Arsenal must win tonight if they wish to keep Ozil and Alexis
Match Preview: Arsenal vs. Liverpool – Premier League – 22.12.2017
In recent seasons this fixture has produced a plethora of goals. Arsenal and Liverpool are incredibly similar clubs these days, living on past glories, boasting a few truly spectacular players, threatening to take the league by storm before failing predictably, unable to address glaring squad imbalances and often as poor in defence as they can be brilliant in attack.
Arsenal will not be kidding themselves that the title is a possibility with Manchester City light years ahead of the chasing pack – the aim for Arsenal now will to avoid a second year outside of the Champions League. They have a good chance to catapult themselves ahead of Liverpool and if you visit the site mybestbettingsites.co.uk you see there are some decent odds on Arsenal edging tonight’s match.
Both teams manage to expose the other’s defensive frailties and give the neutrals plenty of attacking plays to enjoy but Arsenal seem that little bit more together in defence than Liverpool. The visitors arrive at the Emirates just a single point ahead of fifth placed Arsenal so the result of this match could be vital in determining who finishes in the top four. Hanging on to Özil and Alexis will be a priority and they’ll know that the club has no chance of convincing their best players to sign new deals if they remain out of Europe’s elite competition.
Arsenal will be without Olivier Giroud who picked up a hamstring injury in Tuesday’s League Cup quarter-final win over West Ham but Francis Coquelin, who also hobbled out of that game, could be in contention. Aaron Ramsey will definitely miss this match but Wenger should be able to rely on Shkodran Mustafi who should have recovered from a thigh injury.
Liverpool will likely be without striker Daniel Sturridge and defenders Joel Matip and Alberto but Emre Can is available again after serving a suspension. Oxlade-Chamberlain may feature against his former club and whilst he may feel he has a point to prove the early signs of his time under Klopp suggests it was not the management of the player that meant he failed to live up to early expectation.
Arsenal (from): Cech, Ospina, Macey, Bellerin, Holding, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Özil, Walcott, Iwobi, Alexis, Welbeck, Lacazette.
“I believe that Liverpool is very good going forward so you need overall a good defensive performance. We have been strong at home and it is important we continue to dictate our game at home.” – Arsène Wenger
Last 3 Meetings
- Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal (27.08.2017)
- Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal (04.03.2017)
- Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool (14.08.2016)
When Liverpool have stuttered they have done it at Anfield but on the road they have been magnificent, winning their last four and scoring 16 goals.
- Arsenal have lost the last three Premier League meetings – they haven’t lost four in a row against Liverpool since May 1998.
- Liverpool have scored at least three goals in each of their four Premier League matches against Arsenal under Jurgen Klopp, scoring 14 goals in total.
- There have been 17 Premier League goals scored in the 90th minute or later in this match, more than in any other fixture.
- Arsenal have won 13 of their last 14 home games in the league, losing the other against Manchester United at the start of the month.
- Arsene Wenger’s side have scored in 23 consecutive Premier League home matches since a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough in October 2016.
- The Gunners have only earned one point from four games this season against the four teams currently above them in the table, in a 0-0 draw at Chelsea in September.
- Petr Cech is one clean sheet away from becoming the first goalkeeper to record 200 in the Premier League. However, he has conceded 14 goals in his five games against Liverpool since joining Arsenal.
- Jack Wilshere could start three consecutive Premier League matches for Arsenal for the first time since September to October 2014.
- Liverpool are the first team in top-flight history to have won four consecutive away games by a margin of at least three goals.
- Jurgen Klopp’s team have scored an unsurpassed 24 away goals in the division this season, level with Manchester City.
- The Reds are unbeaten in their last nine games in the Premier League (W6, D3). It’s their best run since an 11-match streak ended in November 2016.
- They could keep three consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time this season.
- Mo Salah is the first Premier League player this season to score 20 goals in all competitions.
- Philippe Coutinho has scored eight goals and set up another seven in his last 10 away games for Liverpool.
- Sadio Mane has scored in each of his last three league games against Arsenal.
The optimist in me is going for a 2-1 win for Arsenal.
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