Arsenal Predicted XI vs Everton 

It’s the defining day in Arsenal’s Premier League season and yet, whatever they do might not matter.

The Gunners host Everton knowing no less than three points are needed if they are to claim a first top-flight title in 20 years but regardless, Mikel Arteta and co are still reliant on Manchester City dropping points at home to West Ham.

Goalkeeper – Raya

David Raya has already kept 16 clean sheets in goal for Arsenal this season as he reaches the final game of his loan spell. Regardless, the Spanish keeper is all but guaranteed to not only start, but also join the club permanently in the summer. Aaron Ramsdale meanwhile, strongly linked with a summer switch to Newcastle, will be forced to wave goodbye from the bench.

Defence – White, Gabriel, Saliba, Tomiyasu

Takehiro Tomiyasu has emerged as an unlikely key figure in Arsenal’s title charge, and the Japanese left-back is again set to start in favour of Oleander Zinchenko having overcome an injury scare in the build-up to the Manchester United win. The remainder of Arteta’s back four essentially picks itself, with Gabriel and William Saliba having formed arguably the strongest centre back pairing in the Premier League this season.

Ben White’s form at right back makes him a nailed on starter too. Jurrien Timber’s return to full fitness meanwhile, has come too late for him to challenge for a place in the XI.

Midfield – Rice, Odegaard, Jorginho

Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice have been among the standout performers for their club in 2023/24, with both rewarded for the standout campaigns by being named in the Premier League Team of the Year. But Arteta’s major call will be over Thomas Partey, with the Ghanian notably off the pace in the win at Old Trafford last Sunday.

Given Everton’s tendency under Sean Dyche to disrupt and spoil, Arsenal are likely to go with the composure of Jorginho to help retain possession. Another option would be to drop Kai Havertz back into midfield, but that experiment backfired in the critical home defeat to Aston Villa.

Attack – Saka, Havertz, Trossard

Leandro Trossard has grown in stature in the latter half of the season, proving his worth again at United with his first-half winner. Bukayo Saka limped off in that clash but has been declared fit for Sunday, while Havertz has overcome criticism to become a certain starter.

Gabriel Martinelli and Jesus are both likely to feature as second-half substitutes. But whether the latter will wear red at the Emirates again after this week appears up in the air.

The atmosphere in north London is likely to be electric as the Gunners push for the win they crave. But elation and tension will be apparent in equal measures with fans also sure to be keeping close tabs on news from the Etihad.