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Emirates Stadium | 8th December 2013 16:00 | Attendance - 60001

Arsenal v Everton

Team News

Roberto Martinez says he is hopeful of having Leighton Baines back in time for Christmas.

The left-back is currently nursing a fractured toe he sustained during last month's Merseyside derby, an injury that it was feared could keep him sidelined until the New Year.

Martinez, however, believes Baines is making a quicker than expected recovery and could be available to play his part in a festive schedule that includes back-to-back home games against Sunderland and Southampton.
 
"We always felt it was going to be up to six weeks with Leighton," the Blues boss said on Friday. "I think he has progressed really, really well and he's not far away - I don't think it's going to be six weeks at all.

"But obviously it's still a little bit too early to know when he's going to be fully fit. We want Leighton back fully fit as soon as we can.

"Three to four weeks is probably the margin that we're giving ourselves to see Leighton back."

Baines ArtetaLeighton Baines will miss Sunday's game but is recovering faster than expected.

Martinez also confirmed that his squad had picked up no fresh injuries ahead of Sunday's trip to Arsenal, meaning Baines, Arouna Kone and Darron Gibson will again be his only missing players.

He said: "As you can imagine, there were a few knocks and bruises from Wednesday but nothing to stop the players being available on Sunday, so we'll have exactly the same situation we had going into the Manchester United game.

"With Arouna, we have started the first part of his recovery and I think he's going to be a long-term, as we expected. I don't think we're going to see Arouna this season. If we can get him back for the final two months of the competition, he will have done really, really well.

"Darron Gibson, in the same manner, we're hoping that we can see him before the season ends but clearly he's a long-term injury as well."

Form

Arsenal go into Sunday's game having lost just once in the league since a shock opening day defeat at home against Aston Villa.

What's more, they've won six of their last seven games in all competitions - keeping a clean sheet in each of those victories.

Liverpool's recent defeat to Arsenal was one of only two in the league this season.Arsenal have dropped only eight points in the league this term.

Their only recent blip came at Old Trafford, where they lost 1-0 in early November.

Everton, meanwhile, travel to North London looking to pick up a third win in a week and extend their unbeaten run to eight games.

Our one Premier League defeat this season - away at third-place Manchester City - is less than any other top-flight side. 

The stringent Blues are also on the hunt for their sixth clean sheet in seven games.

Last Meeting

Arsenal 0-0 Everton, 16 April 2013

There was little to choose between the two sides when Arsenal and Everton last met at Emirates Stadium towards the back end of last season.

Ross Barkley almost stole the show with a late second-half effort that whizzed inches past the post but neither side managed to register as the spoils were shared.

Ross Barkley in action against Arsenal.Ross Barkley battles Aaron Ramsey for the ball. The Everton youngster came close to a winner at Emirates Stadium back in April.

And it was a similar story at Goodison Park back in November last year as Marouane Fellaini struck to cancel out Theo Walcott's first-minute opener and secure a deserved 1-1 draw.

Everton will be back at Goodison Park on 14 December to take on Fulham. Don't miss out – click here to secure your seat today.

Alternatively, call 0871 663 1878*, or visit the Park End box office,  Everton Two or TicketQuarter. 

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