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Premier League Preview: Arsenal - Everton

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Premier League Preview: Arsenal - Everton
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Premier League Preview: Arsenal - Everton

League leader Arsenal will look to extend a 17-match unbeaten home run over Everton when the sides meet on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger's men have won 14 and drawn three of those encounters, and have lost none of the past 12 top-flight fixtures with Everton, winning eight.

But Roberto Martinez's charges can draw confidence after ending another hoodoo with a 1-0 triumph at Manchester United on Wednesday.

Bryan Oviedo's close-range strike in the dying stages secured Everton's first triumph at Old Trafford since 1992, heaping pressure on former manager David Moyes.

Arsenal - which tops the table by four points over Chelsea - will be confident of avoiding the same fate after keeping six clean sheets in its last seven fixtures in all competitions.

A 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on November 10 was the last time Wojciech Szczesny's goal was breached, and Arsenal has responded with three consecutive Premier League victories, including Wednesday's 2-0 success over Hull City.

Wenger will be without Bacary Sagna, who remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Lukas Podolski (hamstring), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Abou Diaby (both knee) remain long-term absentees.

Everton's away record against Arsenal may not bode well for their hopes, but Martinez's side has only lost once in the Premier League this season, and has kept three straight clean sheets on its travels for the first time since August 1995.

But Martinez believes his side is coming up against the best attacking outfit in England's top tier.

"Arsenal as an attacking team is as good as it gets," he said. "It is one of those teams (where) you need to be at your best. We're ready for that test and that challenge. We're excited about challenging the best teams in the league."

The Spaniard confirmed centerr back Antolin Alcaraz is fully fit following hamstring trouble, but Leighton Baines (toe), Arouna Kone and Darron Gibson (both knee) are all unavailable.

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