Alex Iwobi says Everton are bubbling with belief ahead of a potentially season-defining flurry of games against four Premier League big hitters – and the forward is feeling “sharp, confident and excited” before his first return to Arsenal on Sunday (today).
Iwobi ended a 17-year association with the Gunners when he joined Everton back in August and wants to show his old employers “what they are missing” this weekend.
He was limited to only 11 minutes in the reverse fixture after hurting his hamstring when the sides drew 0-0 on the December day Carlo Ancelotti was appointed Everton manager.
Iwobi made his comeback from injury in his team’s most recent away game, the 3-2 win at Watford earlier this month, and is itching to be involved from the start this weekend.
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If Ancelotti adopts his usual wait-and-see approach to announcing his line-up, however, the 23-year-old will discover only hours before kick-off if he’ll begin a game for the second time since his Italian boss’s arrival.
Following the trip to Arsenal, Everton play Manchester United and Liverpool at home either side of an away game against Chelsea.
“They are all big matches and we spoke this week and said these are the games which will decide where we finish,” Iwobi told evertonfc.com.
“We have ambitions to be in Europe next year and if we take points from these sides we have a good chance.
“We believe we can do that and we have to show to the Premier League we can compete against the best teams.
“Once you’ve done it, it gives you the confidence to go and do it consistently and we’ve already had some good results against sides towards the top.
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“We knew from the start of the season we had excellent individual players but we had to show it as a team.
“We feel we are able to do that now.
“We have this belief that no matter who we are playing we can get points.
“We are motivated and confident going into every game.
“Reaching Europe is in our minds but it does not happen overnight, you have to focus on every game and right now we are making sure we are sharp and ready for Arsenal.”
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