Ahead of Arsenal’s crunch meeting with Everton, Arsene Wenger has hit back at what he calls a “minority” of the club’s fans who voiced their disapproval following an uninspiring goalless draw at Aston Villas on Saturday.
"That some fans are not happy when you draw 0-0 at Aston Villa I can understand because I am not happy," he said, according to Arsenal’s official website. "I want to win the game as well.
"The only thing you can say in the modern media service is that the extreme opinions are picked and sold like a majority—and that is not the case always.
"That means those who shout the loudest are usually presented because they are interesting and easy to sell. But they do not always represent the majority of opinions.”
The result at Villa Park came as a particular disappointment after an emphatic north London derby victory over Tottenham a week earlier. The Gunners, who currently have their lowest points tally after 13 games of the season since Wenger took charge of the club in 1996, sit a disappointing sixth in the Premier League, a point behind Wednesday’s opponents.
While most Everton fans would likely have taken fifth place at this stage of the season, there may well currently be some frustration that the Toffees are not even better positioned after their initial flying start to the campaign.
David Moyes’ side have drawn five of their last seven games, a spell which also included a loss to Reading. Their form at Goodison Park has been solid, though. Indeed the last team to come away with three points was Arsenal back in March.
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Everton will receive a massive boost for Wednesday’s clash with influential midfielder Marouane Fellaini available again after a one-match suspension. Fellow midfielder Darron Gibson will face a late fitness test, but Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman remain on the sidelines.
There is good news on the injury front for Arsenal as Theo Walcott is fit again and will compete for a spot on the right of the attack with Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
D: Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Baines
M: Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Osman, Pienaar
D: Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs
M: Arteta, Wilshere
Gervinho, Cazorla, Podolski
Prediction: Neither side comes into the fixture in the most sparkling of form. After starting well against Norwich on Saturday, Everton faded before conceding a late equalizer. With Fellaini back, they should be better equipped on Wednesday. Certainly Arsenal will have to be on their guard to defend against the big Belgian, especially from balls lofted in the box—an area which they have struggled with at times this season.
Arsenal have also had problems breaking down well organized teams over the course of the campaign and this match could well be set for a low-scoring draw.
Everton 1-1 Arsenal
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match kicks-off from Goodison Park at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Fox Soccer Plus, with a live stream available on Fox Soccer 2Go.