BigMatch

Gunners look for away spark

LONDON • Stellar home form has propelled Arsenal into the Premier League's top four, but their chances of staying there now depends on improving patchy results away from the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners can climb above Tottenham into third place should they avoid defeat at Everton today.

However, with five of their remaining seven league fixtures removed from the comforts of north London, a trip to Goodison Park will be a stern test of whether Arsenal can maintain their hot streak of 16 points from a possible 18.

While Unai Emery's men have been imperious on their home turf - their 10-game winning run in the league was last achieved during the 1997-98 double-winning season - their away form stands in stark contrast with just five victories all term.

As well as Everton, Emery's players must travel to Watford, Wolves, Leicester and Burnley, with the first four teams in the mix for a Europa League spot.

At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Emery admitted his side, who will be without the suspended Lucas Torreira, and have injury worries over captain Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka, face "a big challenge".

The Spaniard, who also confirmed Mesut Ozil was in line to make just his fifth away start this league campaign, added: "We are thinking game by game.

"We want to achieve the same good performances as when we play at Emirates Stadium. We have confidence now, but we know it's very difficult. We know other clubs will take a lot of points.

"We are getting better and being competitive at home. We want to be the same away, but we know that the difficulty is that in each match at home, they (the opposition) can feel better."

But while Arsenal are the only league side without an away clean sheet this season, they tend to raise their game against the Toffees, with seven wins from their last eight league meetings.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 07, 2019, with the headline 'Gunners look for away spark'. Print Edition | Subscribe