Pre-Match Report

Arsenal v Everton: The Brief

After all the drama, the speculation, the departures and the arrivals in the January transfer window, you could almost feel the relief emanating from Arsene Wenger at the fact it is finally over.

The Arsenal manager is rightfully pleased with the business we have done, but admits that it has been a "destabilising" time for his squad. Now that the playing group is finalised for the rest of the season, he is confident that results will improve as stability reigns once more.
After a poor evening at Swansea on Tuesday, we have been bolstered by the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the news that Mesut Ozil has extended his contract with the club. Both will be central to our future ambitions, but with the top four in danger of edging further away, we need them - and their team-mates - to deliver in the here and now.
That starts on Saturday against an Everton side who have rediscovered their mojo after a dreadful start to the season, and with former Gunner Theo Walcott in red-hot form (he has two goals and an assist in his first two games for the Toffees) we face another searching examination.
Read on for a comprehensive pre-match briefing. We’ve got classic goals against Everton, team news, an exclusive chat with the manager, match facts, graphics and a chance to have your say.


Wenger on how long he has tracked Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang...

“I’ve known him since he played in France for Saint-Etienne. He was always a player who impressed me. We had an opportunity that I wanted to take, because we have Sven Mislintat here who knows him well, and he had good connections with him. That made it easier to get an approach to Dortmund.

"By coincidence, it worked out that we got two ex-Dortmund players, him and Mkhitaryan, coming from two different clubs. We did well. Let’s not forget that we lost many players, and we lost goals with Walcott, Giroud and Alexis. We needed somebody of offensive power to come in and help us to score goals." 

Arsène Wenger on Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan


ARSENAL: Cazorla (calf), Welbeck (hip)

EVERTON: McCarthy (leg), Baines (calf), Stekelenburg (groin), Funes Mori (knee)


Tactical expert Michael Cox:

“The key to the Everton side is getting the balance right in the attacking positions - after previously lacking speed, suddenly the return of Yannick Bolasie and the addition of Theo Walcott means there's plenty of pace down both flanks, and the return of right back Seamus Coleman helps too." 


Wenger on the difference between Everton earlier in the season and now…

“They have found their confidence again. Sometimes teams go through difficult patches in a season, and they are in a period now where they have found good belief and that’s why they are a dangerous side." 

Matchday Show: Everton (h)

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