Everton-Arsenal Preview

Publish date:

Arsenal revived their Champions League campaign earlier this week. They may end it atop the Premier League.

The stingy Gunners go for a fourth straight victory Saturday when they attempt to continue their home dominance of Everton.

Just over three weeks ago, Arsenal (6-1-2) appeared on their way out of Champions League and manager Arsene Wenger was under fire for his team's failures in losses to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos with two matches against Bayern Munich looming.

Those criticisms have turned to plaudits after the Gunners won a third straight match by stunning Bayern 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

"There was a lot of pressure on us, we knew we couldn't lose but a win was a massive ask," midfielder Theo Walcott told the team's official website. "The confidence is just flowing through the team at the moment.

"Results show that and if we continue this you never now where it is going to take us."

For now, it could take Arsenal to the top of the table as they are tied with Manchester United, two points back of leaders Manchester City. The Manchester Derby is Sunday at Old Trafford.

The Gunners have outscored opponents 8-0 over the last three matches and limited Watford to one shot on target in last weekend's 3-0 league victory. They last managed four straight clean sheets from April 20-May 11, 2014.

Arsenal should like their chances of at least extending their overall winning streak since they're 16-4-0 at home against Everton (3-4-2) dating to a loss at Highbury on Jan. 20, 1996.

Olivier Giroud has four goals in his last four matchups with the Toffees, scoring in the first half of a 2-0 victory in London on March 1.

The French forward may be back in the first team after netting the opening tally against Bayern. He has three goals in four matches - all as a substitute.

"He has always played and he had a bit of a dip in form," Wenger said. "I have seen that in the last two weeks that he is coming back to his best but the focus he brings and the spirit he shows is he is a winner.

"He gives us a different option when it does not work on the ground."

Arsenal are expected to be without Aaron Ramsey, who is expected to be out until after the next international break in three weeks.

Everton are trying to avoid a third straight winless match after falling 3-0 to Man United last weekend. Manager Roberto Martinez is expecting his squad to use that performance as motivation to improve.

"We need to get back to having our normal dynamic, positive approach," he told the team's official website. "The understanding of what we need to do at the Emirates is clear. We are going there with a clear mentality of wanting to win the game. We are not going to go there and try to see what happens.

"More importantly, we need to react from the disappointment at the weekend and to do that we need to get a positive result"

The Toffees, though, are 4-2-0 on the road across all competitions, and Romelu Lukaku has scored six of his team-leading seven goals outside Goodison Park. The powerful forward scored twice and assisted on Arouna Kone's tally in a 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion on Sept. 28.

Lukaku has two goals in eight career meetings with Arsenal.

Everton may have Tom Cleverley back to solidify the midfield after he missed six matches in all competitions due to an ankle injury.