Preview: Arsenal v Everton

Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from defeat while Everton will be hoping to continue their recent resurgence when they meet at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.

Premier League
3 February 2018
Game week 26
Kickoff: 17:30 local time
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Referee: N. Swarbrick 
Assistants: C. Hatzdakis, D. Cook
Fourth officials: C. Pawson

Head-to-head summary:

Arsenal 197 99 42 56 
Everton 197 56 42 99 

Previous encounter:

Everton 2-5 Arsenal (22/10/2017) Premier League

Everton goalscorers: W. Rooney (12'), O. Niasse (90+3') 
Arsenal goalscorers: N. Monreal (40'), M. Ozil (53'), A. Lacazette (74'), A. Ramsey (90'), A. Sanchez (90+5')

Players to watch:

All eyes could be on the Gunners big money January arrival, striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined the club for a fee believed to be in the region of £56 million, which seems like an incredible bargain in the modern transfer market. The Gabon international was a prolific goalscorer for former club Borussia Dortmund, scoring 98 goals in 127 starts, and he is expected to breathe new life into the Arsenal attack. 

Everton new boy Theo Walcott has had a blistering start to his career as a Toffee, bagging a brace in just his second start, against Leicester City, to earn his side a valuable win. There is, of course, added spice in the fact that this will be Walcott's first return to the Emirates since Arsenal sold the winger to Everton.

Team form and manager quotes:

Despite big investment, Everton have struggled to break away from mid-table this season and currently sit in ninth, a full 11 points behind sixth-placed Arsenal, but Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is not willing to underestimate their opponents on Saturday.

"I think it's a bit similar to when we played Liverpool. They had a very strong record when they came here and the challenge will be identical," he told the club's official website. "This is a team who have a good technical level and have just had a good result against Manchester United. So we know we want to turn up with a huge performance."

And a good thing too, as Everton boss Sam Allardyce is supremely confident they will be able to abuse their hosts' defensive frailties and get a result at the Emirates.

"Swansea managed to get a result against them but the Emirates is a different kettle of fish. It’s about nullifying the strengths of Arsenal. Defensively they’re weak because of the amount of players they commit forward. If we can use the ball cleverly and make the right runs on the attack, we can hurt them," he said.

Team news: 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to make his league debut for Arsenal, but Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck remain sidelined with long-term injury concerns. Meanwhile, Aubameyang could feature despite suffering with a minor fever.  

Everton continue to face somewhat of an injury crisis and will have to make do without the likes of Leighton Baines, James McCarthy, Maarten Stekelenberg and Ramiro Funes Moni.