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Arsenal v Everton
English Premier League
Saturday, 09 January 2010
Kickoff: 15:00 GMT
The bad weather may have put the freeze on Arsenal’s title charge, but the Gunners will be confident of keeping the pressure on leaders Chelsea by taking maximum points against Everton on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s side would have cut Chelsea’s lead to just one point had they beaten Bolton in Wednesday’s postponed fixture. And they will be desperate to see Saturday’s game fulfilled to avoid losing further momentum.
Arsenal began the season with a 6-1 thumping of David Moyes’s side, but by the end of November their title hopes appeared to be over following a run of defeats that left them 11 points off the pace. Six weeks later and the picture looks very different.
The Gunners go into Saturday’s match top of the Premier League’s form guide having taken 16 points from a possible 18.
Injuries to Robin van Persie, Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott may have left Wenger’s squad light up front, but they have scored more goals at home than any other team in the division and have not lost at home to Everton since January 1996.
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The Merseyside club have never really recovered from that opening day humiliation, but a recent upturn in fortune sees them head to the Emirates on a five-game unbeaten run in the league.
Everton may hand on-loan LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan his debut to boost their attacking options. Fellow striker Louis Saha is doubtful with a hamstring injury, Jo is absent through club suspension and Yakubu is on international duty.
The Gunners have won 12 and drawn one of their last 13 league encounters with Everton at the Emirates and Highbury. Everton’s biggest defeats in the Premier League have both come at the hands of Arsenal – a 7-0 loss at Highbury in May 2005 and this season’s 6-1 defeat at Goodison. History does not bode well for Everton.
Arsenal v Everton Predictions
The Merseyside club are unbeaten in five in the league, but they have won only one of those. Everton have not won away from home in the league since a 2-1 win at West Ham in early November. On the other hand, Arsenal have won their last three games at the Emirates without conceding a goal.
Soccerlens Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Everton
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