Liverpool -V- Arsenal Preview

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Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield for an 8PM kick-off on Wednesday 13 January.

Liverpool are in eighth position in the league, though they are just six points behind Tottenham in fourth place. However a string of inconsistent results have done nothing to help their top four finish, with a 2-0 defeat away to West Ham, leaving Jürgen Klopp with just two wins from their last six games.

Liverpool’s recent game was in the F.A Cup against league two opposition, Exeter City. Klopp fielded out a very young side, which worked hard and did themselves proud. The game finished 2-2, goals scored by Jerome Sincalir and Brad Smith. A draw means a replay at Anfiled, which isn’t great news for Jürgen Klopp as it adds another game to the busy calendar in January.

This week is key for Liverpool, as they look to make home advantage count against both Arsenal and then Manchester United four days later.

Arsena beat Sunderland 3-1 on the weekend. The Gunners are on good form, and they will be looking to maintain their advantage at the top of the Premier League, as it seems this season really does look like their best opportunity to end their 12-year wait without the title.

Team news for Liverpool:

Kolo Toure has returned from his injury, and is set to start against Arsenal on Wednesday night. Mamadou Sakho is also in contention to start, declaring himself fit to Jürgen Klopp. He will undergo a late fitness test before the game.

Steven Caulker who has signed on loan for Liverpool from QPR is set to be in the squad to face Arsenal.

Jordon Ibe has returned from his hamstring injury, and is in contention to make the squad. Liverpool skipper, Jordan Henderson has also returned from his foot/heal injury and is in contention to start the game.

Daniel Sturridge may have returned from his injury, but Klopp doesn’t deem him fit enough, so he’s set to remain sidelined along with Jon Flanagn, Jordan Rossiter, Dejan Lovren, Divock Origi, Philippe Coutinho, Martin Skrtel, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez.

Team news for Arsenal:

Wenger has confirmed that Wednesday’s match will come “too soon” for Alexis Sanchez who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the end of November.

Mesut Ozil and Mathieu Flamini will be available for the Gunners, however, David Ospina faces a late fitness test after missing out on Saturday.

Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla all remain sidelined for Arsenal.

Match facts:

Only Manchester United (21) have secured more Premier League wins against Arsenal than Liverpool (16).

The last nine league meetings between these clubs at Anfield have seen 35 goals scored. (3.9 per match on average)

Arsenal have scored the first goal of the match on 14 occasions in the league this season; more than any other team.

Alberto Moreno has created more goalscoring chances than any other Liverpool player in the Premier League this season (39) and is also the most creative defender in 2015/16.

Mesut Ozil has scored or assisted 16th of Arsenal score last 24 league goals. (3 goals, 13 assists).

Games between Liverpool and Arsenal always provide goals. It will be an excellent game to watch. Will Jürgen Klopp decide to go with Christian Benteke, or will he choose Roberto Firmino to lead the line ‘false 9’. Personally, I’d start Firmino over Benteke.

Another key area is at CB. Toure up against Giroud will be a tough task for the defender, but hopefully Sakho starts and his strength and power will be enough to keep Giroud quiet throughout the game.

I hope Henderson starts, the midfield battle is a big key factor, and whoever wins that battle I think will go onto win the game. Henderson will be vital for Liverpool in the centre of the park with his energy and creativity.

I’m expecting goals, and my prediction is a 2-2 draw.

Current form:
Liverpool’s last five league games: LDLWWL

Arsenal’s last five league games: WWWLWW

My predicted lineup: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Sakho, Moreno, Emre Can, Lucas, Henderson, Lallana, Ibe, Firmino.

Fancy a bet? A draw and both teams to score @ 4/1 with SkyBet.

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