February 28, 2015 11:59:31 UK
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he has been surprised by how poorly Sunday’s opponents Everton have done in the Premier League this season.
Although Roberto Martinez’s side have won through to the last-16 of the Europa League, the only British side to do so, they have struggled domestically and went into this weekend’s set of fixtures 12th in the Premier League table, just six points above the relegation zone.
Everton clinched fifth spot last term and have finished in the top eight for every season since 2005/06.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are currently third in the table but are still reeling from Wednesday’s shock 3-1 home defeat to Moncao in the Champions League.
They lost 1-0 at Chelsea but they could have won the game.
Wenger said of Everton’s travails: “There’s no obvious reason why Everton have struggled in the Premier League. They have a similar personnel and they were in a strong position last season until four or five games before the end.
“They are a team who has quality, who play good football and are a threat to everybody. They lost 1-0 at Chelsea but they could have won the game.
“But we are on a good run although against Monaco everything went against us. Were we responsible for it? Certainly for a part of it but I believe overall the good run has to be dominant and we have come back in a great position in the league and we want to stabilise that position.”
Sunday’s match will come too soon for Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini who remain sidelined with hamstring injuries, while Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy will also sit out the match.
Arsenal, 1.25 to finish in the top four, can be backed at 12.00 to beat Everton 3-0.
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