Walcott Starts! Arsenal v Everton: Team News & Likely line-Ups

Team News

Arsenal continue to be without long-term absentees Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Debuchy. Fortunately though, there are no fresh injury problems.

Everton see Tony Hibbert and Aidan McGeady on the sidelines, whilst they also have concerns regarding Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Bryan Oviedo and Christian Atsu.

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Likely Line-Ups

David Ospina’s recent form has taken a sudden dip and he may well find himself out of the starting line-up soon, with Wojciech Szczesny returning. However, it’s more likely that Szczesny will take the first-team slot in midweek against QPR.

The Arsenal defence is likely to receive a shake-up, with Nacho Monreal coming in to replace Kieran Gibbs on the left-hand side of the defence. Hector Bellerin is expected to continue on the right but there could be changes in the centre too, with Gabriel Paulista coming in for the uninspiring Per Mertesacker.

Laurent Koscielny is one player that can avoid much of the criticism from the midweek disaster against Monaco, as he wasn’t at fault for any of the goals.

Francis Coquelin will continue ahead of the defence in a deeper midfield role, alongside Santi Cazorla who had a quiet game in midweek. Ahead of them could be Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez- who could cause the Everton back-line problems.

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A decision will need to be made in attack, as Olivier Giroud has been impressive in recent league games but was extremely poor in midweek. Therefore, Danny Welbeck could get the nod.

Arsenal XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Paulista, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Walcott, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Everton’s below par Tim Howard may lose his place to Joel Robles but it would be a surprise, despite the American’s loss of form in recent weeks.

A back-line ahead of him consisting of Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, John Stones and Seamus Coleman can cause Arsenal many problems going forward, though their defence should crumble under pressure from the Gunners attacking trio.

Mirroring Arsenal’s midfield will be a deeper-pair of James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic, who will have a job on their hands dealing with Arsenal’s very attacking side.

However, a trio in front of them can cause Arsenal problems on the counter-attack, as Monaco did in the week. Aaron Lennon returns to North London and will receive a hostile reception, whilst Steven Naismith will be looking to haunt Arsenal again after his goal earlier in the season.

The final midfielder is Kevin Mirallas, still finding his feet after a penalty shambles, and ahead of him will be compatriot Romelu Lukaku- who had a poor game against Leicester City last week but struck five goals in a two-legged Europa League clash with Young Boys.

Everton XI: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Stones, Coleman, McCarthy, Besic, Lennon, Naismith, Mirallas, Lukaku

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