It's pretty simple: An Arsenal win today (over the team my seven-year-old calls "The Evies") puts the Gunners in solid position to seal up a Champions League berth and focus on trophy-winning with next week's FA Cup Semi-Final.
A tie or a loss gives a surging Everton hope for fourth place, and puts Arsenal into a familiar jostle for the final CL spot, with Everton playing the role that the Tottenhams have the last couple of seasons. Happily, Aaron Ramsey's part of the 18 at Goodison Park today, but because of Kieran Gibbs' injury, Nacho Monreal gets the start at left back, and any injuries to the back four means that we'll be in Bellerin/Jenkinson territory.
It's not as rosy as it was two weeks ago, but not winning today would put us in a group with Everton, Spurs, and United where Thursday night football is part of our future (as opposed to awesome top level Tuesday and Wednesday night football), and we certainly don't want that.
#Arsenal team to play Everton: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 6, 2014
Everton (to face Arsenal): Howard, Baines, Distin, Stones, Coleman, McCarthy, Barry, Osman (c), Naismith, Mirallas, Lukaku. #EFCAFC— Everton (@Everton) April 6, 2014
Everton subs: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Deulofeu, Barkley, Garbutt, Alcaraz. #EFCAFC— Everton (@Everton) April 6, 2014