Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Everton vs Arsenal

Written by Sam Hopkinson

The backdrop to this match is a tale of two cups–Everton dumped Chelsea out of the FA Cup to effectively end the season for Stamford Bridge’s band of underperformers. Arsenal’s fortunes were rather more bitter, losing to bullish upstarts Watford in yet another home defeat. As if that wasn’t enough, the Gunners were outclassed at the Nou Camp midweek to leave their season looking bleak as we come to the final run of games. Wenger did rest some players against Barcelona though, perhaps with an eye on the fixture at Goodison park and a chance to reduce the gap at the top.

Defender

Seamus Coleman

Leicester are rumoured to be interested in Everton’s Irish fullback, a sign of their rise this season that they can be linked with top players. And Coleman is certainly one of them, thanks to a dribbling and crossing ability that makes him look more and more like an extra winger the closer he gets to the opposition box. It will be interesting to see whether Everton’s new majority shareholder makes the kind of moves that will convince the team’s best players to stay.

Midfielder

Mohamed Elneny

A curling, first time strike for Elneny at the Nou Camp was rewarded with a fine goal midweek. With Arsenal’s midfielders suffering a crisis of confidence and form currently, Wenger must be pleased that Elneny has settled well since arriving in north London. A good pick for FLIP teams, especially if the Gunners start aggressively. It’s so hard to predict what kind of defensive form Everton will be in, but a tightly compact back four will invite the kind of long shots Elneny clearly has some skill at.

Forward

Romelu Lukaku

A must pick for FLIP teams, Lukaku embarrassed Chelsea in the FA Cup. His second goal in particular was world class and made a mockery of Stamford Bridge’s decision to sell him. The Belgian has had a wonderful season and with the likes of Ibrahimovic leaving PSG and Manchester City in the market for a striker, he will have no shortage of suitors in the summer. Lukaku should have a good day against the Gunners who have shown themselves to be fragile under pressure once again.

Honourable Mention

David Ospina

Cech’s replacement has looked every inch a top goalkeeper in the games he has played recently. Against Spurs and Barcelona the Colombian stopper made some superb saves, determined to make up for his gaffes earlier in the season. Ospina isn’t just a capable deputy, he is making a case to be number 1. Preventing this Everton side from scoring will be tough, but those Arsenal defenders will feel more confident knowing there is a capable man between the sticks behind them.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn’t have football, he’d probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.