Arsenal return to the Premier League this weekend and will face another stiff test against an organized Roberto Martinez side after a not-so-impressive midweek performance against Turkish side Besiktas in their Uefa Champions league play-off.
It was a match that ended in a goalless draw and also saw one of Arsenal’s most in-form midfielder Aaron Ramsey pick up a red card, as well as the Gunners loosing captain Mikel Arteta to an ankle injury after a heavy challenge from former Premier League and Chelsea star Demba Ba.
After such an awful midweek encounter, the Gunners will take on the Merseyside Blue outfit and Jack Wilshere says Arsenal are relishing the chance to prove their credentials against Everton on Saturday.
Arsène Wenger’s side travel to Merseyside to take on an Everton side who beat them 3-0 at Goodison Park back in April last season.
Wilshere is confident there will be no repeat of that result, although he is expecting another big test.
“Everton did fantastically last season,” he said.
“They work so hard under Roberto Martinez and he’s a great manager. He wants to bring new ideas to the game and he’s played some young players, like Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku. They’re a good team and will be a strong force again this season.
“You saw in the games last season that it was always tight. We drew 1-1 at home and then beat them in the FA Cup. They beat us away and that was a bad day for us but we want to go there this season and show the fans what we can do.
“It’s a tough place to go – there’s no denying that. They’re always up for the game and play great football as well. It will be an interesting game.”
Saturday’s game is followed by a vital Champions League play-off against Besiktas at Emirates Stadium and Wilshere believes Arsenal’s squad is strong enough to progress.
“Besiktas is definitely a season-defining game and it’s so early as well,” he said.
“I thought we put in a strong performance [in Turkey]. We didn’t get the win but we got a decent result. This one is going to be a tough one as well. They keep coming – we’ve got a great squad here now and hopefully we can show that.”