A faltering Arsenal face another tough challenge as they head to Goodison Park to meet an Everton side buoyed by their FA Cup win over Chelsea last weekend.
Everton’s cup triumph was a welcome distraction from their poor league form, which has seen them lose consecutive home games against West Brom and West Ham; the Toffees sit 12th but will enter the top half with a win in Saturday’s early kick-off.
Romelu Lukaku’s superb brace against Chelsea took the big Belgian’s tally to six goals in his last six matches and 25 for the season overall; whether he will still be at Goodison Park to try and beat that total next season is a cause for concern amongst the Everton faithful.
Roberto Martinez can count himself lucky that Lukaku has been in such inspired form, as his side have been struggling at the other end; they have only kept home clean sheets against Aston Villa and Newcastle this season.
Arsenal head north looking for their first win at Goodison Park since 2012, but they do have a strong record overall in this fixture having lost it just once in the last 17 meetings.
They have exited both the FA Cup and the Champions League – to Watford and Barcelona respectively – since their last league outing and sit 11 points behind leaders Leicester; the focus for the beleaguered Arsene Wenger is now to ensure his side finish in the top four, as they have done in each of his seasons in charge to date.
The out-of-form Gunners are without a win in three league matches and have claimed victory just once in their past eight games in all competitions; Goodison Park is a notoriously tough venue in which to try and end that run.
Kevin Mirallas and Gareth Barry are both out through suspension for the hosts, who are also missing Bryan Oviedo with a chest infection. Mo Besic is back from injury and could make his first start since January.
Arsenal have added Mathieu Flamini to their lengthy injury list after the Frenchman picked up a knock at the Camp Nou in midweek. He joins Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Petr Cech, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla on the sidelines.
League Position: Everton – 12th (38 pts); Arsenal – 3rd (52 pts)
Last Meeting: Arsenal 2-1 Everton (October 24, 2015)
Form: Everton – LWWLWL; Arsenal – DWWLLD
Key Men: Everton – Romelu Lukaku; Arsenal – Danny Welbeck
Shoot Says: Everton 2-2 Arsenal