Liverpool vs. Arsenal: Preview and Prediction


Liverpool vs Arsenal this Sunday promises to be a highly entertaining match for its huge importance to both teams.

A lot is at stake for under-pressure Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger.

The two clubs had their eyes set on at least Champions League qualification prior to the beginning, however, now that we’re nearing the mid-point of the campaign, Liverpool have been particularly poor, and Arsenal are struggling with the same old problems.

This fixture will no doubt aid both sides’ top four ambitions if they were to beat a rival, added to the fact that neither side has beaten a Champions League competitor this season.

Team news:

For Liverpool, Johnson, Flanagan, Suso and Sturridge have been ruled out, while Lovren has a small chance of featuring. Mario Balotelli was handed a one-game ban today, for his controversial instagram post, and will miss the clash.

Arsenal are expected to be without Ospina, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Arteta, Walcott, Gnabry and Diaby. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rosicky are both doubts.

Key players:

It’s difficult to pick out a sole Liverpool player to keep an eye on, with almost nobody’s place in the starting line-up a guarantee anymore. With that said, I predict that Sterling, Lallana and Markovic will start the match, and hopefully for Liverpool’s sake, build on their impressive mid-week performances against Bournemouth.

Alexis Sanchez is without a doubt Arsenal’s danger man at the moment. If Liverpool are to get a result out of this game then they’ll need to contain the threat that Alexis poses — an unlikely accomplishment with the current defensive problems!

Current form:

Liverpool will begin the game at least eight points off fourth-placed West Ham — who play on Saturday — and are already 18 points off the current leaders Chelsea. However, these results don’t tell the full story, the performances in recent weeks — especially that game last week against United — deserved better results.

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The Reds do need to improve on these results nevertheless, as it would be hugely disappointing to take such a backward step from last season’s achievement.

Arsenal unlike Liverpool are still in the Champions League after progressing through the group stages with relative ease. The Gunners are also just two points off fourth place, and yet Wenger, like Rodgers, is coming under heavy criticism which I think is absurd.

The first half performance away at Stoke was worrying for sure, but once again, as you can see from the team news, Arsenal have been without many of their best players.

Last five league meetings:

Sat 08 Feb 2014 Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal
Sat 02 Nov 2013 Arsenal 2 – 0 Liverpool
Wed 30 Jan 2013 Arsenal 2 – 2 Liverpool
Sun 02 Sep 2012 Liverpool 0 – 2 Arsenal
Sat 03 Mar 2012 Liverpool 1 – 2 Arsenal

Match prediction:

I really think Liverpool have a chance to get a win against Arsenal this weekend. The Reds’ recent record against Arsenal isn’t too great if you exclude that 5-1 victory last season, but I expect a positive result to change that.

Arsenal’s injury problems and the players absent will be a big loss to Wenger, who I imagine will add to his squad in the upcoming transfer window. It’ll take a big performance from either side to get the win, but I believe that while it will be tight, Liverpool will come out on top.

Perhaps slightly optimistic, but a 3-2 Liverpool home win.

Next: Stoke vs Chelsea: Thoughts and Prediction