Arsene Wenger was probably a little disappointed to see Manchester City and Manchester United bow out of the Champions League this week.
After all, it will surely mean that the two Manchester clubs will be even more determined to win the Premier League, with the Europa League surely playing second fiddle to domestic matters.
Even so, the Gunners’ poor start to the campaign has become a distant memory and they are well placed to land another top four finish this term, with Arsenal having won five of their seven games at the Emirates to date.
The north London side are naturally strong favourites to beat Everton on Saturday, although odds of 4/7 (Paddy Power – £100 free bets) look a spot of value considering that Arsenal wiped the floor with Wigan at the DW Stadium last weekend.
We have already run out of superlatives to describe Robin Van Persie this season, with the Dutchman scoring his 22nd goal of the campaign against the Latics and William Hill have a stand-out 7/2 that the Gunners captain breaks the deadlock.
At a bigger price, Thomas Vermaelen is available at 20/1 with Ladbrokes and the Belgian’s return to the back four has seen Arsenal take on a much meaner look defensively. Considering how toothless Everton have been recently, the 7/4 with Coral about the home side winning to nil could be worth a gamble.
David Moyes bemoaned the Toffees’ lack of bite last weekend as Stoke came away from Goodison Park with a 1-0 win, something that was made all the more galling as Yakubu was plundering four goals for Blackburn at the same time.
Even so, Fulham recently managed a point at the Emirates and the visitors’ gameplan will surely consist of keeping things tight and making life difficult for this free-scoring Arsenal team. The draw is a 10/3 chance and Everton are a 6/1 poke to become the second Merseyside team to win here this term.