Can Liverpool Leapfrog Arsenal?

Last updated: March 2, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 5.30pm
Venue: Anfield
Coverage: Sky Sports 1
Home form: LDLWL
Away form: WWLLW
Last season: Liverpool 3 – 3 Arsenal
Competition: The Premier League

Heading into Saturday’s late kickoff, just one point and one place separate these two teams in fourth and fifth position in the EPL table. The stakes could not be higher, both for the teams and their respective managers. Klopp needs to end a terrible run in 2017 of just two wins in twelve matches, while although Arsenal’s league form is good by comparison, key defeats have seen them all but relinquish any challenge to both the league and the Champions league.

Liverpool had, so it seemed, put the year’s bad performances behind them with a win against Spurs a fortnight ago. But, in typical fashion, this was followed by a shock defeat to struggling, mangerless Leicester City. This places Jürgen Klopp under the spotlight somewhat as we approach crunch time in the league. There are give teams competing for the three other Champions League places, if we assume Chelsea have theirs wrapped up already. Liverpool also have played one more game than the Gunners, despite being one point behind them in table. While Klopp will be looking to the attacking talents of Coutinho and Sadio Mané, Liverpool will need to be stronger at the back if they want points here. Klopp will be hoping Dejan Lovren will be recovered from injury and available for selection then.

After a 5-1 thrashing by Bayern Munich, it’s probably safe to assume Arsenal’s Champions League dreams are over for another year. The league title is probably beyond them too, meaning once again, Arsenal are competing for second place. Just like his opposite number then, Arsene Wenger will be feeling the pressure, and a win here will be both a strong statement in regard to Arsenal’s league credentials and towards retaining his job at the end of the season. Laurent Koscielny should be fine to feature, though Mesut Özil is currently out with flu and may not recover in time. Wenger’s biggest decision will be whether to start Alexis Sánchez up front, or play him in a supporting role, behind Olivier Giroud. Whether Wenger gets this one right could be the biggest factor affecting the outcome of the game.

Team News

Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren missed the last game through injury and both look set to miss out once again, with a foot and knee injury respectively.

Daniel Sturridge is still suffering with illness, amid talk that the striker could be on his way out of Anfield at the end of the season.

Mesut Özil and Laurent Koscielny are the big names Arsenal could be without for this clash, with Özil ill and Koscielny still struggling with a hamstring complaint.

Outside of this, Arsene Wenger will probably not have one eye on next week’s Champions League fixture, which is already surely lost. He will look to be fielding his strongest possible eleven then.

Expected line-ups:

Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner, Lallana, Can, Wijnaldum, Mané, Firmino, Coutinho
Subs: Karius, Klavan, Moreno, Origi, Stewart, Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold
Injured: Grujic, Ejaria, Ings
Doubtful: Sturridge, Lovren, Henderson
Not available:
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Walcott, Özil, Iwobi, Sánchez
Subs: Gabriel, Pérez, Giroud, Ospina, Gibbs, Welbeck, Elneny
Injured: Cazorla, Ramsey, Sanogo
Doubtful: Elneny, Koscielny, Özil
Not available:

So far this season

. . .
Liverpool this season Arsenal this season
5th League Position 4th
8 (6) (at home) Wins (away) 9 (6)
6-1 vs. Watford Biggest win 5-1 vs. West Ham
3 (4) (at home) Draws (away) 2 (3)
3-4 vs. Bournemouth Biggest Defeat 3-4 vs. Liverpool
Sadio Mané (11) Top scorer Alexis Sánchez (17)
Adam Lallana (7) Assist Leader Alexis Sánchez (8)
Y40, R0 Discipline Y41, R2
4 Failures to score 2
7 Clean Sheets 8
16 Both Teams to Score Games 17
15 Over 2.5 Games 17
11 Under 2.5 Games 9
  • Liverpool fell to a shock defeat last week against struggling Leicester. With Lovren likely out again, we can’t see them keeping a clean sheet in this one.
  • Arsenal haven’t played in the league since early February, with a mixed bag of results since then. Patchy form will see them vunerable at the back as well.
  • Six of the last seven meetings between these two sides have featured both teams to score and over 2.5 goals. With the way these two are playign at the moment, we think this trend is likely to continue.
  • Alexis Sánchez is still the top scorer in the league with 17 goals. Against a leaky Liverpool defence, he will be expecting to get on the scoresheet once again

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
14/09/2016 Premier League Arsenal 3 – 4 Liverpool Walcott 31′
13/01/2016 Premier League Liverpool 3 – 3 Arsenal Firmino 10′
24/09/2015 Premier League Arsenal 0 – 0 Liverpool
04/04/2015 Premier League Arsenal 4 – 1 Liverpool Bellerin 37′
21/12/2014 Premier League Liverpool 2 – 2 Arsenal Coutinho 45′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

This is a tricky one to call. Liverpool’s home advantage causes the bookies to give them the edge, but the tight nature of the match means that you can get them to win at a great price of evens or better.

Based on previous meetings and the fact that a win is essential for both teams, we’re predicting an attack minded game. Both teams to score seems very likely, but offers low value. We’re going for a risky one as our tip this week then, with a long shot both teams to score in both halves. You can get this priced at 12/1 at William Hill, so keep stakes low for this one.