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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Arteta Returns, Heitinga Out

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Mikel Arteta returns to the Everton line up for this afternoon's trip to Ewood Park - but John Heitinga has not recovered from the ankle injury he sustained at Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Manager David Moyes is also without Leon Osman and Jack Rodwell but the Scot will be buoyed by the opportunity to include Arteta for the first time since he scored in last month's 2-0 win at Manchester City.

Heitinga's absence means a return for Tony Hibbert at right back as Phil Neville moves into midfield. There, the captain is joined by Arteta, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Steven Pienaar and Tim Cahill. Louis Saha replaces Yakubu in attack and the Nigerian drops to the bench.

Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and Leighton Baines complete the defence.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Neville, Bilyaletdinov, Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Saha. Subs: Turner, Yakubu, Senderos, Wallace, Anichebe, Yobo, Duffy

Blackburn Rovers: Robinson, Givet, Nelsen, Dunn, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Andrews, Olsson, Kalinic, Salgado, Jones. Subs: Brown, Roberts, Grella, Basturk, Hoilett, Di Santo, Chimbonda

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