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Premier League: Everton vs Arsenal; Mikel Arteta returns

Former Everton hero Mikel Arteta will be returning to Goodison Park for the first time as a manager on Saturday.

The Spaniard has already beaten his old club once before in a 3-2 victory at The Emirates last season before the lockdown.

This time he needs a win like never before as Arsenal have had their worst start to a season in decades as they sit in 15th place and are only five points off the bottom three which for one of the supposed ‘big six’ is embarrassing.

Compare that to Everton and there is a big contrast.

After their best start in decades there was a slump in form but all of a sudden that slump has disappeared.

Fans were dreading the worst when they realised that after one win in seven league games, they would be coming up against inform sides Chelsea and Leicester City back-to-back.

Fast forward a week and Everton have gained six points and two clean sheets even with some star men out with injuries.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti will want this form to carry on and make it three wins on the bounce, but he did confirm that he is still without some important players.

Obviously left back Lucas Digne is still out but as well as him Ancleotti confirmed that Allan will be missing, and James Rodriguez is still unavailable.

Allan pulled his hamstring against Leicester City to add to another muscular injury in the Premier League, yet the overall vote again was against five substitutes.

There is no timescale for Allan as of yet nor is there one for James Rodriguez with Everton fans worst fears coming true with Rodriguez proving his injury issues are not behind him as he has calf problems.

Also, Fabian Delph will not be in contention.

The one piece of good injury news was that Seamus Coleman is fit and ready, but it remains to be seen whether he will go straight into the starting eleven due to how well Mason Holgate has played therein the past two game.

Carlo Ancelotti said: “The most important thing is Seamus and Mason are fit to play, Seamus has a strong desire to play.  After that I have to choose the line-up.”

So, the Italian is keeping his cards very close to his chest as you’d imagine.

Ancleotti also explained why he decided to drop Jordan Pickford for Swede Robin Olsen against Brendan Rodgers’ side saying it was just rotation.

“I consider a goalkeeper a player. A defender, a striker may be rotated. I want to be able to rotate a goalkeeper sometimes.

“I started at Real Madrid with Lopez and Casillas. There is no problem with this. There is less chance to risk mistakes. If you stay on the bench there is more chance of mistakes.”

If Olsen does keep his place, then it would be a big sign to Pickford that he is no longer the established number one, but it would be a surprise to not see him come back in but then Ancleotti has a big decision on who he picks for the League Cup game against Manchester United soon.

Looking at the last few games Everton should feel confident going into this one but Arsenal did actually pick up a point and score a goal from open play against Southampton so there is something for The Gunners to build on, albeit nothing much.

Everton’s latest approach in games has been to sit back and soak up the pressure but this Arsenal team tend to do the same, potentially by accident, as they do not make too many goalscoring chances.

Therefore, the tactical battle shall be a very interesting watch as neither team will want their opponents to settle.

But after two wins against impressive sides all’s Everton fans will be thinking is do not do a typical Everton and take one step forward and then two steps back.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Premier League: Crystal Palace vs Liverpool; “We haven’t won away a lot. We try to change these things and put a shift in”

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