Arsenal face perhaps their toughest test of the season so far this weekend, as they travel to the dreaded Anfield Stadium to face Liverpool. Having beat the Reds at home, you always expect a different outcome at Anfield, particularly Arsenal who have a bad record there in recent seasons.
But this is a new look Arsenal team and Mikel Arteta has them playing like champions. A win at this stadium which has eluded them in recent seasons would certainly place the Gunners as favourites to win the Premier League this season. With Manchester City on their tails, Arteta has to treat every game like a cup final, which he’s doing.
However, Arsenal may have received a serious blow ahead of the game. William Saliba has been absent in recent weeks, since before the international break. Arsenal have always kept a very vague timeframe of his return, but most assumed it would be before this match. However, according to Evening Standard, Saliba remains a “serious doubt” for Arteta as it’s described he’s facing an uphill battle to be fit. For the time being, Rob Holding is favourite to start in this match.
Rob Holding has done an exceptional job in recent matches, don’t get me wrong. He’s filled the void very well and played against some great players such as Wilfried Zaha and kept them at bay.
However, in a game as big as this one, fans would feel much more assured if Saliba was at the back. When you have a Saliba-Gabriel partnership, it takes a lot to break them apart. When you have a Holding-Gabriel partnership, on the other hand, all it takes is one spin on Holding and the attacker has the advantage.
What’s your score prediction for this match? Will Arsenal all but secure their place at the top, or will Liverpool start to mount a late challenge for top 4?