Everton vs Arsenal
Saturday August 23
Hopes are high for both these teams going into the new Premier League season and the fans will be relishing the opportunity to lay down an early marker against one of the more prominent sides in the league.
Arsenal have had a stuttering start to the season and have yet to play anything close to their best football, but it was enough to register an injury time winner over Crystal Palace in their season opener at the same kick-off time last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Everton looked on course to secure a good win away at a spirit Leicester City before a lat equaliser for the newly promoted side meant Roberto Martinez's men had to settle for a point.
Neither Martinez nor his counterpart at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, will have been totally happy with the previous performances, so changes for the meeting between the two sides are not a great surprise.
Here are the teams...
Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Chambers, Monreal, Flamini, Ox, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis,
Subs: Martinez, Bellerin, Koscielny, Rosicky, Giroud, Cazorla, Campbell
Howard, Coleman, Jagielka (c), Distin, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Naismith, Pienaar, Lukaku.
Subs: Robles, McGeady, Besic, Atsu, Osman, Stones, Alcaraz.
The Gunners welcome back two of their trio of German World Cup winnners back into the side after being given an extended break following their heroics in Brazil, as Mesut Özil comes in for Oliver Giroud and new boy Alexis Sanchez goes into the centre-forward position.
Per Mertesacker comes in for Laurent Koscielny at the heart of defence, the Frenchman had been struggling with an achilles problem. The tall defender will captain the side in the absence of injured first choice skipper Mikel Arteta, who is replaced by Mathieu Flamini. The last change is the replacing of Santi Cazorla with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the young Englishman looking sharp in two substitute performances and the Spaniard being off the pace.
Meanwhile, Martinez has disappointed those billing this as a match-up between two of the best emerging English defenders in Calum Chambers and John Stones, as the Toffees youngster has been replaced by Seamus Coleman. The only other change for Everton is Kevin Mirallas coming in for Aiden McGeady.
Fond Toffee memories
The crowd at Goodison will be confident of three points here as last season they put on one of their best performances of the season to brush aside the Gunners 3-0 in what was though they would spur them on to claiming the fourth Champions League spot.
They could not do that, however, and Arsenal are bound to have the second leg of their qualifier in mind, as the 0-0 draw in Turkey against Besiktas this week has made the return leg on Wednesday at Emirates Stadium a huge match and far from a formality.
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