Arsenal Team News vs Everton: Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Leno, Kolasinac

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Arsenal comes into this clash against Everton on the back of a heartbreaking defeat to a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Manchester United. The Gunners have experienced a bit of a blip in form, after going undefeated for 10 matches through October and early November.

They have lost two of their last three PL fixtures and Mikel Arteta will be determined to get them back on track with a victory against the struggling Toffees. Everton, on the other hand, is in the midst of a crisis. The Toffees have not tasted victory in their last eight fixtures. Incredibly, their last victory was at the back end of September against Norwich City. 

If they can’t turn their form around soon, Everton may find themselves in a relegation scrap by season’s end.

Everton vs Arsenal FYIs:

Kick-off time: 8 PM GMT, 6th December 2021

Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go here

Premier League Preview Pod: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): Everton  (LDLLL) Arsenal (WWLWL)

Let’s focus on the Arsenal end and see how things are looking with injuries and suspensions.

granit-xhaka

First of all, there was a positive update on the condition of former captain Granit Xhaka. He is recovering incredibly fast from the knee injury that has kept him out of the majority of this campaign. When asked about a specific return date for the Swiss international, Mikel Arteta gave this update:

“This week he has progressed again to a different level, and tomorrow we will assess how he is, and decide when is the best moment to start to give him some exposure in games.”

The news wasn’t quite as positive for Sead Kolasinac. The 28-year-old is still some ways away from returning to training, after the shocking injury he suffered while on international duty.

He is in the early stages of his rehabilitation and it will be well into 2022 before he adds to his four Premier League appearances this season.

bernd leno

German Bernd Leno is facing a late fitness test. The backup keeper wasn’t fit enough to take his place on the bench against Manchester United due to a groin injury and he is rated a 50/50 chance, at best, to take his place on the bench for the Everton clash.

The most worrying of all of the Gunners injury concerns is Emile Smith Rowe. The youth sensation has scored five goals in his last nine Premier League appearances. Mikel Arteta said he will face a late fitness test, before the medical team decides whether or not he is fit to play.

Gunners fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that the newly minted senior England international can recover quickly.

With both sides in questionable current form, this match will be crucial. I am picking Arsenal to pick up an away win that will see the ax fall on Rafa Benitez at Everton.

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