Everton v Arsenal: Match Preview

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Everton v Arsenal

Goodison Park; Premier League; Wednesday March 21; KO 2000


Team news


Arsene Wenger once again has all of his full-backs fit as Brazilian left-back Andre Santos has fully recovered from ankle ligament damage, while Abou Diaby came through an hour with the reserves and could make the bench.


German centre-back Per Mertesacker is a long-term absentee, but Thomas Vermaelen has recovered from a calf knock picked up scoring the last minute winner against Newcastle last Monday.


David Moyes will be without young England midfielder Jack Rodwell who will see a nerve specialist after suffering fifth hamstring injury of the season.


Irish internationals Seamus Coleman and Darron Gibson will be absent due to thigh and knee injuries respectively, although Steven Pienaar is available once more after being cup-tied against Sunderland.


Wenger: Arteta is always 100 percent


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been full of praise for Mikel Arteta ahead of the Spaniard’s first return to his old club Everton.


Arteta moved to Emirates Stadium from the Toffees on the final day of the summer transfer window last year and has quickly integrated himself into the Gunners first team.


Wenger has been delighted with the impact of the former Everton playmaker since his move from Merseyside, where tonight he will line up against them for the first time after six years as a firm fan favourite.


“He always gives you a certain level of quality,” the Frenchman told Arsenal Player.


“He is always 100 per cent focused and committed and that is what you want from a real professional. He brings the best out of other players.

“I believe he is a winner and a fighter as well. I think he possesses both aspects of the game of a real midfielder - that means he can defend and he can attack. That is what we looked for.”


The Gunners will be hoping they can continue the scintillating run of form that has seen them win their last five Premier League games in a row.


The last four of those have been from losing positions, which is a Premier League record.

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