Sam Allardyce finally put an end to Everton’s seven match winless run in midweek, but now he must follow it up with something no Blues boss has managed to do – take all three points at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners jumped ship from Highbury back in 2006, and since then Everton have made 12 away trips to the Emirates, losing eight, drawing four and winning zero.
The story of Arsenal’s season has been summed up in their last six fixtures…
They have blown away Crystal Palace and came out on top of Champions Chelsea over two legs but losses to Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and most recently Swansea have shown just how inconsistent this Arsenal team is.
It’s been a very indifferent campaign for Arsène Wenger’s troops, who once again have a serious chance of missing out on the coveted Champions League spots.
Theo Walcott is set to face off against the side he spent 12 years with.
A £20 million acquisition, the England winger has made just two appearances but his two goals and single assist have already contributed to 11% of Everton’s Premier League goal tally.
Wednesday’s victory over Leicester has put the Blues within three points of eighth and four points off seventh, but a dismal goal difference will prevent any upward move should they win.
On the other hand, Arsenal are in a league of their own, they are seven points clear of Burnley but eight adrift of Spurs.
One to watch
Introducing the Everton Mishmash!
Mesut Özil is has ended any doubts over his future after he put pen to paper on a new contract this week. The German playmaker has shown Everton his quality time and time again.
He was magnificent in Arsenal’s 5-2 destruction of the Blues earlier this term.
Özil has lined up against Saturday’s opponents nine times, scoring three and assisting a further six.
The home side are expected to give Henrikh Mkhitaryan his full debut but it’s unclear whether record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will feature. Jack Wilshere is doubtful through illness.
Seamus Coleman came through 90 minutes against Leicester unscathed, but Allardyce will be careful with how much use he can get out of him without risking another injury after 10 months on the sidelines.
Everton have no fresh injury worries.
Man in the middle
Neil Swarbrick will take the whistle. In the 18 games he has officiated in he has dished out 49 yellow cards.