Arsenal host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium this evening in the English Premier League. This match is a crucial one in the race for a top-four spot for the Gunners. Liverpool need a victory to close the gap to Man City with the title race very much still alive. These sides met twice earlier this year in the Carabao Cup semi-final as a 0-0 draw at Anfield was followed by a 2-0 Liverpool win at the Emirates.
Arsenal are in really good form right now. After a run of five matches without a win in all competitions, they have won five league matches on the bounce. Their last 11 matches in the Premier League have seen nine wins and a draw as they have taken control of the race for the top four.
There have been some big results in the recent run as they won 1-0 at Wolves with ten men and then scored in the last minute to beat them again, 2-1 at home. A 3-2 win at Watford saw three superb goals scored. Their most recent match was a professional 2-0 home win against Leicester as Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette were on target.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal have right back Takehiro Tomiyasu back in full training after injury and he could make it onto the bench for this match. Cedric Soares will start in his place as he has done in recent weeks.
Emile Smith Rowe is back as an option and is pushing Gabriel Martinelli for a place down the left-wing. Most likely is that the latter will start with Smith Rowe as an impact substitute. Mikel Arteta has a very settled side that almost picks itself.
The Gunners sit one point clear in fourth spot but have three games in hand over the three sides below them. They will play to win this match but a draw would be a pretty good result as one extra point from a match in hand.
Arteta could move Granit Xhaka a bit deeper into a double pivot for extra defensive protection. The Swiss midfielder has been playing as a number eight in recent weeks.
The Reds have lost just once in 17 matches in all competitions. Their last ten matches have seen seven clean sheets whilst they have three wins in six on the road in the Premier League, having drawn at Tottenham and Chelsea and losing 1-0 at Leicester.
After a tight 1-0 home win against West Ham, Liverpool lost 1-0 at home to Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League. It was a complacent performance but the work had largely been done in the first leg with a 2-0 win in Italy. In their last match, Jurgen Klopp’s team won 2-0 at Brighton as Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah got the goals.
Liverpool Team News
Klopp has a few doubts and concerns for this match. Mohamed Salah took a knock to his ankle at Brighton and had to come off. He is back in training but remains touch-and-go to start this one. Roberto Firmino is fit to return and Diogo Jota is another option should Salah only make the bench.
Ibrahima Konate is carrying a knock and could miss out. Both James Milner and Konstantinos Tsimikas have had COVID-19 and are not certain to recover in time. Neither would have started anyway.
This match will see complete focus. With a gap of four points to Man City with this match in hand, it is a must-win in the title race. The Reds will attack and go for the victory in a high pressing performance.
They will also know that Arsenal have lacked some cutting edge against teams who sit back and if leading, they could be more conservative to draw Arsenal onto them and open spaces.
Arsenal have won 9 of their last 11 PL matches (L1, D1) and 5 in a row
Arsenal have lost their last 2 home matches vs Liverpool
Arsenal have failed to score in 5 matches against LFC (3 matches this season)
Salah has scored 8 goals in 10 matches against Arsenal
Liverpool have won 12 of their last 14 matches in all comps
LFC have won 8 PL matches in a row
Liverpool have kept 6 clean sheets in their last 8 PL matches
Liverpool desperately need a win from this match in the title race. They have a great record against Arsenal and haven’t conceded against them in five matches. This match is a big test for Arteta’s new Gunners side but it is hard to see them taking the win.
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