We are up against Everton today. We weren’t great against Wolves but we did enough to scrap out a win. Wolves were much disciplined and they weren’t shy of attacking. The same is to be expected today. Everton are a good defending side which can be seen from their number of goals conceded this far. They can also score some goals but the return this season hasn’t been good but that can be misleading. With their start striker Luis Saha to return and players like Cahill, Arteta and Pienaar they sure have the personnel to damage any team. Like Wolves this won’t be an easy game. We would have to show the resilience we showed against Wolves and take our chances up front to get the maximum.
The squad for this game is the same as there have been no new injuries. In fact we have an addition in the shape of Gibbs but it’s very unlikely that he will feature. Other than that Diaby, Vermaelen and Almunia are still out. Koscielny is suspended for this one and Wenger has said that he may rest Wilshere in the coming days. So the starting line that I would want to see is
Probable Starting XI: Fabianski, Sagan, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy, Song, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin.
The back line picks it up itself. I don’t see Eboue or Gibbs coming in for Sagna and Clichy. We might see a change in the midfield in the shape of Denilson for Wilshere. Song and Fabregas would retain their place. This will allow Song to move more freely up and down as Denilson stays deep. Upfront Chamakh to play again. I don’t see him being rested and he will be flanked by Arshavin and Nasri. Nasri was rested for the Wolves game so his start is imminent. Arshavin is useful in the beginning and I would go with him than Walcott. Although I won’t be surprised if Walcott starts for Arshavin while Nasri moving to the left side and Wilshere retaining his place.
With Van Persie, Bendtner, Walcott and Rosicky on the bench we would have plenty of options to choose from if things don’t go our way.
I believe that in this game we will have plenty of possession but we would have to be creative upfront to find the goals. Everton will give us a hard time and we would have to control the midfield. With Fellaini out the task shouldn’t be difficult (I hope so).
Everton are a threat on free kicks and set pieces. Cahill usually gets his goals through the aerial service and we would need to keep him under control. With players like Pienaar and Arteta they can open up teams and deliver great service for Saha and Cahill. Our backline would need to disciplined and alert. The midfield would need to stay close to the defenders and only then their attacks can be countered.
Upfront we won’t get much chances so the ones we get should not be missed. Quick and direct passing would be the key again. Chamakh is lethal on headers and it would be nice if we can deliver some great crosses.
If we can show spirit and determination than this game won’t be that difficult and I can see the three points. But for that we would have to be at our best from the start. A bad performance won’t help us much and we might drop points. With Man Utd and Man city dropping points yesterday and Chelsea to play later today the three points are vital. So this too is a must win game.
I feel it will be a low scoring game. I am not predicting any scores but we will win this and another away clean sheet would be good.