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Arsenal vs. Everton: Match Preview and TV Info

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Arsenal's first Premier League road trip of 2014 sees them visit the blue side of Stanley Park.

It's vanishing spray, not mace
It's vanishing spray, not mace
Clive Mason

Arsenal v. Everton
Goodison Park, Walton, Liverpool
English Premier League
Saturday, August 23 9.30 AM PT/12.30 PM ET/5.30 PM BT
US TV: NBC Worldwide TV listings: livesoccer.tv

Welcome to the second game of the Premier League season. Arsenal got off to a rather clunky start last weekend, leaving it very, very late before taking all three points in a game where they arguably didn't deserve all three; still, That's What Contending Teams Have To Do and all those other sports cliches.  One would hope that another week's worth of training/fitness regaining, and the return of a well-rested cadre of World Cup winning players, will help Arsenal play like the Arsenal we know they are.

As mentioned above, Arsenal should get a big boost from the returning Per Mertesacker and Mesut Özil (and Lukas Podolski, although he probably won't start); this news, however, was tempered on Wednesday by the ankle injury to Mikel Arteta, which will keep him away from his old stomping grounds and out for a few weeks. Mathieu Flamini will in all likelihood slot into Arteta's place, and Mert/Özil will assume their normal places, which gives Arsenal a reasonably first-choice lineup for the first time this young season.

Everton, meanwhile, are coming off a somewhat disappointing outing of their own, drawing with newly promoted Leicester City on opening day thanks to a late Leicester goal which was no doubt orchestrated at half time by Coach Lasso. Well played, Coach.  Everton will be without Ross Barkley, who will be out for anywhere from seven weeks to four months with a knee injury; Darren Gibson may make a return after nearly a year off, though, and a team with Romelu Lukaku, James McCarthy, and Gareth Barry is no easy thing to break down.

The last time Arsenal went to Goodison, it didn't go so well; it wasn't one of the Big Four Beatdowns, but Everton coasted to a 3-0 win in April that made a whole lot of Arsenal fans very nervous about the end of the season. Here's hoping that Arsenal reverse those fortunes this time around and gain some confidence rather than losing it.

IF I WERE THE MANAGER, THIS IS HOW I'D ARRANGE MY LITTLE SUBBUTEO GUYS:
Szczesny; Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini; Sanchez, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud.