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  • August 23, 2014
  • • 17:30
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 39490
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Everton-Arsenal Preview: Ozil, Mertesacker & Podolski in contention

Everton-Arsenal Preview: Ozil, Mertesacker & Podolski in contention

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The Gunners are back in action following their trip to Besiktas in the Champions League on Tuesday and could be buoyed by the return of their Brazil 2014 heroes

Arsenal could call upon World Cup-winning trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski for their trip to face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's side travel to Merseyside for a Premier League encounter just four days after they were held to a goalless draw by Besiktas in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie in Istanbul.

Midfielder Mikel Arteta will not play against his former club having sustained an ankle injury at the Ataturk Stadium and so Mathieu Flamini could come into the side. 

And Arsene Wenger revealed on Thursday that he will check whether his world champions are ready to feature after being given an extended summer break.

"I will check of course today and tomorrow to see if they will be available for selection," the Frenchman explained.

"That is a target I fixed to them to prepare to be ready for selection against Everton. Will I use the three? Certainly not, because they lack competition, but they might be included for Saturday."

Everton beat Arsenal 3-0 in the Premier League at Goodison Park in April and the London club can expect a stern test in their first away game in the top flight this season.

However, Roberto Martinez does not believe the Gunners' trip to Turkey in midweek will give his side an advantage.

"It depends how you look at it," the Everton manager told reporters.

"I'm looking at Arsenal with the experience and know-how they have and don't think playing on Tuesday is going to affect them negatively.

"They have a big enough squad to cope with that and the mentality to cope with that.

"If anything, it could be a positive because you can get rid of that rustiness and can get you into a real competitive frame of mind straight away."

Martinez also has mixed feelings over whether playing what could be a rival for a top-four finish so early in the new campaign is a good thing. 

He said: "You want to play teams like Arsenal early on in the season when they are not hitting their top potential, but when you see them in Turkey, you see them reaching full levels very quickly, and that could be a negative for us.

"We need to replicate the level of performance from when we faced them at Goodison last season."

Prior to their comfortable victory over the London club at Goodison Park last season, Everton had failed to beat Arsenal in 14 games in all competitions.

The Merseyside outfit were unable to make a winning start to their Premier League campaign last weekend, as newly promoted Leicester City held them to a 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium.

Right-back Seamus Coleman could come back into the Everton starting line-up after being restricted to a substitute appearance at Leicester due to a hamstring injury, but Ross Barkley and Bryan Oviedo (both knee) are unavailable.

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