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The Clash of the Underachievers – Arsenal host Everton – Our Prediction

Prediction: We go with Everton despite its massive loss to MU in their last encounter. Everton stands a better chance against Arsenal.

Way back in 2004, Arsene Wenger had a dream: Arsenal would be the greatest club ever to play football. With single-minded determination he set about “building a team” worthy of his dream. For a while, he seemed to have succeeded, his players going an entire season and more undefeated. But, sadly, that was the beginning and end of the so-called ‘Invincibles’.

All that could change this week. If Arsenal win, they will reach that elusive summit – the No. 1 position on the league table. And going by recent form, Arsenal have every chance of winning. They beat bitter rivals Manchester United 3-0, then followed it up with an identical thumping of Watford. A few days ago, they scalped their biggest prize yet – a 2-0 drubbing of the mighty Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The only way is up for the Gunners, it would seem. Last year’s hero Alexis Sanchez is up and running again, Mesut Özil has managed to find the form that justifies his humongous price tag, Petr Cech is showing his class with each passing game, and Olivier Giroud has finally begun to showcase his impressive box of skills.

However, after a memorable two weeks, Arsenal fans will have a feeling that a reality check is on its way. Midfield tour de force Aaron Ramsey is out after pulling a hamstring and Wenger admits Sanchez is running on fumes at the moment. Injuries and fatigue could well turn Wenger’s dream into a nightmare.

And Everton will look to capitalise.

Roberto Martinez’s Everton were drubbed 3-0 by Manchester United last week. And it wasn’t because United played exceptionally well. Everton had themselves to blame for a truly atrocious performance that lacked conviction, desire and any will to win after falling behind.

The Toffees will be desperate to restore some faith in their fans when they travel to the Emirates Stadium, and will be boosted by the recent form of Romelo Lukaku, Ross Barkley, and the impressive John Stones.

They will also welcome the return of the unpredictable but dangerous Kevin Mirallas from suspension.

The record books give this game to the Londoners – Everton have never won in their 21 visits to Arsenal. But there is just enough unpredictability whenever these two sides meet to pre-empt an upset.

In the end, Arsenal’s shrinking available squad and tiring players will be overrun by a resurgent Everton for a famous away win for the Toffees.

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