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Arsenal Welcome the Champions to the Emirates

Last updated: July 15, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Wednesday, 20:15
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: WWWDL
Away Form: WLWWD
Last Meeting: Liverpool 5 – 5 Arsenal
Competition: EPL

It is points versus pride as Arsenal host the Champions at the Emirates tonight. Arsenal desperately need points to claim a Europa League spot, whereas Liverpool want to break the Premier League points record and cement legendary status.

The CAS’s decision to lift the ban on Man City changed the whole landscape for European qualification. Arsenal, are level on points with Burnley at ninth, the list of Europa hopefuls includes Spurs, Wolves and Sheffield United. They are competing for the two final spots to Europa League. The other spot would be the consolation price for whoever losses the Champions League battle between Leicester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United.

Arsenal needs to bounce back against the Champions to keep their slim hopes alive. They shot themselves in the foot by failing to make the most of their advantage against Leicester City and Tottenham, especially after being in positions of strength and failing to defend their lead.

They have improved significantly under the stewardship of Mikel Arteta. Mikel Arteta has a lot to offer with the game against Leicester showing what he is instilling to the side with a clear plan, springing traps, team play, and good build-up as well as playing with a good tempo. His success is dependent on whether the management will break their stingy tradition and spend heavily to match the quality of the top six teams by getting good players with potential to fit his system.

Completing a move for Dani Ceballos, who is on loan from Real Madrid and bringing in Thomas Partey (Atlético Madrid) seems to be the priority. The William Saliba deal already sealed, they are linked with Dayot Upamecano to partner the young Frenchman.

In the game against Tottenham, they took the lead through a screamer by Alexandre Lacazette but then conceded twice through yet another episode of their defensive frailties that we have become accustomed to. Three minutes after taking the lead, miscommunication between Sead Kolasinac and David Luiz gave the ball away to Son to who easily dinked over Emiliano Martinez. Arteta’s men dominated the second half, but Toby Alderweireld rose highest in the 81st minute for the winner.

Even with a back five, the Gunners have great firepower going forward but can’t seem to manage the inevitable counter-attack and have been conceding. There is, however, no time to feel sorry for themselves as they face the league champions before meeting the defending champions in the FA Cup. Qualifying for Europe through FA Cup victory is going to be their best chance but have a stern test against a club they lost against in the last six consecutive games. If they find a way against Pep Guardiola in the cup, they meet either Manchester United or Chelsea in the final. That is a big if though!

Liverpool is back on the perch of English football under Jurgen Klopp. With the league won so easily, you wonder if the Reds are now regretting not taking the FA Cup more seriously as they focused on the Champions League (that they were knocked out by Atletico Madrid) and the Premier League (already won). They have no ambitions whatsoever this season, except to break more records. They will claim the most points in a Premier League season if they win the next three games facing Chelsea and Newcastle after Arsenal.

However, one record that Liverpool will not take this season is a 100% home win rate as they were frustrated by a stubborn Burnley side at the weekend. Andrew Robertson had given the home side the lead in the first half, and with chances falling to Mohamed Salah and Curtis Jones, only the excellence of the incredible Nick Pope in the Burnley goal was keeping the score at 1-0.

Burnley, now unbeaten in five games, showed the character that you associate with a Sean Dyche side and never gave up and drew level in the 69th minute through a Jay Rodriguez goal. The Clarets were unlucky not to take all three points as Johann Berg Gudmundsson went agonisingly close and fired an effort against the crossbar with just minutes remaining.

Klopp is indicating that he will see out his contract, which runs until 2024. Klopp, alongside his assistants Peter Krawietz and Pepijn Lijnders, signed a five-year deal in December last year. If the German does stay until 2024, he will become the club’s longest-serving manager since Bob Paisley. The 53-year old joined Liverpool in October 2015 and guided the club to their 6th European Cup and their first English Championship in 30 years. Other trophies he has picked up in this time include the Club World Cup and the Super Cup.


Team News

Arsenal needs this win more than their opponents as they desperately want to play in Europe next season. They face Aston Villa and Watford in the last two games.

The Gunners next face Man City in the FA Cup semi-finals that could be their best chance to the Europa League as winners of the competition.

Both Captains Henderson and Milner are out of this fixture through injury.

Salah (19) is still in the race for the golden boot with the man in the lead, Vardy, currently on 23.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Martinez, Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Mustafi, Tierney, Ceballos, Xhaka, Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Subs: Macey, Guendouzi, Willock, Holding, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Martinelli, Kolasnic, Saka
Injured: Mari, Chambers, Leno
Doubtful:
Not available: Nketiah
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Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino, Mane
Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Lovren, Henderson, Lallana, Williams, Jones, Elliott
Injured: Milner, Henderson
Doubtful: Origi
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Arsenal This Season Liverpool This Season
9th League Position 1st
12 (4) Wins (away) 30 (13)
4 – 0 v Newcastle Biggest Win 4 – 0 v Crystal Palace
14 (8) Draws (away) 3 (2)
0 – 3 v Man City Biggest Defeat 0 – 4 v Man City
Aubameyang (20) Top Goal Scorer Salah (19)
Y76, R5 Discipline Y36, R1
6 Failures to Score 3
29% Clean Sheets 43%
60% Both Teams to Score Games 51%
54% Over 2.5 Goals 66%
46% Under 2.5 Goals 34%
  • Arsenal and Liverpool have featured against each other 51 times. The Gunners have been the victors 19 times against Liverpool’s 15 wins with 17 draws between them.
  • Arsenal has not won in the last seven meetings of the sides, losing five and drawing twice.
  • Liverpool have won more games away from home than Arsenal’s total wins this season, the Gunners only lead Liverpool with more bookings, with more than double the Champions have.
  • The African connection in the sides is strong with all three Golden boot winners for 2018-19 season expected to be fielded. Aubameyang is on 20, Salah 19, and Mane 16 goals this season.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
30/10/2019 League Cup Liverpool 5 – 5 Arsenal Torreira 19’
24/08/2019 EPL Liverpool 3 – 1 Arsenal Matip 41’
29/12/2018 EPL Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal Firmino 14′
03/11/2018 EPL Arsenal 1 – 1 Liverpool Milner 61’
22/12/2017 EPL Arsenal 3 – 3 Liverpool Coutinho 26’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Arsenal’s Champions League hopes are over, and Manchester City’s successful appeal makes even Europa League qualification difficult with five clubs battling for the three places. They are however two games away from qualification via the FA Cup but face a daunting Manchester City on Saturday.

Liverpool are playing for pride, the pride of being the team that scores the most points in a Premier League season and that’s a powerful motivator. Mohamed Salah on 19, is four goals behind Vardy in the race for the golden boot, and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he can catch up in the three remaining games. Although Arsenal’s Aubameyang on 20, could also improve his chances of being the top scorer.

If Arsenal put in a good defensive shift, they could win this; the keyword is if. They certainly have the attacking players. Liverpool needs to improve on a lacklustre performance against a battling Burnley side. We’d love to see a repeat of the 5-5 in the League Cup, but unfortunately, we don’t see a classic in this one. A 1-1 draw is our prediction @ 15/2 with bet365. We are also tempted with the 2-2 @12/1 as a covering bet.