Arsenal face Liverpool in the Premier League on Friday aiming to steal a march on their opponents in the race for a Champions League place.
The Gunners head into the game at the Emirates Stadium fifth in the table, one point behind Liverpool and with a favourable run of fixtures to come between now and the end of January.
The two Manchester clubs and Chelsea appear certain to fill the top three spots in the league, leaving Liverpool, Arsenal and probably Tottenham Hotspur fighting to finish fourth.
Sun Bets has priced Arsenal at 29/20 to win the game with Liverpool on offer at 9/5. The draw is available at 5/2.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has some problems to deal with ahead of the game, particularly in the striking department.
Wenger has confirmed Olivier Giroud is out for at least three weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during Arsenal’s 1-0 Carabao Cup victory over West Ham United on Tuesday.
Alexis Sanchez is likely to replace the French star in the side, although reports that he has been involved in a major bust-up with his teammates over his attitude is a headache Wenger could well do without.
Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla also won’t figure for the Gunners, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has a lengthy list of absentees to contend with too.
Alberto Moreno, Marko Grujic, Joel Matip, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Bogdan are all ruled out, while Daniel Sturridge is struggling with a hamstring problem.
However, with Klopp telling Sturridge he can leave the club in January he is an unlikely starter at the Emirates.
Arsenal crashed 4-0 at Anfield earlier in the season, meaning they have won just one of their last six meetings with the Reds.
However, 13 wins from their last 14 home matches is an impressive record and they will take heart from Liverpool’s away record against the top sides this season.
Klopp’s side have <a href=”http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/41133350″>lost heavily against Manchester City</a> and Spurs this term and there remains a feeling that Klopp’s team are flat-track bullies.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last nine <a href=”http://soccersouls.com/category/epl-3/”>Premier League</a> games, although only two of those have been against sides currently in the top ten.
The last four meetings between these two teams have produced 21 goals, so the 11/4 on offer for over 4.5 goals in the match looks an enticing wager.
Philippe Coutinho has been in good form during that run and appeals at 13/2 as a probable first goalscorer for the visitors.
A victory for Arsenal would move them two points ahead of Liverpool and set them up nicely for a winnable run of games over the next few weeks.
Matches against Crystal Palace (twice), West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth and Swansea should reap a decent points return, with their clash Chelsea on January 3 the most diffuclt game they’ll face before the end of that month.
Liverpool play Swansea City (twice) and Huddersfield Town, but fixtures against Manchester City, Burnley and Leicester City could prove tricky for a side capable of throwing in a shocker or two here and there.
With home advantage it’s difficult to ignore Arsenal’s claims and the 3/4 on offer for them to win in the Draw No Bet market appears an excellent bet.
For punters who fancy Liverpool to snatch something at the Emirates the 9/1 available for a 2-2 draw will have some appeal, while a repeat of last season’s 4-3 win for the visitors can be backed at 66/1.
Arsenal will be itching for revenge after their humiliation at Anfield earlier in the season and look good value at 29/20 to beat Liverpool on Friday.