Preview: Arsenal v Everton

Arsenal need to beat Everton in the final game of the Premier League campaign at the Emirates on Sunday to stand any chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Premier League
19 May 2017
Game week 38
Kickoff 16:00
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Head-to-head summary:

Bayern 195 97 42 56
Schalke 195 56 42 97

Previous encounter:

Everton 2-1 Arsenal 13/12/16 (Premier League)

Everton goalscorers: S. Coleman (44′), A. Williams (86′)
Arsenal goalscorer: A. Sanchez (20′)

Players to watch:

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku was once thought to be the front runner for the Golden Boot this season, but the form of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has been irresistible in the latter part of the campaign.

Lukaku was leading Kane by two goals as late as Thursday afternoon before the England international sunk four goals against Leicester City to take the lead, leaving the Toffees man seemingly chomping at the bit to put as many as he can past Arsenal.

Alexis Sanchez will want to sign off this season with a win and a few more goals to his name. The striker has been frustrated by Arsenal’s inability to challenge for the title this season and may be looking to impress any potential suitors in this final game, while also steering Arsenal into the top four. He has 23 goals in 37 league games.

This season:  @alexis_officia1 + @m10_official = 40 goals, 29 assists ???

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Team form and manager quotes:

Once thought to be in the hunt for a top-four finish, Everton’s campaign has ended on a poor note with just one win in their last four games seeing them drop as low as seventh in the standings.

They picked up an unconvincing 1-0 win over Watford last time out, but there are suggestions the players already have half a mind on their holidays with nothing to play for except pride on Sunday.

However, manager Ronald Koeman spoke of his pride at their home record this season and is determined to keep it intact.

“We have a strong home record but we need to improve away from home and be more clinical next season. We want to finish strong. We can beat them. We showed that at home. I have a good record against Arsenal,” he said.

Arsenal are on a four-game winning streak, which has seen them right back into the thick of the fight for fourth place, but Wenger downplayed the importance of finishing the season in the top four.

“I answered for 20 years the question, ‘the top four is nothing special’. So I don’t know why suddenly it could become such a big problem. I’m quite surprised. I want to absolutely make sure that we are in there but after that let’s get to 75 points and see what happens,” he said.

Team news:

The Toffees have no new injury worries, but remain somewhat in the middle of an crisis with the likes of Maarten Stekelenburg, Aaron Lennon, Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie all out injured.

For the Gunners, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain misses out through injury while Laurent Koscielny is rated 50-50. However, Aaron Ramsey is fit again and could return to action.