The fight for Champions League qualification is set to intensify when Arsenal host rivals Everton at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Arsenal moved into the third and final automatic qualification spot, four points ahead of sixth-placed Everton, after they scored three goals in the final five minutes to stun Norwich 3-1 on Saturday.
The Gunners’ triumph made it four successive wins in the Premier League and five unbeaten at home, and manager Arsene Wenger says the team’s consistency, not their current league position, is the most important aspect in their quest for European football.
“Well at the moment the position is not important. What is important is to keep our run going and the consistency of our wins,” the Frenchman said.
“That is important. The position at the moment has no real meaning. It means we are all tight and the team that is the most consistent will get there.
“At the moment we have that consistency so we want to focus on that. We have another big game on Tuesday night and we have a good opportunity that we want to take.”
Everton recorded a routine 2-0 victory at home to Championship-bound Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, a win that extended their undefeated run to five games and moved them within striking distance of Tottenham and Arsenal.
But French defender Sylvain Distin does not believe Tuesday’s meeting holds any extra significance.
“We have three clean sheets out of the last four games,” Distin told Everton’s official website. “Tuesday is only as important as today’s game or any of the other 30 we have played.
“There are no small games, we have to be consistent. We just have the final push to get fourth or fifth place.”
Despite Everton’s recent form, history is against the Merseyside outfit, having failed to beat Arsenal in the sides’ 11 most recent encounters.
March 2007 was the last time Everton tasted success against Arsenal, winning 1-0 courtesy of Andrew Johnson’s 91st-minute strike.