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4 Keys to Everton Victory Over Arsenal

Everton face Arsenal at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon. The Blues will look for a repeat of the 3-0 thrashing they handed the Gunners last April. Here are some things that will need to happen if Everton want to come away with three points.

Sascha Steinbach

Take advantage of a tired and injured Arsenal side.

Saturday's game is the third in the space of a week for Arsene Wenger's team. Arsenal started off the 2014-15 Premier League campaign with a late win at home against Crystal Palace. They made a midweek trip to Turkey for a Champions League qualifier where they drew with Besiktas, 0-0.

The first two games of the week took a toll on the squad. Defender Kieran Gibbs won't take to the pitch at Goodison Park due to a hamstring injury sustained in the Crystal Palace match. Ex-Everton player Mikel Arteta suffered an ankle injury and will not play against his former club.

Arsenal should see the return of World Cup-winning Germans Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, and Lukas Podolski. It is unclear whether they will be fit enough to start.

Everton fans will hope that a tough travel schedule and three games in one week will result in tired legs and a win for the home side.

Avoid backline problems.

Leicester City exposed Everton's defense last Saturday, and the problem must be fixed with Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, decidedly more intimidating than Leonardo Ulloa and Chris Wood, on their way Merseyside.

Phil Jagielka and the aging Sylvain Distin were shaky at best last week, and manager Roberto Martinez needs to do something about it. It may not happen this week, but a possible solution is to replace Distin with John Stones, who looked lost at right-back last week. Seamus Coleman, who did not start against Leicester City, but came on late in the game, can return to the right side.

Everton must get better in the air and on set pieces. A defensive performance like the one witnessed last week will spell disaster against Arsenal.

Pienaar and Baines must continue to link up and cause problems.

The link-up play between Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines was one of the most encouraging signs from last week's match. The duo were a nuisance to the Leicester City defense and created some chances in front of goal.

In an interview with the Everton website, Baines praised his counterpart, saying "He's always where you need him to be at the moment you need him to be there."

Baines and Pienaar will need to continue their good form and create chances for Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku.

Romelu Lukaku needs to play a bigger role.

Evertonians could hardly contain their excitement when it was announced that Romelu Lukaku would return to the club on a permanent basis. The center-forward failed to impress in the first match, most likely due to a late transfer and lack of preseason training.

There is no question that Lukaku is capable of strong hold-up play and lethal finishes, but it remains to be seen whether he is ready to show it this early in the season. Can he lead his team to victory against Arsenal again?