6AM Portland/8AM Minneapolis, Chicago/9AM Indianapolis/2PM London, Hull, and the Outer Hebrides TV: NBCSN
The Fourth Place Trophy Race continues apace this weekend, as Arsenal head up to southeast Yorkshire for an Easter egg hunt, if you substitute "three points" for "easter egg". Which I wouldn't suggest if the kids are really into the Easter egg hunt.
Anyway, after Arsenal's long stressful week of FA Cup semifinal overtimeness and a quick turnaround to Tuesday's match, hopefully they spent the last three days basically asleep and resting their tired bones for the next few weeks. The exciting news this weekend is the potential, probable, maybe, hopeful return of Mesut Özil to the starting eleven after several weeks out; with both Özil and Flamini's return, there's a nice injection of relatively fresh legs into an Arsenal squad that could definitely use them.
Wenger's admission today that he's probably overused Olivier Giroud just highlights how much Arsenal need their first string squad back - Giroud has been forced to play more of a role than he should, thanks to injuries that assured he'd have to be a load-bearing lone striker in a system that was never built to rely on a lone striker. He's also playing in a system that has been patched together around players that haven't played much in the last few months, which isn't helpful.
Say what you will about Olivier Giroud, but he's worked his ass off this season, and it'll be nice to get back to being a more reasonably full-strength squad again for these last few games.
Hull, meanwhile, are in 13th place, which at first glance looks like they're in that safe zone of "not relegated and not in Europe, so nothing to play for", but then you see that they're only six points off the relegation zone with four games to play, with a game in hand over a few of the bottom teams. So they definitely have something to play for on Sunday, apart from the whole "FA Cup preview" angle even.
It's simple. Arsenal need to win. Playing for a point isn't good enough. Everton play Manchester United, so there's not a lot of room for Arsenal errors. Three more points, please.
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