Arsenal v Everton, 19:45
– Arsenal battled back from adversity to claim a 3-1 win over Norwich at The Emirates on Saturday. The result was shrouded in controversy however after the decision to give a dubious corner led to a penalty which swung the match in the Gunners’ favour and sparked a late fightback from the home side.
– Lukas Podolski made an immediate impact after coming on in the second half, rattling the crossbar as Arsenal pushed for an equalizer. However it’s not surpising that the German international came so close to equalizing according to the EA SPORTS Player Index. He has the best shot accuracy rate in the Arsenal squad, with 70.7% of his 41 attempts on goal finding the target.
– Arsenal fans had their hearts in their mouths again after Jack Wilshere limped off just after the break. The talented midfielder had been one of Arsenal’s brightest performers up until that point, making it easy to see how he’s completed a pass in the opponent’s half once every 2.48 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
– The reputation of Kieran Gibbs continues to be enhanced with every game the left-back plays, the youngster having managed to string a run of games together following persistent injury woes. Dynamic in attack yet composed in defence, Gibbs has one of the best tackle success rates in the Arsenal squad, coming out on top in 70% of his 60 attempted challenges this season.
– Everton secured a 2-0 win over QPR at Goodison Park on Saturday. Goals from Darron Gibson and Victor Anichebe helped move David Moyes’ side ever closer to their goal of securing European football next season.
– Victor Anichebe has taken his chances well this season following the drop in form of Nikica Jelavic, last weekend’s goal another example of his continued return to form. The powerful frontman has one of the best shot accuract rates in the Toffees’ squad at 65.8% and has also used his imposing frame to chip in with 5 assists for his teammates. He will likely relish this Tuesday’s battle against a sometimes shaky Arsenal defence.
– David Moyes this week announced that Phil Jagielka will take over the Everton captaincy following Phil Neville’s departure and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows it’s not difficult to see why. Jagielka has a superb tackle success rate (84.6% from 65 challenges) as well as a massive 295 defensive contributions for the season, easily the highest in the Everton squad.
– Whilst the Arsenal midfield is always brimming with players who will seek to dominate possession through accurate and technical passing, in Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar they may well have found their equals. Between them they have amassed an enormous 1,570 successful passes in the opponent’s half this season, meaning the likes of Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey will have to bring their tackling boots should they wish to see much of the ball.