Arsenal v Everton Preview

FA Cup | Saturday 8 March | Emirates Stadium | 14:45




The FA Cup resumes this weekend with the tournament down to eight teams ready to contest the quarter-finals.

Arsenal’s victory over Liverpool in the fifth round has been rewarded with a home draw for the quarter-final, but they must play fellow Premier League high-flyers Everton.

Toffees manager Roberto Martinez is bidding to become the first ever manager to win successive FA Cup titles with different teams after leading Wigan to the trophy last season.

The Gunners have not won a trophy since the 2004/05 FA Cup and Arsene Wenger is in no doubt as to the importance of this encounter.

Everton have never won in any of their previous eight visits to the Emirates Stadium since it opened in 2006 and have not triumphed in an away fixture against Arsenal in their last 19 encounters since January 20 1996 – nine months before Arsene Wenger’s arrival.

To Win (90mins)
Arsenal 15/20 
Draw 26/10 
Everton 36/10

ARSENAL

Arsenal's season has panned out better than expected. Last August they were missing a top striker and were fourth favourites for the Premier League.

That is true today, too. But some of the questions raised back then about their goalkeeper, defence and central midfield have been answered.

Wojciech Szczesny has made fewer kamikaze charges and clumsy errors and his save percentage has improved too.

The defence has conceded the third fewest goals in the Premier League and Aaron Ramsey had gone from boo-boy to contender for Player of the Year before straining his thigh.

The loss of Ramsey as well as Theo Walcott has certainly wounded Arsenal’s title race as both were good goal scorers and assist providers.

Of course Arsenal's season is not over. Besides being in the FA Cup and by a thread the Champions League, they are only four points behind Chelsea in the Premier League, whom they face in three weeks time.

They are also level on 59 points with Liverpool while Manchester City trail them by two points but with two games in hand.

So the title is still up for grabs but their next league games loom like Himalayan peaks: Spurs away, Chelsea away, Manchester City home, Everton away.

With Arsenal still to play Chelsea and Manchester City, and those two sides to visit Anfield, on paper the Gunners’ title chances are still alive and well in spite of the defeat at Stoke last weekend.

On Saturday, Arsenal lacked quality in the final third. Too many bad passes led to a lack of good chances.

In the end Arsene Wenger switched to a 4-4-2 with Yaya Sanogo joining Olivier Giroud up front, but the young man showed why he is not going to make the difference that leads Arsenal to a title with a howler of a miss when he was presented with a very decent opportunity to score near the death of the game.

So, events have revealed the manager got that one wrong, in spite of the initial joy of him splashing £42 million on a superstar in Mesut Ozil, he failed to secure a prolific striker needed to win the league.

Arsenal overcame north London rivals Tottenham 2-0 in the third round, before beating League One outfit Coventry City 4-0 to seal their place in the fifth round where they beat Liverpool 2-1.

EVERTON

Romelu Lukaku underlined his importance to Everton’s European ambitions by marking his comeback from injury with a late winner against stubborn West Ham last weekend.

Martinez claimed Lukaku’s ankle knock sustained against Liverpool might prove a blessing in disguise as he needed a break and we must now expect the best of him.

Everton deserved to win, having enjoyed 75 per cent possession in the first half and seen Steven Pienaar denied a hat-trick early in the second.

After two successive Premier League defeats, the three points were vital for Everton, who return to the top six.

Everton's trip to Arsenal is the 44th occasion that they’ve reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Including games that went to replays, the Toffees full quarter-final record is played 51 won 25 drawn 8 and lost 18.

At home they have played 24 won 14 drawn 5 and lost 5 while away they have played 26 and won 10 drawn 3 and lost 13.

Everton have been going well in the FA Cup so far this season.

The Toffees beat both QPR and Stevenage 4-0 on their way to the 5th round where they dismantled Swansea 3-1 at home.

Betting PredictionARSENAL 15/20
Arsenal are unbeaten at home to Everton in 19 matches, winning an impressive 15 times. They have been exceptional at home winning 10 of their 14 matches, losing just once which came in the first match of the season. Arsenal haven’t been at their best but with a semi-final place at stake Arsene Wenger’s charges are tipped to rise to the occasion and claim the victory.     

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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