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Arteta hopes for run to continue on first return to Goodison Park

| 21.03.2012

All eyes will be on Mikel Arteta tonight, as the Spaniard makes his first return to Goodison Park as an Arsenal player, hoping to contribute to justifying his side’s 13/10 price for victory.

Arteta enjoyed six highly successful seasons at Everton, winning a Fans’ Player of the Season award along with two Players’ Player of the Season accolades during his tenure at the club.

This should guarantee him a warm reception from the Merseyside crowd, yet Arteta’s focus will be solely on performing well for his new employers, and he is 14/1 to score the first goal of the game.

You can get the same price about him notching last, whilst he can be backed at 9/2 to score at any time.

The midfielder has proved an integral part of Arsenal’s continued Premier League resurgence this season, with his integration alongside Tomas Rosicky bringing out the best in his Czech team-mate.

An added licence to attack is provided by Alex Song’s defensive capabilities, and this gives Arteta the chance to showcase his creativity more frequently also.

With this in mind, he could contribute to a performance that sees Arsenal win with three or more goals scored in the match at 3/1, as has occurred in five of the past nine meetings between these sides.

Everton will be desperately wishing they still had a player of Arteta’s quality at their disposal ahead of tonight’s game, where midfield injury woes make it look difficult to get behind them at 11/5 to win.

The Toffees will be without Jack Rodwell, who is suffering from a hamstring problem, Seamus Coleman, whose thigh strain will see him miss out, and Darron Gibson, who is struggling with knee troubles.

They will welcome back Steven Pienaar however, after he was forced to miss the FA Cup quarter-final tie with Sunderland due to being cup-tied.

For Arsenal, Andre Santos is the only player available for selection who didn’t take part in their last match against Newcastle, but Kieran Gibbs is expected to continue at left-back.



John Klee