Arsenal vs. Everton: Scoring the 5 Key Battles

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Arsenal vs. Everton: Scoring the 5 Key Battles
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

There are two ways to look at the Arsenal team as they head into battle against Everton on Saturday.

Option 1: The team are suffering from a worrying dip in form, having won just one game out of the last four.

Option 2: Arsenal are up to fifth in the Premier League (compared to 17th just over two months ago) and qualified for the Champions League knockout stages, topping their group and avoiding all the big guns as a result. Oh, and while we're on the subject of the Champions League, did you know that those teams from Manchester got knocked out?

Back to all things Arsenal, though, and it is a clear indicator of the importance of mental make-up in sport that in spite of the team being in the midst of its worst run of results since September, there is much optimism and joie de vivre in the air.

Everton visit north London, and while our opponents will be no pushovers, the general expectation is for Arsenal to pick up all three points.

The Toffees currently lie 10th in the Premier League table, with 16 points from 13 games. They have lost three out of their last five league games, including a very disappointing and unexpected 0-1 home reverse to Stoke City.

As always, they have been defensively frugal, shipping only 17 goals in their 13 games—only six teams have conceded fewer goals. But it is at the opposite end of the park where they have struggled, scoring only 15 goals all season. That's one fewer than Robin van Persie!

But don't let the stats fool you. Everton have always been difficult to break down, and this time will be no different. Arsenal recorded identical 2-1 wins in the home and away fixtures last season, but if we go back to the home game in the previous year, it was only an injury-time equalizer by Tomas Rosicky that enabled Arsenal to salvage a 2-2 draw.

David Moyes' teams are always a committed bunch, and in Tim Howard, Louis Saha, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell, they have players of top Premiership pedigree who will challenge Arsenal all over the park.

Here are five key battles we can expect to see.

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