By Chris Harris
The ends justified the means when Everton visited Emirates Stadium 11 days ago. They nicked a goal from a set piece, crowded Arsenal out, defended for their lives and left with a point. It wasn't pretty, but it was pretty effective. Expect a different story tonight.
Home advantage, the absence of Arsenal's biggest names and the lure of silverware should bring out Everton's adventurous side when the teams reconvene in the Carling Cup. Dominic King of the Liverpool Echo expects David Moyes to put his players firmly on the front foot at Goodison Park.
"Moyes said that he had to cut his cloth accordingly at Emirates Stadium because Arsenal are a formidable side if you let them play," said King. "We saw that against Middlesbrough last year and Everton the season before when Arsenal scored seven.
"It was very much a case of getting a result first and the result on the day was excellent for Everton. They have had a great start to the season and it would have been ridiculous to get carried away with their tactics. Moyes is a very astute manager and he very rarely gets it wrong in that respect.
"But they are probably going to be a bit more expansive tonight. Chances like this don't come along that often and I would expect Everton to be a bit more artistic, more adventurous, with a Quarter-Final place at stake.
"They will be at full strength, it will probably be the same team which played at Fulham on Saturday. The only thing Moyes is debating is whether to bring Nuno Valente back and switch Joleon Lescott inside. Either way you'll see the Everton that Arsenal didn't see in the League game."
In Mikel Arteta and Andy Johnson, Everton have bags of creativity and an end product. King believes both will play an important role tonight.
"Johnson has been fantastic. Apart from the goals, what has impressed everyone is his enthusiasm and his work ethic. He is more mobile than James Beattie and looks to run into channels. He gives the midfielders hope because he can chase down defenders and make average passes look good.
"Arteta is another key player. He is capable of turning the game on his own. He was absolutely fantastic towards the end of last season and won the club's Player of the Season by a country mile. He was even better in pre-season and is one of those players who has a touch of class like Rosicky and Hleb.
"Arteta has been a bit slow finding his form so far this season but he scored against Sheffield United two and a half weeks ago and he looks like he is getting back to his best."
The incentive is certainly there for Everton. They haven't reached the last four of the League Cup since it was sponsored by Littlewoods back in 1988. On that occasion, Perry Groves and David Rocastle were among the scorers as Arsenal beat Everton in both legs en route to Wembley.
George Graham's side that year was brimming with youth but they were gnarled veterans compared to the fledgling team which knocked a full-strength Everton out of the competition two seasons ago. Quincy and Arturo Lupoli provided the spark in Arsenal's 3-1 win at Highbury.
So can the class of 2006 deny Everton again? In King's opinion, the Merseysiders will leave nothing to chance this time.
"Everton are taking the Carling Cup very seriously," he said. "They haven't reached the Final for a long time and haven't got to the Semi Finals for 18 years. Manchester United's defeat at Southend has opened up the draw and this is an excellent chance for Everton to get into Europe.
"Assistant manager Alan Irvine said today that Everton were shocked by how good Arsenal's youngsters were two years ago. But now they know all about them and they won't make the same mistake twice."
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