An important clash between two teams seeking European football. Arsenal placed 9th will be hosting 7th place Liverpool at the Emirates. This clash is a more important match for Arsenal for their hopes of getting back in the UCL after 5 years. For Liverpool, it is the danger of becoming a side that lacks the feeling of winning trophies, which they had won in the last few seasons.
Why Should You be Watching?
A big game in the contest for European spots. Winning or losing this match could dent their plans for next season or give them more ambition. Liverpool is seeking to get a spot in the Champions League having lost form. Whereas Arsenal is seeking to get a spot in the Europa League. Also, Arsenal will hope that the other teams at the top lose so that they can get Champion League spot. This seems highly unlikely due to the form of the top 4 and the points difference between them and Arsenal. The only way for Liverpool to get a spot in the Champions League if they do not end up in the top 4 is to win the ongoing UCL for which they are still in contention. Arsenal will have to either win the UEL or qualify through League spots to enter the UCL/UEL.
Having been shaky from home and unable to score in the League. Klopp’s men will look to take advantage of their away form this season in this crucial encounter.
League form LWLLW
Having shown some consistency in recent fixtures and won a recent knockout tie in the Europa League. There are signs that Arteta’s men are showing some consistency during the later parts of the season despite being inconsistent throughout.
League form: LWDWD
Team News Predicted Lineups
Liverpool will as usual be expected to play a 4-3-3 system. Full backs will play a key role. Also the availability of Kabak and Phillips who are in fine form as a pairing and are the only CB’s currently available. The midfield will be expected to be solid again. The return of Fabinho from injury is crucial in midfield. The front 3 will be happy with the return of Jota from injury and his form during the international break.
Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson
Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Thiago
Salah, Jota, Mane
Arsenal has heavily relied on youngsters this season. One of them who has certainly lived up to that expectation is the 19-year-old Bukayo Saka. He is in a doubt for this match due to an injury in his right hamstring. Emile Smith Rowe, another youngster who has shown potential in his short spell is also out with an injury. Does Arsenal still have Odegaard who can be a man for the big occasion as he showed against Spurs recently? At the back David Luiz has injured his right knee and already been ruled out making Pablo Mari the new recruit the only other alternative. Despite Xhaka being a doubt he might seem to be the best option at CDM alongside Partey.
Tierney, Gabriel, Pablo Mari, Chambers
Aubameyang, Odegaard, Willian
Head to Head
On the last few occasions, this fixture has proven to be a nail-biter providing drama till the very end. Liverpool has managed to win at home on 3 times out of the last 5 occasions. Whereas Arsenal won 2 of their home fixtures out of the last 5 fixtures between the two at. However, during big occasions such as the Community Shield victory last season, Arsenal has proven that they can be prepared for the big occasion. Given Liverpool’s away form this season this might be a different task for the Gunners.
Players to Watch Out For
Having been the corner stone in midfield during Liverpool’s success in the champion League his injury was seen as a big miss when Liverpool struggled due to his injury. When he came back in the squad he immediately tightened the screws which was lacking as teams could easily play through the lines and there was not enough presence to help start attacks as well. He is a quintessential CDM in today’s game who’s importance should not be ignored.
Having scored goals during important parts of the season and enhancing his reputation after joining from Wolves his introduction to big matches like this seems to add extra impetus as our regular front 3 apart from Salah have been lacking goals. He can play RW in Mane’s position for which he has excelled n during the international break for Portugal or play as a No.9 in Firmino’s position as Firmino is not a genuine goal scorer.
The new young loan signing has formed a formidable pairing with Nathaniel Phillips and specially impressed in the matches in which Liverpool overcame Leipzig in the champions league to reach the last eight. Apart from lacking pace he is certainly living up to the promise and not to forget the fact that he is also learning to adjust to the pace of the league.
The young Norwegian caught the eye. When he was signed on loan by Real Madrid as 16 years old. As Real usually do not take good care of their youngsters he was not given enough playtime. Currently, Arsenal has been given enough time to prove his worth. He is turning out to be what he promised, and as the other young talents in Arsenal namely, Smith Rowe and Saka are unavailable he can continue to show that he is a big game player as he did for Arsenal in the Europa League and recently against Spurs.
A relatively unknown quantity in football, the Brazilian caught the eye in the Premiere league when he signed for Arsenal having scored on his debut. He has proven to be their best CB alongside David Luiz having won crucial matches with his pace, strength and reading of the game. He also the ability for a long pass from which can catch a defense by surprise and given the pace of Arsenal’s frontline, which if utilized can be deadly.
Haven proved his talent during his time at Southampton. He, unfortunately, has not gotten enough time to play at the Emirates due to injuries. Now as he is fit and has been playing a couple of games at his best. Now he is showing that he can be a good defender as well as a decent outlet for crosses like his opposite number on the other side in Kieran Tierney, he can be a great option for Arteta.
As Liverpool’s away form and recent history against Arsenal suggest that they are the favorites, Arsenal’s new developing squad has shown that they can win a big match when needed such as the Community shield. Hence, this match is evenly balanced. All in all we football fans up for an enthralling and exciting clash in the premier league for tonight.
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