Starting this weekend, Arsene Wenger's side faces their toughest stretch of fixtures.
Week 15 in the Premier League brings with it a couple of interesting Sunday fixtures—both of which will make for compulsive viewing as the weekend draws to a close.
Sky Sports has both games covered, with live streaming available online as part of its Sky Go service (subscription required). Of course, as is standard, highlights are available without subscription on BBC One and Match of the Day 2 at 10:30 p.m. GMT.
|Time (GMT)||Home Team||Away Team||TV Info||Live Stream|
|13:30||Fulham||Aston Villa||Sky Sports 1||Sky Go|
|16:00||Arsenal||Everton||Sky Sports 1||Sky Go|
Fulham vs. Aston Villa
Fulham have had an inauspicious 2013, currently languishing in the relegation zone with 10 points from 14 games.
It's absolutely vital that Fulham get something from this fixture, with games against Everton and Manchester City to come before the Christmas period.
Following this, they travel to struggling Norwich on Boxing Day, facing a genuine possibility of propping up the table by the time 2014 rolls around.
They will have to beat Aston Villa without defender Brede Hangeland, who had surgery to ease problems with his sciatic nerve. According to Nick Purewal at the Daily Mail, Fulham face another six weeks without their Norwegian international.
Meulensteen to take Sir Alex Ferguson experience into management as Fulham prepare for Aston Villa clash http://t.co/vGinc5Nx9B— SΦSΔ (@Justinfurory) December 7, 2013
Following an impressive win at Southampton last week, Villa sit in 10th place and will be confident of victory at Craven Cottage. However, with just four goals coming from the last four meetings between the two teams, they will likely have to grind out a tough victory.
The form of Christian Benteke will be a worry for Paul Lambert, with the Belgian unable to find the net in seven games, resulting in him being dropped for the Southampton game.
Nevertheless, Lambert insisted to Metro that "the football club does not revolve around one player" and will look to start quickly and gain a foothold in the game at Fulham.
It's going to be a real battle, but Villa should have the edge here and cast Fulham into deeper misery.
Arsenal vs. Everton
December is a big month for Arsene Wenger and his side, with games against Manchester City and Chelsea to come before Christmas. The Gunners' title aspirations should be a little clearer after these fixtures, so a win against an in-form Everton would set them along the right path.
According to BBC Sport, Wenger should welcome back Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Olivier Giroud to the starting line-up. This should relegate last week's surprise goalscorer Niklas Bendtner back to the bench, but it will be a comfort to the Arsenal boss that he has another goalscoring option.
Tactical Battles That Will Shape Arsenal's Clash with Everton http://t.co/kLEgg5PG7B— Arsenal News (@newsnow_arsenal) December 7, 2013
Fresh off the back of their first win at Old Trafford in 21 years, Roberto Martinez is likely to field an unchanged side at the Emirates.
Arsenal look strong, though, with Mesut Ozil continuing his fantastic first season in the Premier League. His partnership with Aaron Ramsey could decide the game, while Romelu Lukaku will be a constant threat for Everton.
Form and confidence are good for both teams, so this has all the makings of a thrilling encounter. Arsenal haven't lost at home to Everton since 1996, but we saw last week that records don't mean much to Martinez's side.
Honours even sounds about right for this, with Everton fighting back from a one-goal deficit to claim a point and continue their rise under Martinez.