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Football | Premier League

BPL: Big match feature

Everton can take a huge step towards an unlikely top-four finish and Champions League soccer next season if they can maintain their recent run of great form by winning at Arsenal for the first time in 17 years on Tuesday. Catch the action live on SS3 and live streaming right here at supersport.com from 8:30pm.

For Everton to succeed in their mission, they will have to overcome opponents who have risen to third in the table on the back of a superb run of results just as the race for Champions League qualification enters the finishing straight.

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Wenger has revealed that Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky are back in the squad for the clash against Everton. But Lukasz Fabianski is a major doubt and a decision will only be made in the build-up to the match. He got a kick in the rib against Norwich City.

Centre-back Mertesacker returns from a one-match suspension against Norwich, so captain Thomas Vermaelen could again be on the bench while Nacho Monreal is expected to come in at left-back after being rested.

Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are both pressing for a recall after coming off the bench against Norwich, but midfielder Abou Diaby (knee) is a long-term absentee.

"It is a question of nerves," Wenger said. "The win over Norwich was a balance of nerves, quality and intelligence.

"We did not do anything stupid when we were 1-0 down and kept faith in our game. That side of the game will be important. We know we cannot drop points and we have to go until the end with this consistency."

Arsenal (full squad): Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal, Cazorla, Ramsey, Gervinho, Rosicky, Arteta, Giroud, Fabianski, Mertesacker, Walcott, Wilshere, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Coquelin, Mannone.

Everton manager David Moyes: "We feel that no matter what happens, we are still in with a fight for a European spot and I think for Everton to be saying that at this time of the year is a positive thing and something we should be pleased with."

Moyes will assess a few knocks and bruises ahead of the trip to London. The squad came through Saturday's victory over Queens Park Rangers without any significant injuries but the Toffees boss needs to assess their overall fitness for the midweek game. Defender Tony Hibbert is set to continue his comeback from calf surgery by playing for the under-21s later on Monday.

Everton (full squad): Howard, Baines, Coleman, Distin, Jagielka, Mirallas, Gibson, Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman, Anichebe, Jelavic, Naismith, Heitinga, Oviedo, Barkley, Hitzlsperger, Mucha.

Match officials

Referee: Neil Swarbrick; Assistants: G Beswick, L Betts; Fourth official: K Friend.


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