Arsenal duo fit for Toffees clash

LONDON. — Arsenal duo Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny are expected to shrug off knocks to feature against Everton tomorrow in the English Premier League. Wales international Ramsey was forced off in the second half of the win over Newcastle United on Monday, with what at first appeared to be a recurrence of his recent thigh problem.

Koscielny sat out the encounter against the Magpies but now the Frenchman and Ramsey are thought to be ready for the trip to Merseyside to face Everton.

There are still some doubts for manager Unai Emery over the fitness of Switzerland international Granit Xhaka, who suffered an abductor injury playing for the national side and faces a race to be fit for the clash at Goodison Park.

But Arsenal manager Unai Emery is “very happy” with how Mesut Ozil has responded to his demand for the German playmaker to become more consistent.

Ozil found himself out of favour with the Spaniard after the Christmas period, appearing in just one of seven games for Arsenal, as Emery called for him to give more effort in training.

The 30-year-old has gradually worked himself back into the first-team reckoning in recent weeks, appearing in each of Arsenal’s last five league matches, and starting in three of the last four.

Asked if Ozil is working harder, Emery replied: “Yes. He is working very well, he is playing well and he is helping us. I am very happy with him.

“I think now in the team we have a good atmosphere and good spirit. Each player is helping us with his quality and with good behaviour.

“This is the spirit I want so they are doing that, and Mesut is also.”

The Gunners are currently fourth in the Premier League table as they battle to guarantee Champions League football for next season.

Meanwhile, Son Heung-min labelled himself the “happiest guy in the world” after securing his place in Tottenham’s history.

The South Korean became the first player to score a competitive goal at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Spurs celebrated moving home by beating Crystal Palace 2-0 in a housewarming party to remember.

He takes his place in the record books alongside Tom Smith, who scored the first goal at White Hart Lane way back in 1899.

Asked if the goal, which was heavily deflected and eased the tension after a nervy opening 55 minutes, was the best moment of his Spurs career, he said: “Yes, probably. Every single moment at Tottenham is special.

It means a lot, especially tonight I am very proud of my teammates, proud of this stadium, proud of the fans. Everything is positive at the moment. I am really the happiest guy in the world.

“It is amazing, to play in this amazing stadium and give me this opportunity, it is unbelievable. It was a great result, that is the most important thing.”

Spurs were away for 689 days and had to play at Wembley 51 times while White Hart Lane was demolished and their majestic 62 062-seater stadium was built.

The win over Palace, which was secured by Christian Eriksen’s late goal, was only the second time Spurs’ players have been to the stadium but Son says it already feels like home.

“It sounded very loud,” he said. “Wembley is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world but it was not actually our home.

“We finally felt like we came back home, on the pitch, but also in the stands as well, it was so loud, it gave us a boost for this moment.”

English Premiership Fixtures

Today: Newcastle United v Crystal Palace (4pm); Huddersfield Town v Leicester City (4pm); AFC Bournemouth v Burnley (4pm).

Tomorrow: Everton v Arsenal (3:05pm). — AFP

Source : The Herald

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