|Scoreboard|||||Match Schedule|||||Standings|||||Teams|||||Player Leaders|
By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Arsene Wenger will be forced to make changes to his injury-hit defence when Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Wenger made nine changes to his side for Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Olympiakos in the Champions League group finale with the Gunners having already clinched top spot. Defender Andre Santos was carried off in the second half with an ankle injury and "could be out for some time," according to the manager.
Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson all remain out for Wenger. Thomas Vermaelen could move into Santos' role on Saturday, when Arsenal begin a stretch of six Premier League matches in a 24-day span.
"Hopefully Santos will not be too long but, for Saturday against Everton, he looks to be short," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "We have as well Vermaelen who can play in his position."
Wenger will revert to his regular line-up this weekend, with Robin van Persie looking to add to his Premier League-leading haul of 14 goals. Van Persie hit the final goal in last Saturday's 4-0 win at Wigan for the league's fifth-placed side, and has four goals and three assists in seven matches against Everton.
The Dutch international has scored in six of Arsenal's seven home fixtures in the league. Arsenal have five wins and a draw at the Emirates since a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Aug. 20.
Saturday's match will mark the first for Mikel Arteta against his former club. Arteta transferred from Goodison Park for 10 million pounds after spending six and a half years with Everton.
"I am sure it will be a bit weird for Mikel Arteta playing against Everton for the first time," defender Seamus Coleman told Everton's official website. "He was at the Club so long and is loved by everyone here and it will be a big day for him, but on the day, we will be looking to get one over him."
The Toffees are winless in their last 16 away fixtures in all competitions against Arsenal - all since Wenger took over at the club. Everton's last win came in Jan. 1996.
Everton are in 10th place on 16 points, with eight sides within two points of them. The Toffees lost 1-0 at home to Stoke City last Sunday.
This match represents another chance to knock off one of the league's glamour sides. Everton have already lost to Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
"We are going to try and win the game like we always do," Coleman said. "Sure it would be good to come out with at least a point but we always feel we can beat the big teams when we come up against them. It will be tough, no doubt about it, but we are going there to try and win."
Influential midfielder Jack Rodwell returned for Everton last weekend. Rodwell come on as a substitute in the 63rd minute against Stoke and could be in line for a start at the Emirates.
"I've felt good, I've been in rehab for a couple of weeks with my rib and now I'm back into it so that is a pleasing thing to me," Rodwell said.
Updated December 8, 2011