Everton travels to north London for the final game of the Premier League season on Sunday as they are up against Arsenal. You can only write these nerves nipping moments but it’s what this League stands for as this final day match-week is more of a mega ninety minutes for multiple clubs across that PL ladder from the top to the bottom and yet in this fixture we contemplate on the middles – the middles that could make a year lasting impact on not only finances, or points per se, but also to a City called London (well, at least a part of that).
Mikel Arteta has been selling a project to fans for some time now, but this season – it was a glimpse of a mega Arsenal to come. One that is very similar to title-contenders Manchester City, one that in terms of Jesse Marsch, “it’s a version of a Man City.”
Arsenal had a “comfortable” grip on the Champions League spot and slipped up when it mattered most. But did any of us expect Arsenal to make these expectations rise with a juvenile squad lacking in-depth and yet multiple holes to fill – that shows much about the progress the men in Reds and Whites have made while giving them youngsters invaluable experiences. At Arsenal, they don’t buy stars – they make them. And this season has been a testament to that infamous Arsene Wenger quote that has time and time again proven a reality. Remember, diamonds are created under pressure so hold on, it be your time to shine soon. It may well be soon for Arsenal. How soon, you ask?
That lot depends a wee bit on where Norwich finds themselves tomorrow as well, as if the Gunners were to bring those Champions League nights back at the Emirates Stadium – they can get a hefty boost to the already surmountable transfer kitty to add quality, depth and sheer mentality. Mikel’s Mentality. Although irrespective of what happens beyond Arsenal playing host to Everton, one thing is certain – the Gunners are back and they can soon go bang!
Everton, on the other end, have had a pauperized season having hardly making their survival in the Premiership bona fide after almost jumping into the well of Championship than Champions League. The Blues from Merseyside have always started about the majority of seasons with immense dreams backed by an overwhelming transfer window only to play nowhere near to those expectations with a few exceptions here and there.
But they did manage to scrape out points since Frank Lampard took over, it looked like he brought a big change of confidence and belief since taking over the reins at Goodison Park. It shone in the past few weeks, where everyone put their bodies online to get one’s mitts on a throw to putting in those last-ditch tackles. The fans have also been a major shit of things at Goodison, especially in the past couple of weeks where the survival looked more and more probable each passing day. Every pass was celebrated like a goal, and that atmosphere alone can do wonders to a team and they surely did one after managing a hard-fought comeback against Crystal Palace in the midweek.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Date: May 22, Sunday.
Place: Emirates Stadium, London.
Time: 4pm (BST).
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Assistants: Simon Long, Scott Ledger.
Fourth official: James Linington.
VAR: Lee Mason.
Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes.
After the euphoria felt by Everton after the win against Crystal Palace last week, Frank Lampard seems more relaxed regarding the final match ahead of him. Richarlison would be their main man upfront and the gaffer could count on him to score goals in the final game. He also introduced Dele Alli in the previous match, so there is a possibility of him starting this game against the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta’s side needs to lift themselves after letting the initiative slip in their battle for the top four. The club was in a great position to do so just weeks ago, but consecutive defeats mean direct rivals Spurs need just a point at Norwich on the final day to pip the Gunners to the fourth spot. Handing over the Champions League spot is something the Gunners would surely want to avoid.
What is for sure is that the entire North London will be on the edge of their seats watching closely the results of the Spurs and Arsenal match respectively. Heading into the final game of the season, the Gunners are two points behind Spurs. Therefore, Arsenal will surely go all in for this match to obtain the three points.
Possibly playing his last game with an Arsenal badge engraved on his chest, Eddie has been a fresh breath of air to the clumsy striking options the men at N5 have had in the recent past. With all due respect to Alex Lacazette (who will also play his final game for Arsenal tomorrow) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – the Gunners missed a grinding forward since Olivier Giroud moved on to Chelsea. Oli, maybe was criticized for loads of things every now and then but he still was a menace to be dealt with and that’s something Nketiah has brought back at the helm. Pressing effectively, breaking lines without the ball, getting a run in-behind the final man, being a red-blooded competitor in about every aspect of the game. He has proved that he deserves regular minutes and can well be the most interesting upcoming striker in world football.
Weren’t there rumours that DCL told his friends that he wants to join Arsenal? – This is the perfect prospect to demonstrate his abilities and prove that he has that desired hunger in front of the goal. He will be a bouncing play-maker every time Jordan Pickford kicks long with the likes of Richarlison and Anthony Gordon making those runs past Ben White and Gabriel. Calvert-Lewin has had his fair share of injury concerns over the past couple of years, but has always been one of the most effective number nine in the Premier League when fit. His aerial ability means, alot of whipped crosses shall come at the Emirates turn tomorrow and his involvement or disaffiliation might have a say in the score at the full-time whistle.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Ramsdale; Tavares, Gabriel, White, Tomiyasu; Xhaka, Elneny; Smith Rowe, Ødegaard, Saka; Nkeitah.
Everton Predicted XI: Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane; Iwobi, Allan, Doucoure, Mykolenko; Alli, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
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