Posts Tagged ‘ steven pienaar ’

Arsenal vs Everton EPL Preview: In-form sides gear up for crucial top four race clash

Arteta battling

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

ARSENAL

Szczesny
Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs
Ramsey, Arteta, Wilshere
Walcott, Giroud, Cazorla

EVERTON


Howard
Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar
Fellaini
Jelavic

Out-of-favour goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny looks set to return to the Arsenal starting XI, with Arsene Wenger admitting Lukasz Fabianski is a “major doubt” after taking a kick to the ribs against Norwich.

Per Mertesacker could return from suspension to the starting line-up in place of Thomas Vermaelen, who along with Nacho Monreal will challenge left-back Kieran Gibbs for the team.

Theo Walcott’s return from injury could see the forward start on the right flank in place of Gervinho, while manager Arsene Wenger faces a choice between keeping Aaron Ramsey in midfield and naming Santi Cazorla on the left flank, or moving the playmaker infield and adding Lukas Podolski on the left.

Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is doubtful and could miss out along with long-term casualty Abou Diaby (knee).

Everton have no new injury concerns and could name the side that beat QPR on Saturday, with Seamus Coleman set to continue at right-back while Tony Hibbert lacks fitness after a long-term injury.

Striker Victor Anichebe has started the Toffees’ last four league matches and could again lead the line ahead of the recently returned Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar, but Nikica Jelavic is another option.

  • Arsenal have reached the Champions League last 16 in each of the last 12 seasons and are currently third, a point ahead of rivals Tottenham and Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
  • The Gunners have won eight of their last ten games and are second only to runaway leaders Manchester United in the form table.
  • Since Christmas, Arsenal have scored in every game bar the 2-0 loss to Manchester City. When Arsene Wenger’s side have scored first in the league this season, they have never lost a game.
  • Each of Olivier Giroud’s last ten Premier League goals this season have been scored at the Emirates Stadium.
  • Everton have not finished in the top four since 2005 and are currently in sixth place, three points from Chelsea and Tottenham and four from the Gunners as they seek to qualify for the Champions League.
  • The attacking contribution of the returning Marouane Fellaini has been vital for David Moyes’ men this campaign. The Belgium midfielder’s goals and assists have won the Merseysiders 12 points in the league.
  • The Toffees have scored the joint-highest amount of headed goals (13) in this year’s Premier League. The other side are league leaders Manchester United.
  • Everton have failed to beat Arsenal in the sides’ 11 most recent encounters, but went close earlier this season in the 1-1 draw between the two at Goodison Park in November.
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Tottenham vs Everton EPL Preview: Champions League-chasing pair after vital victory

Scott Parker

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Lloris
Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto
Sigurdsson, Parker, Livermore, Dembele
Holtby
  
Adebayor
EVERTON

Howard
 Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin
Coleman, Gibson, Mirallas, Osman, Baines
Anichebe, Jelavic

Andre Villas-Boas will be without key man Gareth Bale, who sustained an ankle injury during the club’s Europa League draw with Basel and is expected to miss the next two games at a minimum.

The Spurs manager is likely to also contend with the absences of Aaron Lennon (knee) and William Gallas (calf) who also suffered injuries during Thursday’s clash at White Hart Lane.

England international Jermain Defoe is still two weeks away from returning from a groin injury, whilst Younes Kaboul (knee) has only returned returned to first-team training following a seven-month absence and Sandro (knee) is ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Everton manager David Moyes will again prepare his team without right-back Tony Hibbert who misses out with a calf injury, whilst Kevin Mirallas is hoping to shake off a groin problem.

Midfield pairing Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar are set to complete two-match bans and will return for the home tie with QPR the following week.

  • Tottenham have lost more Premier League matches in the month of April than any other team – 35 in total.
  • Andre Villas-Boas  is two wins games away from his 100th career victory in management.
  • Along with Swansea City, Tottenham are the only side in the league not to score a goal from a penalty kick.
  • Spurs have scored at least two goals in five of their last six Premier League games.
  • Everton are currently on a run which has seen them win three consecutive league games for the first time since January 2010.
  • David Moyes’ side have been leading at half-time in each of their last three wins, but are looking to claim victory at White Hart Lane for the first time since 2008.
  • If the Toffees claim victory on Sunday, it will be their 600th away win in league football.

Manchester United vs Everton EPL Preview: Toffees winless at Old Trafford since 1992

Felliani battling for a header

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 


MANCHESTER UNITED


De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Cleverley, Giggs, Nani
Rooney
Van Persie
EVERTON

Howard
Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Baines
Mirallas, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar
Fellaini, Anichebe

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to make one change from his side’s 1-0 win at Fulham, drafting in Ryan Giggs for Michael Carrick (hip), who sat out England’s 2-1 win over Brazil in midweek.

Ashley Young could return to the Red Devils squad after recovering from a knee injury, but is likely to start on the bench, whilst Phil Jones (illness) is ruled out alongside long-term absentee Darren Fletcher (illness).

Phil Jagielka failed to start England’s friendly on Wednesday due to a slight knock, but is set to start at right-back for Everton, with David Moyes shorn of full-backs Tony Hibbert (calf) and Seamus Coleman (hip).

The Everton boss has no other fresh injury concerns to contend with, and so is likely to name the same XI that came from behind to draw 3-3 with Aston Villa last weekend.

  • Manchester United have won 11 out of 12 league games at home this season.
  • The Red Devils’ tally of 62 points after 25 games is their highest-ever points haul at this stage in a Premier League season.
  • Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have scored 32 league goals at home so far this season; only Arsenal (33) have registered more.
  • Everton have a poor record at Old Trafford, having not won there since August 1992.
  • However, the Toffees have only lost twice in their last six games against Manchester United.
  • Steven Pienaar (pictured right) bagged a late equaliser in this fixture last season as the sides drew 4-4, equalling the highest-ever score in this fixture.
  • The Toffees boast a better defensive record than their hosts, having conceding 30 goals to United’s 31.

Match Preview: Everton vs Liverpool

Everton boss David Moyes will be forced into making at least one change from his side’s 1-1 draw with QPR after Steven Pienaar’s red card sees him banned for this game.

The Scot could deploy Belgian attacker Kevin Mirallas on the left-hand side in South African’s absence, meaning Steven Naismith will come in on the right, however, the Toffees manager is unlikely to make further changes given his side’s impressive form of late.

Visiting boss Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has no fresh injury concerns bar the long-term absences of Lucas Leiva (thigh), Fabio Borini (foot) and Martin Kelly (knee) and should name an otherwise full-strength team.

Andre Wisdom is likely to keep his place at right-back in order to help combat the heading prowess of Everton’s frontline, meaning Glen Johnson will stay out on the left, whilst Pepe Reina is expected to return from a hamstring injury.

  • Everton manager David Moyes has won just four of his 23 Merseyside derby games in charge of the club.
  • The Scot has lost 13 of those games, but is some way short of former Reds manager Tom Watson’s absymal derby record. He lost 21 games against Everton.
  • Sunday’s game is the 219th edition of this derby, making it the most played fixture in the history of English football.
  • The fixture has also seen more red cards than any other in the Premier League (20).
  • Should Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina keep a clean sheet at Goodison Park, he will go joint-third in shut-outs kept in this fixture alongside Bruce Grobbelaar on 10. Only Neville Southall and Ray Clemence can boast more (15 each).
  • The last five meetings between these teams have produced 20 yellow cards and one red card.