Arsenal will look to continue their Premier League recovery at home to Everton on December 10 as the competition for Champions League places begins to gather pace.
The Gunnerís title aspirations may well be over after their dreadful start to the campaign, however a positive run of recent results has put them back in the hunt for a top four finish and another season in amongst Europeís elite.
Since their 8-2 battering at the hands of Manchester United, boss Arsene Wenger has successfully shored up the North Londonerís leaky defence with the acquisition of German international Per Mertesacker and has also boosted his thin squad with Andre Santos, Yossi Benayoun and former Toffee Mikel Arteta Ė who was signed specifically to fill the void left by the departing Cesc Fabregas.
And it is Artetaís reunion with his former club which should add an extra degree of spice to what is usually on of the most interesting and entertaining encounters of the season.
Arsenal have largely got the better of Everton throughout the past few years and they will expect to continue that trend when both sides square off at the Emirates.
David Moyes will certainly have his work cut out if he is to quell Arsenalís riposte and prevent captain Robin Van Persie from wreaking goal scoring havoc.
In their current form, Arsenal once again look a real force to be reckoned with and Van Persie has been the key driver towards their reversal in fortunes.
Moyesís Everton squad has been stretched for a number of years now and the Scot has done a marvellous job to keep the club in and around the top half of the table considering the lack of investment that he has had behind him.
The visitors, as usual, will be highly competitive and combative however the home side are likely to be far too strong.
Evertonís chances will probably only come via counter attack but this may be limited in itself due to Arsenalís strong ball retention.
The home teamís odds of around 4/7 strongly suggest that another three points should be in the bank and that more goals will be scored to further add to their prolific tally.
Once the first goes in, Everton may well be akin to sitting ducks so it seems feasible that Arsenal will cover the handicap of -1 at around 6/4, which is far more appealing than the match betting alone.
Many believe that Arsenalís true weakness is their lack of goals from all quarters of the team and their increasing reliance on Van Persie to deliver the goods.
Fans will probably be hoping that more players can get involved in the thick of things and get their names on the score sheet Ė nevertheless it is still hard to be deterred away from the Dutchman in terms of the first goalscorer market.
Van Persieís odds are diminishing with every game that goes by but he should still be taken to hit the net before any other player at likely odds of around 5/2.
All Arsenal can do is keep the heat on the teams around them and for now, the pressure remains firmly off their backs Ė a contributory factor perhaps towards the return of free flowing, effective football at the Emirates.
© Frixo 2013