Mikel Arteta predicts tough season

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Everton talisman Mikel Arteta believes the club could face one of their most difficult challenges in recent times ahead of their Premier League opener at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

With the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City splashing out on new faces during the summer and Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa expected to challenge for continental qualification places at the end of the season, Arteta knows it will be tough to compete at the right end of the table.

Speaking to reporters, he said:"It is a nice pressure to have. We would like to be in that position because we know we can do it.

"I think we have become stronger in the last few years but everyone else has done the same thing.

"This is going to be the toughest season of the last 15 or 20 years, because the teams fighting for the top four, or even the top six, have big potential so we have to be really prepared.

"We know we cannot spend money. We have many other strengths but we don't have someone to put in £100million and say they are going to bring in players of top four quality.

"But at the same time we have a few young lads coming through and we always find a solution."

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