Arsenal’s top four chances are slim as we approach the climax of the Premier League season. Needing Liverpool to lose at home to Middlesbrough, the Gunners can only do their bit at home to Everton and bemoan their indifferent form that has been the bane of this campaign.
The Gunners have sured up their defence since switching to a back three, while Everton have seen their campaign fizzle out a little. The Toffees were – albeit briefly – challenging for a top six spot but have made seventh place their own instead.
One goal and only four points in their last four outings will have frustrated Ronald Koeman as the season draws to a close. The Dutchman will name a full strength side for this one, though, as Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley line-up for perhaps the last time for the club.
The hosts, however, are expected to be without Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Laurent Koscielny will return to the back line, mind, which will certainly improve their chances of keeping Lukaku quiet as he looks to make up on ground lost to Harry Kane in the golden boot race.
Everton have a poor away record, having not won away in seven attempts. With goals at a premium in those matches, Koeman will be concerned to hear that Arsenal have kept four straight clean sheets at the Emirates. With Arsenal so desperate for a win, however, a goal for the Toffees could ignite this match into an end of season classic. Lukaku will be fired up to prove he can perform against top six opponents, making Arsenal to win and over 2.5 goals my pick at Evens.
As much as anything, Arsenal players are performing to prove they deserve to start at Wembley in the FA Cup final next weekend. One player keen to show his worth, for either a new contract or a new team, is Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been carrying a knock but has found the net four times in his last three and is at 17/25 to find the net. Add Lukaku to that for a double and you’ve got a tasty 15/4.
Improved home form for the Gunners has seen ridden on their defensive structure. Rob Holding, in particular, has been superb and set the base for strong offensive second half displays. As a result, they have been drawing at half-time and winning at full-time in their last four at the Emirates, which is way out at 33/10 for this encounter.