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Everton vs. Arsenal: Match Preview

Arsenal travel up north to the Toffees tomorrow for a match that will determine the fate of THE MULTIVERSE and also possibly fourth place in the league this year.

Paul Gilham

Everton vs. Arsenal
English Premier League
Kickoff: 8:30 AM EDT, Sunday, April 6, 2014
Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Form: EVE WWWWW [yeesh] | ARS LWLDD
TV: NBC Sports Network

It just wouldn't be the later stages of a Premier League season without Arsenal sitting in fourth place looking over their shoulders. Most of the time they are doing this from a position of relatively good late-season form, but things have been more shaky this year with basically the entire beating midfield heart of the team torn out. One chamber of that heart should be back in the squad tomorrow: Aaron Ramsey, finally, has returned after something gave way inside his leg on boxing day. He probably will not start, but it'd be nice to get the Welshman some tick before next weekend's FA Cup semifinal.

Meanwhile, Everton are just flying right now. 15 points from their last 15 possible, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku both in good form, and Roberto Martinez starting to do his late-season Roberto Martinez stuff (well, except for, well, last year, I guess), and an away matchup for the Gunners that is imposing, but by no means impossible. As long as the team don't repeat the mistakes of recent away dates against good-great sides, things should go relatively well. Key things to keep an eye on will be how high the fullbacks are pushing up and whether Mikel Arteta stays deeper while Mathieu Flamini puts in another box-to-box shift, and how well Arsenal can contain the midfield dribbling of Barkley.

A likely Arsenal lineup:

Sagna - Mertesacker - Vermaelen - Gibbs
Flamini - Arteta
Ox - Rosicky - Cazorla

A draw would keep Everton four points back in the race for fourth; a loss, though, puts them one back with a game in hand. That would be bad, if not a death sentence quite yet. This is a match Arsenal should be capable of getting a result in, though, as long as they do not repeat the folly of Stamford Bridge and Liverpool (although Everton is not as threatening on the counter as either of those teams).

How are you feeling about the match tomorrow?