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Theo Walcott returns to his most familiar place in England when Everton take on Arsenal in a mouth-watering contest scheduled for today. While Everton found their lost rhythm and won their midweek game, Arsenal stumbled against a relegation-threatened club in Swansea City. Neither the Toffees nor Big Sam have had the edge over Arsené Wenger’s Arsenal, but one cannot write them off the contest just yet.
After serving the North London club for over a decade and scoring more than 100 goals for them, Walcott will have to return to remind them of what he can do when in full flight. Big Sam will be looking to better the fact that the Merseysiders have won just one out of their previous 20 league matches on their travels. It will not be a piece of cake as they are up against the second best side at their home, this season.
The big boost came last week when their dynamic right-back, Seamus Coleman returned straight into the starting lineup and put in a man of the match performance. Allardyce has no fresh injuries to be worried about. However, Leighton Baines and James McCarthy are ruled out.
It will be interesting to see if the former England boss replaces his centre-backs as a part of the rotation, mainly because they kept Leicester in wraps last time out. Theo Walcott will play on the right-wing whereas the in-form Gylfi Sigurdsson should shift to the No.10 role. Elsewhere, he will surely construct a defensive-minded lineup.
Pickford will start in goal for Everton. He has been inspiring since the start of the season.
Remarkable performance last game and should get another chance here at right-back.
Can’t keep him out of such an important game, hence Williams is expected to return.
Keane will play alongside the former Swansea captain. He was outstanding against the Foxes.
Martina should keep his place on the left-hand side of the defence. He sticks to his basics and is always switched on.
Gueye wasn’t good enough last time and hence could make way for the reliable Schneiderlin.
Provides creativity in the middle and will be the one to run back, press, attack the ball and break up the play.
All eyes will be on him when he returns to the Emirates. He injects pace, brings quality and some sort of an urgency to Everton’s attack.
Sigurdsson will work wonders from his natural, most favoured position – the No.10 role. His game has taken a crucial turn since the arrival of Big Sam.
He’s not been anywhere close to his best, but he should start on the left-wing, just to provide the counter-attacking threat.
Given his present form and the desire he has shown, Niasse might be given another go.