Contenders around the Premier League are waiting for Arsenal to slip up. Clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool are among the group that needs the Gunners to suffer a drop in form to catch up, but it hasn't happened yet as they prepare to face Everton.
Arsenal, which hold a four-point edge atop the table, are currently riding a four-match winning streak across all competitions, outscoring opponents 9-0 over that span. They are about to enter a difficult stretch, starting with Everton, that should show if they are a championship-caliber side.
The Toffees have been the league's toughest team to beat so far, with just one loss in 14 matches. They should also be feeling confident after emerging from Old Trafford with a win over Manchester United and will look to double up on the marquee road wins at the Emirates.
So let's take a glance at all the important information for Sunday's clash, followed by a breakdown of the top storyline and a match prediction.
Where: Emirates Stadium in London, England
When: Sunday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. ET (4 p.m. GMT)
Watch: NBC Sports Network and Sky Sports 1
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Match Forecast (via Bloomberg Sports)
Arsenal: 45.9 percent
Everton: 27.9 percent
Draw: 26.2 percent
Top Storyline: Can Arsenal maintain their edge atop the Premier League table?
Coming into the campaign, Arsenal was among the group expected to battle for a Champions League berth after a strong finish to last season. Not many people expected them to stand four points clear of every other club as the halfway mark approached, though.
For weeks, the expectation has been the Gunners will eventually cool off, allowing the other title hopefuls to make a charge and potentially even pass the leaders by. Instead, Arsene Wenger's group deserves a lot of credit for fighting hard for every point—and it's paid off, at least so far.
Wenger was under a lot of pressure during the summer. The other top clubs were wheeling and dealing, making additions to bolster their squad while Arsenal remained quiet. For quite some time, Yaya Sanogo was the only incoming transfer.
The turning point was bringing in Mesut Ozil, who's made a seamless transition to the Premier League. His success alongside fellow midfielders Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla paired with the finishing of Olivier Giroud has turned Arsenal into a true title contender.
Whether Arsenal can hold off Chelsea and Manchester City for the entire campaign is up for debate. Both of those squads are loaded with talent and appear ready to pounce if the Gunners even go through just a brief lull. Manchester United are still capable of making a run, too.
For Arsenal to finish the season on top, matches against clubs like Everton are crucial, especially at home. A draw would be acceptable, but three points would provide a nice boost to their case of being the best team in the league.
Arsenal have showcased some really good form in recent weeks, but Everton is a clear step up from Cardiff and Hull. Tim Howard and the Toffees' back line are playing really well, and Romelu Lukaku is a force in the attacking third when he gets enough touches.
The Gunners must do everything in their power to control possession and the pace of the match, keeping Everton from creating consistent chances on the counter. It should lead to a tightly contested match and a league-leading seventh draw for the Toffees.
Arsenal 1, Everton 1
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