Everton: 3 Reasons why the Toffees are the favourites to beat Arsenal

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: The Everton and Arsenal club crests on their first team home shirts on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: The Everton and Arsenal club crests on their first team home shirts on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Visionhaus) /
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Everton (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images) /

Arsenal centre back Gabriel is suspended putting a huge dent on the Gunners defence.

Injuries and Suspension

Now, this only applies to two players, but unfortunately for Arsenal, it’s arguably their two most important players this season. Gabriel has been fantastic since joining the Gunners and would be over a 7 average rating if it wasn’t for the North London Derby and his red card against Southampton, but the Brazilian has been the solid defender Arsenal have clearly lacked for a few years now.

Gabriel is a defensive all-rounder for Arsenal, with the Brazilian averaging 1.3 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 2.9 clearances and 1.1 blocks. The blocks stand out the most with Gabriel lying in tied third in the Premier League for total blocks and fifth in blocks per game.

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His positioning is fantastic and it is why he can anticipate these blocks and he also uses this great positioning to make him an even more dangerous aerial threat for Arsenal which against most teams could cause a problem.

Arsenal are without by far their most important defender and the Gunners’ other centre-back pairings have proven to be error-prone and that could be something that Everton capitalise on throughout the game if Arsenal struggle without the Brazilian.

Arteta’s men are also missing another new Summer signing in Thomas Partey. The Ghanaian international suffered a problem with his thigh in the North London Derby and looks like he’ll be unavailable for the Everton game. This is a huge plus for Evertonians who wouldn’t want somebody as physical as Partey getting into a midfield battle, especially after Allan suffered an injury of his own.

Partey is a very deceptive player, his build makes him look more like your stereotypical defensive midfielder, but he’s much more versatile on that with the midfielder fitting more into the role of a box-to-box midfielder, similarly to Abdoulaye Doucouré.

It’s hard to understand how much of an impact Partey can be to Arsenal due to the limited playing time that he’s had this season, but if you go off the 19/20 season it shows how much of a fantastic player Partey is.

In his last full season with Atletico Madrid, Partey averaged 2 tackles and 1.4 interceptions, along with 1.6 dribbles, showing his ability to win the ball and drive it down the field to start an attack. The fact he played in a counter-attack based Atletico side could be helpful to Arteta if he chooses to adapt to a more counter-attacking style, which could more successful for the Gunners based off the personnel they currently have.