The last few weeks have not been kind for Arsenal. They're falling behind in the Premier League title race. They're out of the FA Cup and the Champions League. Their losses are mounting and their injury list isn't getting shorter. Now they've got to go to Everton and try to win in the always-difficult environment of Goodison Park. They need a win to turn things around, but that task will be immensely difficult.
Morale isn't going to be terribly high for Arsenal coming into this match, especially after they got pretty well curb-stomped on their way out of the Champions League. That kind of defeat can pretty well demoralize a team, especially when they're already dealing with injury issues and form problems in the league. If Everton can take advantage of that, they could come away with a huge and important win. Of course, the flip side of that coin is that there's every chance that such a battering could wake Arsenal up and unleash their wrath. We all know which outcome the Toffees would prefer.
Key player -- Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Sanchez has been wildly inconsistent for much of the season, and to be bluntly honest he's been disappointing more often than he's been the dominant attacking force you normally expect him to be. In this match, though, there's no room for Sanchez to disappoint. He has to come into this match with a fire lit under him and a desire to destroy some defenders. That urgency has been missing from his game of late, but Arsenal would be much better off if he gets it back.
Key matchup -- Romelu Lukaku (Everton) vs. Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
Lukaku has been warming into another hot streak of late, and when he gets hot the big Belgian is tough to stop. Koscielny is the only defender Arsenal have who has a real chance at matching up against him, but even he can't quite cope with Lukaku's power game. Still, if he can at least slow down Everton's top attacking threat, it will help out his team significantly -- and if he can't, well, that might be that for Arsenal's chances of winning this game.
Everton injuries and suspensions
Out: Steven Pienaar, Tyias Browning, Tony Hibbert In doubt: Bryan Oviedo
Arsenal injuries and suspensions
Out: Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, Petr Cech, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere
Match Date/Time: Saturday, 8:45 a.m. ET, 12:45 a.m. local
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
TV: NBCSN (U.S. - English), NBC Universo (U.S. - Spanish), TSN 1, 3, 5, RDS 2 (Canada), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.), BT Sport Live Streaming (U.K.)