The international break has seen injuries to Gallas, Sagna and Bendtner. Gallas has suffered a hamstring injury and he's out for Saturday and most probably out for the midweek game too. Sagna has a knee injury and will also be out for the next two games. Bendtner has an ankle injury and will definitely miss Saturday but may be back for Fenerbache.
Cesc also returned with a broken nose, but should be available to play, and Diaby is also due to be named in the squad.
In place for Gallas, we should see Djourou come in at the back. He's currently suffering from concussion, but he should be able to play. Some have suggested that Silvestre and Toure may start in the middle with Djourou on the right. The other option would see Eboue be deployed at right back, but Arsene has often avoided that choice. Another option would to bring Song into the centre back position if preferred to Silvestre.
Van Persie may not start as he's been in the wars a little over the international break and there could be a front pairing of Vela and four goal hero, Ade.
Nasri, Denilson and Walcott have no reported problems, so along side Cesc, that should be our midfield.
Cesc has been in the news today and he's been very supportive of the manager.
“Arsène has built an unbelievable squad here. We have great spirit and I have complete trust in the manager’s policy. Arsène is the best at giving youngsters a chance. No-one else comes close to him for that. He doesn’t care how old you are, as long as you are good enough and has the confidence to give young players a chance. Anything said to the contrary is simply not true and I would like to reiterate to all Arsenal supporters that I am 100 per cent behind the team and the manager.
“The future is bright. Players like Denilson, Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri have shown real class this season and I’m positive we have the quality to challenge for the title. Yes we do have a lot of young players, but they have all shown they can handle it at the top level in the Premier League and Champions League. It’s hard to imagine I’m one of the oldest players at the Club now but it will be a privilege to help guide some of these youngsters through.
“We’re the envy of every other club and it’s so exciting to be a part of that.”
In one way, I think this is a little reaction to Roy Keane’s outburst pre-international, but it’s great to hear such comments from the young Spaniard. We’ve seen in the games against Blackburn, Bolton and Porto that we definitely have the quality to challenge. The key is to maintain some sort of consistency. Three points on Saturday would be a good tonic to see us push up a little, we really need to ensure we win all our home games and after the surprise loss at home to Hull, the players would be keen to erase that memory.
A proper Everton preview tomorrow… until then…]]>