IT did seem only a matter of time before Arsenal clawed back a place in the top four.
While Arsene Wenger’s men have quietly set about piecing back together a peviously dismal campaign, Spurs and Chelsea have both been at their charitable best.
The Gunners are now a point ahead of both in third place, though Chelsea have a game in hand. Victory on Tuesday would lift them to within three points of second-placed Manchester City – albeit having played two matches more.
They were made to work for their latest three points against Norwich City, winning 3-1 after trailing with only five minutes remaining. Now with six games of the season left Arsenal’s favourite trophy is theirs to lose.
Abou Diaby (knee) is out while Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) is battling for fitness.
In truth talk of Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea could still be premature. In this form perhaps two will miss out instead of one.
Because after notching a fourth win in five over QPR on Saturday Everton are still in the hunt for European football.
David Moyes’ men are just three points off Chelsea in fourth, though their goal difference is inferior. It remains unlikely but you rule the Toffees out at your peril.
Tony Hibbert (calf) could return to action soon after injury.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Monreal; Ramsey, Arteta; Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.
Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Gibson, Osman; Mirallas, Fellaini, Pienaar; Anichebe.