Football: Arsenal ready for Champions' test at Everton

Arsenal will look to continue their recent resurgence when they travel to Everton eyeing third place in the Premier League on Wednesday.

The Gunners bid for Champions League football next term seemed doomed earlier this season but a run of four straight wins has taken them to within a point of third-placed arch-rivals Tottenham and three clear of Chelsea.

All of those recent victories were against high-calibre opposition too, with Tottenham, Liverpool and Newcastle beaten in the Premier League and AC Milan defeated in a Champions League second leg clash, although the Italians did go through on aggregate on the night.

Inevitably Arsenal will look to top scorer Robin van Persie, with the Netherlands international likely to be the centre of a three-man attacking unit also comprising England's Theo Walcott and Gervinho of the Ivory Coast.

Teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also expect to feature and Tomas Rosicky, the Czech Republic international, has been in exceptional form as well in the past few weeks.

"I look at Theo, Gervinho and Robin as the three main attacking players and more recently I have been watching Tomas Rosicky because he's been outstanding," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

"Robin has taken most of the headlines and rightfully so with all of his fantastic goals but quietly I think Tomas has been playing absolutely amazingly.

"We have had some really good wins, away at Anfield, at home to Tottenham and Newcastle, and AC Milan too even though we didn't qualify. It drives you on to want more of that success."

Oxlade-Chamberlain could end the season by being named in England's Euro 2012 squad so rapid has the former Southampton player's progress been this season.

"I've played so many games of football now and even though it is at a higher level, at the end of the day football is football. You are just playing with better players," he added.

"Playing in a team like Arsenal it helps massively having all of these players around you giving you advice. When they are playing well, you feel comfortable and it helps you to play well too."

Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin are unlikely to feature because of injury, with Per Mertesacker, Emmanuel Frimpong and Jack Wilshere still regarded as long-term casualties.

Everton are facing a hectic schedule but Sylvain Distin, the French defender, believes the Toffees' small squad could cope.

David Moyes's side are facing a run of seven games in 21 days after drawing their FA Cup quarter-final with Sunderland at the weekend.

Following the impressive 1-0 win over Spurs, Moyes made six changes for the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool ahead of the Sunderland cup tie.

After the game against the Gunners, Everton come up against Swansea, head to Sunderland for their replay and host West Bromwich Albion on March 31.

"It's physically tough but that's why we have all the great physios to help us recover between games," Distin said. "That's the most important when you've got games together like this.

"All together it's going to be seven games in three weeks, and all you can do is recover and make the most of the three days between games.

"We've only got a small squad but we've got a lot of quality, and it's up to the manager to make decisions on whether he rests people or not."

Midfielder Darron Gibson is struggling with a knee problem and is likely to miss the Arsenal game.

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.
Loading...

Latest News