Moyes backs Arteta claims

Last updated at 08:13 25 October 2007

Everton manager David Moyes believes Mikel Arteta deserves to be recognised by Spain.

The gifted midfielder, 25, is expected to make his 100th appearance for the club tonight in the UEFA Cup match against Larissa of Greece.

Mikel Arteta

Yet Arteta has yet to win a senior cap for his country despite being a former captain of their under-21 team.

Moyes said: "He is a big player for us and we rely on him a lot.

"He deserves more as the last two seasons he has been good for the team. Perhaps the standard of the Spain squad makes it difficult for him to get in but he should be given a chance."

Arteta's qualities could be vital at a packed Goodison Park against a Larissa side that dismantled Blackburn in the last round to reach the group stages.

The visitors took their place in the competition after winning the Greek Cup.

Moyes said: "To put Blackburn out was no mean feat. I think most people thought it was a surprise result.

"But Larissa are well organised and have one or two international players.

"It is a strange format with two games at home and two away. But we are determined to make a good start. It is important we win our matches at Goodison."

Moyes is poised to shuffle his pack after the controversial derby defeat by Liverpool which saw Everton slump to their fourth defeat in five Premier League games.

Tim Cahill could return in midfield after injury along with Lee Carsley as they look to get off to a winning start.

Carsley is eager to return to the starting line-up.

He said: "It is a massive game in the UEFA Cup and one we are looking forward to.

"We have seen a lot of Larissa on tape and I do not think they will hold too many surprises for us.

"We have a huge squad and the manager has done well keeping everyone happy. There are going to be a lot of games this season and it is important when you do play you are bang on form and up for it."

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