Arsenal host Everton on Sunday for the final matchday of the Premier League. While Everton have guaranteed a seventh-place finish and a spot in next season’s Europa League, Arsenal are still in the race for Champions League qualification.
Even a win at the Emirates will see Arsenal miss out on Champions League for the first time in 20 years if Liverpool and Manchester City win on the day. In all of Arsene Wenger’s years at Arsenal, he has never finished outside the top four, so his legacy is at stake.
Despite what the teams are playing for, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sánchez are in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot. Lukaku is on 24 goals and Alexis is on 23, short of Harry Kane’s total of 26 goals. A strong performance from either team could sway the race in favor of one of these players.
• Alexis Sánchez has scored in three games in a row for Arsenal, while Lukaku has gone four games in a row without scoring for Everton
• Arsenal have won their last nine home games that have occurred on the last day of the season
• In the last 20 league matches between these two teams, Arsenal are unbeaten (W16 D4). They have never lost at home to Everton under Arsene Wenger.
Everton do not have their strongest squad available, with Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, and Yannick Bolasie missing out due to injury.
Arsenal only have Lucas Pérez and Santi Cazorla out due to injury, so a strong lineup can be expected for the match.
Arsenal’s recent form is very positive, with four consecutive wins after their loss to Tottenham. On the other hand, Everton have only won twice in their last five games. A disappointing loss against Swansea summarizes Everton’s lack of drive in these last matches.
Arsenal (3-4-3): Cech; Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerín, Ramsey, Xhaka, Gibbs; Özil, Giroud, Sánchez
Everton (4-3-3): Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies; Barkley, Lukaku, Mirallas
Arsenal need to push for the win here, so they will look to control the game with possession and quickly move the ball through the wings to create plenty of chances. Héctor Bellerín and Alexis Sánchez are the key players that contribute pace and skill to deliver crosses and move the ball.
Meanwhile, Everton will try to nullify Arsenal’s attacks by pressing the player with the ball to win back possession. Then counter attacks can be formed through their attacking front three. The club is capable of defending solidly, so it would not be completely unlikely for them to earn a positive result with these tactics.
Arsenal 2-0 Everton
Arsenal will be particularly motivated to get a win and finish strong in the league to help forget about their poor results earlier in the season, while Everton may not be as motivated to push for a result.
Even though a win at the Emirates gives Arsenal the best chance of Champions League qualification, it will most likely not be enough to get the job done, since Liverpool only need a win against Middlesbrough and Manchester City need to avoid defeat against Watford.