Arsenal are in one of those oh-man-not-again runs at the moment, where everything that can go wrong seems to go wrong.
Smarting from a loss to Bayern Munich, Arsenal responded well enough with a comfortable victory over Sunderland in the English Premier League. But then consistency is the name of the game at the business end of the season, and the loss at Stoke last weekend has further dented their hopes of a first title in ten years.
However, there are other avenues for a first piece of silverware in nine years still open to Arsenal, chief of them being the FA Cup, a trophy which used to be in Arsene Wenger's personal inventory a while back.
Arsenal can move to within two matches of winning an FA Cup since that smash-and-grab victory over Manchester United in 2005, if they can topple Everton, the team that have looked so good under Robert Martinez, and gave Wenger and co. one of their most difficult games of the season at home not so long ago.
"We are strong at the Emirates and we have another opportunity to show that," said Wenger, whose side beat Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the previous round. "I said that a part of our fate will be decided there -- a big part of it in fact. We responded well to that and we have another chance to show that against Everton.
"It was a very interesting game in the Premier League in December and they caught us back very late with a great goal. I watched that game again recently and we had opportunities once we were 1-0 up but we wanted to protect our advantage and we were punished.
"But they are a good team, everybody knows that. That's why as well it's important we just focus on the quality of our performance on our side because we know that will be needed to beat them. I'm quite confident that, despite the fact that the players have been away on international duty, this game is on their minds.
"We had such a disappointing result at Stoke and a non-convincing performance offensively so we need a great response. What we produced last week was not good enough."
Everton controlled the first half of the Premier League game exactly three months ago, looking more like the home side than the away team, before a goal late on from Mesut Ozil looked like giving Arsenal all three points. But then on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu stepped up brilliantly in the final moments to give Everton a deserving point.
Martinez, no doubt, will look to take the same strategy of controlling possession early on against Arsenal in their FA Cup quarterfinal clash at the Emirates, with the impressive performance in December sure to fill the Everton side with confidence.
"The fixture in December gave us all a clear indication of what's needed if you want to be successful at the Emirates, and I think it's reaching that level of perfection to which we aspire," Martinez said. "In the past, when a team has been able to be successful at the Emirates, it's because they've been very clear in what they're doing and are perfect with it.
"It's going to be a fascinating game from every angle you want to look into. We all know Arsenal have been an outstanding team for many years now and this season, apart from the setback they had at the weekend, they've been very, very consistent.
"Playing at home is a major factor for them and they're going to try to take advantage of that and bounce back from the weekend. If you wanted to find a bad time to play them, now is probably the moment."
Arsenal have two big games - Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Tottenham in the Premier League -- coming up after this FA Cup quarterfinal; the best way to go into those massive matches is with a morale-boosting win over Everton; but then, Everton, of course, will have other plans.
FA Cup: Arsenal vs Everton Live TV Information (Match starts 12.45 pm GMT, 6.15 pm IST, 7.45 am ET)
|United Kingdom||ITV, BBC Radio 5 Live|
|Middle East||Bein Sports Arabia|
FA Cup: Arsenal vs Everton Live Streaming Online Information: (Match starts 12.45 pm GMT, 6.15 pm IST, 7.45 am ET)
|UK||HERE or HERE or HERE|
Team news: Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey is back in training but the FA Cup quarterfinal comes to soon for the how-Arsenal-have-missed-him midfielder, who is expected to be available for the North London Derby against Tottenham, along with Kim remember-him? Kallstrom.
The Gunners' injury woes lengthened with Jack Wilshere suffering a hairline fracture in England's friendly over Denmark, which ruled the midfielder out for at least six weeks. Laurent Koscielny is a doubt with a hamstring problem, while Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby remain long-term absentees.
Everton: Skipper Phil Jagielka is unlikely to feature against Arsenal, with Antolin Alcaraz looking set to deputise after recovering from a muscle injury. Arouna Kone, Bryan Oviedo and Darron Gibson remain sidelined.
Key men: Arsenal: Mesut Ozil has been criticised for going missing in big games. With an as-big-as-it-gets week coming up, the German playmaker will need to step up, starting with the quarterfinal on Saturday.
Everton: Romelu Lukaku will look to use his physical prowess to good effect against the Gunners, while the midfield of James McCarthy and Gareth Barry will be vital to stop the home side from controlling the pace of the game.
Expected lineups: Arsenal: Fabianski; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Flamini, Arteta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud.
Everton: Howard; Coleman, Alcaraz, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar; Lukaku.
Prediction: 3-2 to Arsenal