Liverpool are scheduled to entertain Arsenal in Saturday’s crunch Premier League showdown at Anfield. The Reds are currently holding a five-point advantage at the top of the summit after a flawless run which has included eight straight victories.
Arsenal, however, have not enjoyed a similar run of form amid their defensive vulnerabilities and they are presently positioned fifth in the standings with a two-point deficit to Chelsea, who hold the final Champions League qualification spot.
Key statistics ahead of the game:
Arsenal have struggled against their Merseyside counterparts in recent history and they come into the weekend game without a victory against them in seven-straight Premier League matches.
Liverpool and Arsenal have contested several high-scoring encounters over the years and the 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium in November was the first occasion since 2015 where they produced less than four goals.
Jurgen Klopp’s side possess the best defence across Europe’s top five leagues with just seven goals conceded. In comparison, the Gunner have been far from impressive with 25 goals allowed and just three clean sheets compared to the Reds’ 12 this term.
Players to watch for:
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool: The Egypt international could not find the scoresheet during the previous meeting between the sides where the Gunners produced a strong defensive display. However, the upcoming game could witness the attacker provided with more freedom on the right side of the attack, given Sead Kolasinac has tended to be vulnerable when it comes to defending when on the move. Moreover, the north Londoners are without several regular defenders within their ranks and Salah may seek to deliver crosses into the box where the likes of Roberto Firmino could pose a concern for Laurent Koscielny, who has struggled with the aerial threat amid his reduced match sharpness after a long-term Achilles injury.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal: The Gabon international has leapfrogged Alexandre Lacazette as the go-to striker for the Gunners and he has already lived to the season’s expectations with 13 goals from the first half of the campaign. Still, there are suggestions that he does not perform at the same level against the elite clubs on a consistent basis and he has plenty to prove against the Reds, who have conceded just twice in their home patch. Dejan Lovren remains the probable weak-link in the opposition’s defence and it will be interesting to see whether he can stretch the backline with his sheering pace on the counter attack.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool have been hampered with injury concerns this term but the former have undoubtedly been affected further with four senior defenders in Rob Holding, Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Shkodran Mustafi (doubtful) sidelined for the game. Hence, the hosts should enjoy a comfortable evening in Merseyside, although we fancy the Gunners to score.
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
Image – Getty