arsenal won 5-2 at Everton on Oct. 22
  • Everton last won at Arsenal in Jan. 1996
  • Arsenal leads all-time 104W-45D-60L

Arsenal’s newly-flipped squad hosts hopeful Everton as the marquee match-up of Saturday’s Premier League action at 12:30 p.m. ET (Watch live on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Theo Walcott returns to Arsenal for the first time since Everton bought him, bringing the fine form of a brace against Leicester City.

“He’ll be doing the team talk tomorrow,” said Everton boss Sam Allardyce. “I think he is looking forward to it. I am sure he will get a good reception when he goes back to the Emirates considering the time he spent there.

“Everyone can understand why he has left because now he has the opportunity to be one of the key players for Everton now. I think he saw that was going to be the case (for Arsenal) last season when he played 30-plus games and scored 19 goals. Then all of a sudden this season that hasn’t been the case, but he can be a pivotal figure for us in the future. Hopefully he can go and perform as well as he did on Wednesday night.”

Having passed one big test with that win over the Foxes, Allardyce hopes to prove himself as capable of leading Everton higher up the table with a trip to the Emirates Stadium.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan will start while Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang and Jack Wilshere are both hopeful of playing despite sickness.

Allardyce says Eliaquim Mangala, on loan from Man City, could play down the left for Everton.

The Toffees are now eight points clear of the drop zone and 11 behind sixth place Arsenal, who themselves have slipped eight points behind the Top Four.

What they’re saying

Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger on Mesut Ozil’s new deal“He has committed his future to the club in a period where we are in a trick position on that front, in qualifying for the Champions League. You expect that he becomes the leader and takes the responsibility to lead the team to success.”

Everton’s Michael Keane on building on Leicester win““It’s a big confidence boost. It was a massive game against Leicester because we had to get ourselves away from the pack behind us, as they were creeping up on us. We feel we can go to Arsenal and play with a bit more freedom. We will go there to win the game and there is no reason why we can’t. Swansea showed this week that Arsenal can be beaten. We will go there confident after Wednesday and hopefully we can pick up some points.”

Prediction

Walcott gets involved in an Everton goal, but so does Mkhitaryan. It finishes 2-2.