Ahead of the match today, Calvin from Royal Blue Mersey answered some of our questions about Everton. Here's what he had to say:
Where do you see Everton finishing this season? Do you feel Europe is a reasonable goal at this stage?
Anything less than Europe would be a bitter disappointment. After the hot start the team had, we lost our way in the middle, struggling with squad depth as the inevitable injuries and suspensions kicked in. Not making any significant moves in January also affected the side as did David Moyes' hesitation with making a contract decision. We would dearly love to finish in the top five but with the difficult away schedule facing Everton, sixth is more of a reality.
Do you feel it's only a matter of time before David Moyes moves to a club with deeper pockets than Everton, or as time passes, do you feel more and more like he's a Toffee for life?
We've always known that Moyes was meant for greater accolades than he has achieved at Goodison. However, his hands remain firmly bound behind his back with Everton's financial situation, and we might never know what could have been. There is no doubt that if Everton finds some money to back him with, the Scotsman could well follow in the footsteps of the other wily Scotsman who has been around forever in the Premier League.
Who would you characterize as Everton's player of the year to this point?
Difficult to say, as no one really has taken the reins and played at a consistently high level all year long. Marouane Fellaini sparkled at the beginning of the year but has looked bored at times as the season dragged on. Steven Pienaar is equally influential and anonymous at times, while Leighton Baines has played every minute of every League game for the Toffees, and has looked jaded at times. And then there's Kevin Mirallas who has looked like the world beater that he can be, but is plagued by fitness woes. I'd say right now Fellaini is in the lead, but if Mirallas continues his hot streak he should steal it.
Are there any players that have been pleasant surprises for the Toffees this year?
Seamus Coleman and Victor Anichebe have both been in the Everton setup for some time, but this year will be seen as a breakthrough year for the pair. Coleman has vastly improved his defensive abilities, and when he bombs up and down the right wing he has added an extra dimension to Everton's attack which had hitherto been based upon the Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar pairing on the left. Anichebe for his part had been handed the sole striker's job after Nikica Jelavic went colder than a polar winter, but has been a revelation in how he's used his strength to hold up the ball and distribute it for the midfielders as well as his eye for goal.
What do you think Everton's summer priorities will be?
With an aging squad, Everton will need infusions of youth across the board to maintain Moyes' vision for the side. Tim Howard's best years are definitely behind him, while Sylvain Distin is on the wrong side of thirty as well. An experienced and world-class midfielder to rotate out Leon Osman would be fantastic, as would a proven and hungry striker.
Are there any Arsenal players you fear giving Everton serious problems in the match?
Arsenal are a possession-based team, and this will cause Everton all sorts of problems, similar to what they faced at White Hart Lane a few days ago. Everton old boy Mikel Arteta is dangerous, as is Santi Cazorla. Arsenal also have some young 'uns laden with pace who can cause problems for the Blues, especially Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott.
Thanks again to Calvin!