Liverpool vs Arsenal
Feb 8, 2014 at 12.45pm (UK)
Saturday’s blockbuster sees Arsenal travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in a mouth watering clash at the top of the table. The Gunners are currently leading the charge at the zenith of the Premier League table and will look to roll on their juggernaut when the two teams walk out at the vociferous Anfield. Arsenal come into this clash after a routine win over Crystal Palace at home while Liverpool at the back of a disappointing draw against West Brom at the Hawthorns. The Reds should have won the encounter in which the Baggies provided very little but a horrendous give away from former Gunner Kolo Toure enabled Pepe Mel’s side to get a point.
However things will be a lot different when the two sides walk out at Anfield on Saturday afternoon, Liverpool have been quite sublime at home, scoring goals for fun, a 4-0 win in the Merseyside derby against Everton in their last home game. Arsenal too have been immaculate on their travels but the lack of wins against a top four side away from home will keep Arsene Wenger concerned.
What to expect from the encounter:
If the Gunners beat the Reds from Merseyside at the latter’s own den, Arsene Wenger’s boys will have a chance to extend their lead at the top of the table. Wenger would want history to continue between these two teams as it suggests that Liverpool have failed to beat Arsenal at Anfield in their last six meetings. I for one won’t be surprised if the Gunners do the double over the Reds but they need to stop the high flying SAS, the Suarez and Sturridge partnership and take advantage of the wary defence at the back to get full three points in their kitty.
Liverpool, however on the other hand, should make use of Mertesacker’s speed and make Suarez and Sterling run towards the towering German centre back. The Reds should also not sit back in midfield and invite pressure and look to make full use of the wings through Sterling and Coutinho on either sides.
I had already done Arsenal’s strongest line up which sees Oxlade Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere staring along with Ozil, Cazorla and Arteta in midfield with Giroud up front. Arsenal have the best midfield in England and should look to make forays around Liverpool’s weakness at the back and shoot from distance as Simon Mingolet is not having the best run of games. Talking of Liverpool’s starting line up, Brendan Rodgers should get his think pad right rather than wait for things to happen. Liverpool should try to exploit both of the full backs tendency to roam out of positions while attacking and this can invigorate a sudden counter attack with real speed.
Possible starting lineups
Liverpool: Mignolet; Flanagan, Toure, Skrtel, Cissokho; Sterling, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho; Suarez, Sturridge
Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Wilshere; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud
- Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have played 11 Barclays Premier League games together this season and the only team to stop them both scoring is Arsenal.
- Santi Cazorla has scored in two of his three Barclays Premier League appearances against Liverpool.
- Arsenal v Liverpool has seen five hat-tricks scored; the most trebles of any fixture in Premier League history.
- Liverpool have won just one of their last 13 Premier League games against Arsenal (W1 D7 L5) and none of the last six at Anfield (W0 D3 L3).
- Only Arsenal (6) have conceded fewer goals on home soil than Liverpool (8) this season in the Premier League.
- Wojciech Szczesny has kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (11).
- If PL games ended at half-time, Liverpool would be top by one point. However, if PL games only included the second half, Liverpool would be 8th and 19 points off the top.
Stats compiled from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com
I think Arsenal are going to steal all three points at Anfield with Liverpool sure to concede, albeit a fragile defence. The home side though will surely score but perhaps it might go in vain.