Arsenal face a quick turnaround as the take on Everton two days after beating Stoke City 3-1 on Saturday.
Everton started the season well, but have faltered the past two-month with one win in their last 11 matches pushing them out of the top four. Ronald Koeman didn’t mince words when discussing his team’s failings, laying the blame on everyone including himself.
Although at home, Everton won’t find it easy against an Arsenal side that are on a 14-game unbeaten run in the league. The Gunners are coming off three impressive wins against West Ham, Basel, and Stoke City all of whom conceded three or more against the London side.
Speaking ahead of the match, Arsene Wenger said he believes there’s something different to his current team compared to seasons past. The manager pointed to the six matches Arsenal have come from behind to get points from.
With only two days in between matches, there may be some tired faces, but Wenger will look to rotate as little as possible to not disturb his squads rhythm.
Aaron Ramsey misses Tuesday’s match with an undisclosed injury that kept him out over the weekend. Shkodran Mustafi, Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck, and Santi Cazorla are all long term injury concerns for now.
Here is Arsenal’s most likely lineup versus Everton on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper – Cech
Petr Cech starts in goal where he once again seeks his fifth clean sheet of the season. He’s conceded a goal in five straight Premier League matches.
Right Back – Bellerin
Hector Bellerin returns to the starting lineup after making his return from injury over the weekend. Bellerin replaced Mustafi at the 25-minute mark and made an obvious difference. He set up Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s equalizing goal and was a constant threat down the right hand side.
Last weekend’s cameo was a clear indicator of what Arsenal had been missing the past three weeks.
Center Backs – Gabriel & Koscielny
Gabriel comes in for the injured Mustafi and partners Laurent Koscielny. The Brazilian center back’s stint at right back may have done him some good in terms of the way he approaches the game. We saw a similar improvement in Nacho Monreal when the Spanish left back was forced into emergency center back duties two seasons ago.
In years past, an injury to a player like Mustafi may have derailed Arsenal’s season. This year they can call upon the experience of Gabriel and Mertesacker (soon), and the young but reliable and capable Rob Holding.
Left Back – Monreal
If Wenger were to rotate a position it would be at left back considering the quality of performances both Monreal and Kieran Gibbs have put in this season. However, the manager will stick with Monreal so as not to change the back four too much with Mustafi out.
Defensive Mid – Coquelin
Francis Coquelin starts at defensive mid where he’s struck up a good partnership with Granit Xhaka. Because the Frenchman was suspended for last weeks match, he should be good to go two days after completing the full 90 minutes.
Central Mid – Xhaka
Because Ramsey is injured, Xhaka gets the start again. The only reason Xhaka wouldn’t start is because of the run of games he’s currently on. But considering the Swiss international didn’t feature as a starter for much of the season, he should have enough in his legs for another midweek match.
Mohamed Elneny could come in for Xhaka, but the Swiss midfielder has become an integral part of Arsenal’s structure, fulfilling the Cazorla role exceptionally well. When available, he should always play.
Attacking Mid – Özil
Mesut Özil starts at the number 10 behind Alexis Sanchez. The German playmaker scored an exquisite lobbed header to give Arsenal the lead on Saturday. His assist numbers are down compared to last season, but he’s in a rich vein of scoring form.
Wide Right – Walcott
Although Walcott completed the full 90 minutes on Saturday, Wenger may look to ride the hot hand. Lucas Perez is a candidate to come in here and it wouldn’t be surprising if he did start. Either way, expect both to be involved in this match, one way or the other.
Wide Left – Oxlade-Chamberlain
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put in another impressive performance on Saturday and gets the start on the left again. He laid on a pin point cross that landed on Özil’s head, giving Chamberlain his fifth assist of the season.
Wenger reiterated his belief in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s abilities and praised his current form. The manger hopes to tie down the young winger to a long-term contract as his current deal expires in 18-months.
Alex Iwobi may come in on the left here, but it’s unlikely. The Nigerian international has played his way out of a small slump and already stated his intent to reclaim a starting spot.
That attitude from a youngster not only speaks of the quality and depth in this squad, but also the kind of mentality that a young player like Iwobi feels comfortable with around more senior players.
Striker – Alexis
Alexis starts up front. Considering the short period in between games, this would usually be a spot where Olivier Giroud would come in, but with Alexis’ form and the way Oxlade-Chamberlain, Perez, Iwobi, and Walcott are playing, it’s hard to see Giroud forcing himself into the starting lineup and either pushing Alexis out wide or on the bench.
Via – Lineup Builder