Arsenal vs Liverpool Preview and Prediction
This is a guest post by James. Thanks so much for sending it in!
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As we rapidly enter that stage of the season where the battles for the top four spots reach very intense levels, the Premier League returns to action this Saturday at lunchtime with one of the most exciting match-ups in English football, as Liverpool take a trip to London to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Following a poor start of the 2014-2015 campaign, Arsenal have quickly climbed the Premier League table and are now in contention with both Manchester City and Manchester United for second place. Surprisingly kicked out of the Champions League tournament by French side Monaco, the Gunners can now focus only on their remaining 8 league games.
Wenger’s side head into this game sitting 3rd in the table, 6 points ahead of the Reds, and a win this Saturday could see the Gunners take Manchester City’s spot as the Citizens play only next Monday.
Probable Line-Up (4-2-3-1):
Ospina – Chambers, Koscielny, Paulista, Monreal – Coquelin, Ramsey – Cazorla, Sanchez, Welbeck – Giroud
The Reds are now pretty much in the mix for a place in the Champions League next season, following a stretch of 13 unbeaten games (10 wins and 3 draws), after sitting in the middle of the table for a big part of the campaign. Manchester United, however, have put an end to that outstanding streak two weeks ago with a solid 2-1 win at Anfield Road. The Reds are currently 5th in the league table, 5 points behind United and Brendan Rodgers is aware of the fact that the slightest mistake in any of their 8 remaining games could cost his side a top 4 spot.
Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel won’t play against the Gunners this Saturday, as they were both sent off in the loss against the Red Devils. Gerrard’s experience and leadership are unquestionably extremely important for Liverpool, even though he hasn’t played as much as he used to, but Martin Skrtel’s absence will probably have a bigger impact, given the fact that the Reds’ defense hasn’t conceded a single goal in the last 6 consecutive games away from Anfield. Daniel Sturridge is expected to be fit, following a hip injury, but he’ll probably start from the bench.
Probable Line-Up (3-4-2-1):
Mignolet – Can, Toure, Sakho – Markovic, Henderson, Allen, Moreno – Lallana, Coutinho – Sterling
With a win against Liverpool, Arsenal would be close to book a presence in the Champions League for the 18th consecutive year and would almost take the Reds out of that race. This is, traditionally, a very productive game in terms of goals and, with both teams looking for the three points, we should expect that outcome in this one (Over 2.5 – Bet365 odds: -139).
The Gunners have looked extremely confident in their last league games and Arséne Wenger has at his disposal a myriad of options on the offensive side of the ball, which is something that his counterpart has been struggling with throughout the season. That aspect alone could definitely prove to be the key factor in this match-up.
Completely focused on achieving second place and going against a team that will be missing some important players, Arsenal will probably come out on top and secure the three points.
Our Pick: Arsenal to Win
Bet365 Odds: -119