A solid and composed if unspectacular performance, with the help of Diaby’s freshly healed ankle, in the midlands gives us our seventh away win of the season and sees us leapfrog Liverpool into third place in the table and maybe a bit of confidence injected back into the side. An away win is just what you want heading into a game like this. This is our last game with a vaguely fit squad before a two week international break, which will no doubt see half of our players return to England in ambulance helicopters.
Fixture History – Wenger Years
At Goodison Park since Arsene took over, we’ve won five times, drawn twice and lost three times, the most recent being a 1-0 deficit last season when Senderos and Campbell watched that fat cunt Beattie stick in the winner. We have of course already beaten them away this season with the kids, in a 1-0 victory in the Carling Cup. Until this season, we’d beaten them every time we played them at home, including a rather spectacular 7-0 in 2005.
Our league form is currently quite good. In our last six games we’ve won five and drawn one. It’s just the series of cup losses that has made this part of the season less than memorable.
In Everton’s last six games, they’ve won three, drawn two and lost one. At Goodison Park this season Everton have won seven, drawn four and lost three. They’re pushing hard to get a UEFA Cup spot and this won’t be an easy game.
Thierry Henry and most likely Robin van Persie miss the rest of the season.
Alexander Hleb picked up a knee injury against PSV and missed the trip to Villa but should be back in the squad on Sunday.
Kolo Toure returns to the squad after serving his three match suspension, Emmanuel Eboue and Emmanuel Adebayor miss this game as their final match suspended. Gael Clichy served a one game ban for collecting five yellow cards but is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Julio Baptista was substituted against Villa with Wenger claiming that he’s 'Really badly injured'. Although he didn’t look injured. Not that you could necessarily tell, he hardly moved.
Theo Walcott will be sent for his shoulder surgery on Tuesday. He is able to play on Sunday but Wenger has said he’d rather not use him. That’ll probably be the last we see of Theo till next season.
Tim Cahill is out for the rest of the season with a broken metatarsal. Nuno Valente misses out on the fixture, as does James McFadden. Andy van der Meyde could return to the squad after recovering from a groin injury.
Hoyte will probably shift to right back with Traore slotting in at left back. Unless Clichy gets fit in time. Toure and Gallas in the middle unless Senderos gets a start having not started for a while. Or Wenger may want to employ one of Senderos or Djourou to deal with Beattie’s aerial ability. Rosicky will replace Diaby on the left, Gilberto should return to central midfield alongside Fabregas, with one of Ljungberg, Walcott and Hleb starting on the right. Baptista and Aliadiere or Walcott upfront presumably. Seeing as Jeremie couldn’t finish his dinner against Villa I’d rather see Walcott given a go, although with him off for his surgery I doubt he’ll be in the squad.