Arsenal v Everton: Match Preview

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Football News

Arsenal v Everton; Emirates Stadium; Barclays Premier League; Saturday 10 December 2011, 15:00

Team News

Arsene Wenger has something of a defensive injury crisis after left-back Andre Santos was ruled out through the ankle injury picked up against Olympiacos.

Thomas Vermaelen is likely to shift over to left-back leaving Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker to fill the central defensive roles, and Johan Djourou will continue in an unfamiliar right-back berth as long-term absentee Bacary Sagna and now Carl Jenkinson remain absent.

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is also set to return to the squad as Lukasz Fabianski [knee] and Vito Mannone [shoulder] are out.

Meanwhile, Everton's Jack Rodwell picked up a hamstring injury in training on Thursday and looks set to miss out.

Leon Osman is also doubtful [hamstring] while Royston Drenthe [foot] faces a fitness test but Louis Saha is hoping to return after a thigh complaint.

Arsenal suits Arteta, says Moyes

Mikel Arteta has received a glowing reference from his former manager David Moyes - after the Everton boss praised the impact the Spanish midfielder has made at Arsenal since his deadline-day transfer from Goodison Park.

The 29-year-old is set to feature against his old club when the Toffees arrive at the Emirates Stadium to face the Gunners in this weekend's Barclays Premier League encounter.

"I've watched from the television, I've not seen him play live. But from what I have seen Mikel has played well," Moyes told Sky Sports News. "He played great for us and it looks as if he's giving a good contribution at Arsenal.

"I think the style suits Mikel. He's on the ball plenty of times, getting lots of touches and he's having an influence on the game.

"From that point of view, he'll be revelling in the job he's got and what he's doing at Arsenal."

Moyes will be looking to cause an upset over an in-form Arsenal side, as Everton look to bounce back from last weekend's 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stoke.

The manager admits a lack of goals led to that setback but refuses to place the blame on misfiring attacker Tim Cahill, who has not found the back of the net for Everton in 12 months.

"We all need a goal, not just Tim," added Moyes. "It wouldn't matter if Tim scored or not. I think the team needed a goal certainly last week.

"Tim's not just a goalscorer, he's an all-round player. We ask him to do other things, sometimes it's different roles, roles for the team.

"But recently he's played up front for us so we'll give him the chance to try and score those goals."

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