Arsenal vs Liverpool: Premier League Preview and Prediction
With the 100-point barrier in their sights, 2019-20 Premier League champions head to North London to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Jurgen Klopp’s side has tallied 93 points in the league so far and they are on their way to surpass Manchester City’s centurions from the 2017-18 season.
This encounter, however, will not be easy despite Arsenal being out of the top four race. The Gunners have been steadily improving under Mikel Arteta and have it in them to trouble Liverpool.
Arsenal’s previous fixture ended in disappointment as they succumbed 1-2 in the North London derby. The Gunners dominated proceedings but trademark defensive errors derailed the lead that they built through an Alexandre Lacazette wonder-strike.
The Gunners have won three, drawn one and lost one in their last five Premier League games.
Liverpool head into this game after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Burnley at Anfield. Jay Rodriguez’s 69th minute goal cancelled out Andrew Robertson’s opener and halted Liverpool’s run of 24 consecutive wins at home.
The Reds have won three, lost one and drawn one in their last five Premier League games – a record similar to that of Arsenal.
Head to Head
A win for Arsenal would be their first against Liverpool since 2015.
The Reds have dominated the Gunners in recent seasons. Klopp’s side has won three and drawn three against Arsenal in the pair’s last six meetings.
The Reds won the reverse fixture at Anfield earlier this season. A brace from Mohamed Salah and a goal from Joel Matip secured three points for Liverpool. Lucas Torreira did score a consolation goal for the Gunners in the 85th minute.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Arsenal. Bernd Leno, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari, all are long-term absentees.
Eddie Nketiah will be serving his three-match ban. The English striker was given a straight red in the 1-1 draw with Leicester City.
Liverpool also have no fresh injury concerns.
Club captain Jordan Henderson was injured in the win over Brighton and he will miss out on the remaining few games. James Milner has some muscle issues but he will be assessed.
Sead Kolasinac vs Mohamed Salah
Salah has eight goal involvements (six goals, two assists) in six Premier League games against the Gunners.
With Arsenal’s defensive frailties coming the fore again in the loss to Spurs, the Egyptian is primed to strike in this game.
Kolasinac’s misplaced pass led to Heung-min Son scoring for Spurs and there is a high possibility that the Bosnian could commit another goal-causing error.
Salah is also in the running for the Premier League Golden Boot and is on a hot scoring run. He has scored thrice and assisted twice in the last five league games.
Kolasinac will have his hands full in preventing Salah from cutting inside and outpacing him and his defensive partners. Do not be surprised if the Egyptian finds the net yet again in this game.
Dani Ceballos vs Fabinho
Two midfielders who can perform multiple functions on the pitch.
Dani Ceballos has been a consistent performer for Arsenal since the restart. He helps out in defensive duties and also dictates play from the middle. The Spaniard was a standout performer in the loss to Tottenham as well.
The Real Madrid loanee will not have an easy game courtesy Fabinho.
The Brazilian midfielder has become a key component in Klopp’s system and is growing into a premier defensive midfielder. In addition to his physicality, the Brazilian has also developed into a capable passer who sets the pace for the Reds.
This is bound to be an interesting encounter but Fabinho gets the edge over Ceballos.
Alexandre Lacazette vs Virgil van Dijk
Lacazette seems to have found his scoring boots again, having found the net in two consecutive games.
The Frenchman’s hold-up play, however, is also very crucial to Arteta’s plans as it allows Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to drift into dangerous positions.
Virgil van Dijk can nullify Lacazette’s influence. The Dutchman’s massive frame and superb skills will allow him to easily overpower Lacazette.
The Frenchman will have to be more mobile in this game in order to pose a threat to Alisson Becker.
Arsenal’s last two results have been unfortunate. They looked the better side in both games but underwhelming finishing and lack of defensive composure contributed to them dropping points.
Against Liverpool, Arteta’s men stand little to no chance, unless the Reds go missing like they did against Manchester City.
Furthermore, Arsenal are scheduled to face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday and there is a possibility that Arteta might rest some of his starters. The race for Champions League football is all but over for the Gunners.
Liverpool’s frightening forward line of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah will torment Arsenal’s weak defense. Firmino has not scored in a long time and this could be the game where he breaks his duck.
Predicted scoreline: Arsenal 1-3 Liverpool