Roberto Martinez and his Everton side travel to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday in what will be their season’s toughest FA Cup encounter yet. With comfortable wins against Swansea (3-1), Stevenage (4-0) and Queens Park Rangers (4-0) in the bag, their Cup credentials will be tested when they face an Arsenal side at home on Saturday afternoon.
The 2005 FA Cup victory remains the last time Arsene Wenger has led his Arsenal side to a piece of silverware. Nearly nine years ago Patrick Vieira scored the winner from the spot to crown the Gunners FA Cup winners; the London club failing to reach the last two of the tournament since then.
Of the three prior rounds to this fixture, Arsenal have faced bitter rivals Tottenham, whom they defeated 2-0 at home and Liverpool, whom they defeated 2-1 at home on either side of a comfortable 4-0 fourth round victory against League One side Coventry City. Having conceded only once in the tournament leading up to this sixth round tie, Arsene Wenger will be pleased with the level of defensive discipline his team have shown in the Cup, especially after the team experienced defeats in the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich (0-2) and a defeat at The Britannia last weekend which has dented the London club’s title aspirations.
Everton who reached the FA Cup final in 2009 under the guidance of now Manchester United manager David Moyes will be looking to capitalise on a strong season they’ve had so far with new boss Roberto Martinez.
Martinez has had a positive first season at Merseyside and along with a strong league position (currently sixth in the premier league), The Toffees will be travelling to The Emirates on some good cup form. Everton will face Arsenal on the back of three comfortable wins Swansea (3-1), Stevenage (4-0) and Queens Park Rangers (4-0). Their only previous meeting with Arsenal at The Emirates ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Mesut Ozil and Gerard Deulofeu sharing the spoils.
Both clubs have had a great domestic campaign this year. Arsenal have excelled in the Premier League and are considered to a serious title threat, having led the table for a large chunk of the season so far. Everton under new boss Martinez have played attacking football and the Spaniard has used the services available to him at Goodison Park with great effect. With Manchester City, Hull City and Sunderland the only Premier League teams remaining in the last eight of the tournament, Arsene Wenger may push his side on, knowing that getting into the final four will inch them one step closer to a possible FA Cup trophy. Though Everton will not be simple opposition, given the season Arsenal have had this year, the belief around The Emirates stadium on Saturday may be enough to see the Gunners outclass the Toffees in this sixth round fixture.
KICK OFF: Saturday, 12.45pm (ITV)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Past Three Meetings:
Arsenal 1 (Ozil) Everton 1 (Deulofeu), Premier League, December 2013
Arsenal 0 Everton 0, Premier League, April 2013
Everton 1 (Fellaini) Arsenal 1 (Walcott), Premier League, November 2012
1981 is the last time the two teams met in the FA Cup competition, with Everton beating Arsenal 2-0.
Arsenal have not lost to Everton since a 2006/07 Premier League game which ended 1-0 in Everton’s favour.
Steven Naismith and Lukas Podolski are their team’s top scorers in the FA Cup this season with 3 goals each.
The 2005 FA Cup is the last time Arsenal won silverware.
1995 is the last time Everton won the FA Cup and were losing finalists in 2009.
Leon Osman and Bryan Oviedo have 2 assists each this season in the FA Cup, the most for any Everton players in this year’s tournament.
Arsenal will have played all their (including 6th round) FA Cup ties at home this season.
Roberto Martinez won the FA Cup last season with Wigan Athletic, beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final.
Arsenal to win: 1.8
Everton to win: 4.5