Everton are in fifth place. Goodison Park is frightening. Life is hard. Soccer is fun.
Everton vs. Arsenal
Kickoff: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 2:45 PM EST
Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, UK, Eurozonenenenenenenenne
Form: EVE DDWLD | ARS DDWWD
TV: foxsoccer.tv (subscribers only)
SBN Everton Blog: Royal Blue Mersey
If Aston Villa away was surprisingly hard, Everton away should not be surprisingly hard. Basically nobody wins at Goodison Park except for Everton, and that's precisely where Arsenal will find themselves tomorrow as the grey winter approaches.
Luckily, this is sports, and past results are no indicator of future success or failure. Villa Park may have been a blip on the Arsenal bus radar system, or it may have indicated a deeper pattern. Thankfully for Arsenal, they will have one or two extra hardpoints in operation as part of their...arsenal...erm...yeah. What I'm trying to say is that Theo Walcott is available for tomorrow, which is a good thing for two reasons: Leighton, and Baines (two reasons, one player, two names, everyone's entitled to two, aren't they? said a very famous Everton fan in a film one time).
Anyway: Theo. Leighton Baines is a threat coming up Everton's left, and Walcott could prove the tactical fulcrum tomorrow, as he can either pin Baines back or get behind an advanced Baines on the counterattack ("assuming Arsenal remember what one of those looks like," he said, trollingly). Theo has a little more experience on the right in matches like these than does Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, too, and his newfound ability to find the giant heads of giant Arsenal players, although not a high-percentage play, may just prove fruitful.
Everyone else from the Villa match is healthy, present, and accounted for, although seeing Jack Wilshere tomorrow in place of Aaron Ramsey probably wouldn't be surprising, nor would seeing Bacary Sagna back at right back. Per Mertesacker will probably pair with Laurent Koscielny again, as Thomas Vermaelen seems to have fallen out of favor with Arsene Wenger anywhere other than left back.
Everton could welcome back Darron Gibson to their midfield, who would provide a physical presence to bolster Marouane Fellaini, if that's even possible. Either way, this is not your two-years-ago's not-scoring Everton; between Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic, they have some potency. Arsenal pesterers Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar both could feature as well.
A point away at Goodison is a good result, but Arsenal really could use all three in tomorrow's six-pointer.
Match Prediction: A hard-fought match grinds away in the wind and the rain, but the camera pulls back to reveal that the whole match has been played inside Fellaini's fro, and then it pulls back to reveal that it that fro is merely a dust mote on another fro, and then INFINITE FRO LOOP #!##$!!!@@@@........::SYSTEM SHUT DOWN:: ::BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH::