Everton v Arsenal team news: Aaron Ramsey named on the bench as midfielder returns from 14-week absence

Thomas Vermaelen and Nacho Monreal start in defence for the Gunners while Everton's Ross Barkley has to make do with a spot among the substitutes

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger named Aaron Ramsey on the bench for their Premier League trip to Everton, after the midfielder recovered from a thigh injury that has kept him sidelined for 14 weeks.

Arsenal are also without Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs, so captain Thomas Vermaelen partners Per Mertesacker in the centre of defence with Nacho Monreal fit to start at left-back.

Mathieu Flamini continues in central midfield alongside Mikel Arteta despite the availability of Ramsey, with Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski starting in an attacking trio behind striker Olivier Giroud.

Everton will look to on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku to fire them to victory as they look to close the gap to a point to the fourth-placed Gunners with the Toffees holding a game in hand. The Belgian starts in-front of a similar attacking midfield trio of Steven Naismith, Leon Osman and Kevin Mirallas, but there is no room for England midfielder Ross Barkley as the World Cup hopeful has to make do with a place on the bench.


Everton: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Naismith, Osman, Mirallas, Lukaku.

Subs: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Barkley, Garbutt, Alcaraz, Deulofeu. 

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Flamini, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.

Subs: Viviano, Ramsey, Sanogo, Jenkinson, Kallstrom, Bellerin, 

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)