Arsenal will welcome Liverpool on Saturday in the Premier League crucial encounter at the Emirates Stadium, where the Gunners will be looking to get back to winning ways, following their Capital One Cup defeat against Chelsea in the midweek.
The Gunners are leading the Premier League table with 22 points, while Liverpool are sitting third with just two points behind the Gunners, but same with Chelsea (on 2nd) who are ahead of their rivals with a better goal difference.
Despite the early good start, critics are still not convinced with Arsenal’s title challenging capabilities, after the Gunners suffered their second defeat in three matches. To be fair to the Gunners, they fielded a relatively weak team against Chelsea while were bit unfortunate to lose against Borussia Dortmund at home in the Champions League. In any case, the League Cup was never their first priority as Arsene Wenger said in the press conference: “The mood is very positive at the moment, our priorities are the league and the Champions League.”
Liverpool on the other hand are bubbling with confidence at the moment, after they eviscerated West Bromwich Albion 4-1 at Anfield last weekend. The Reds have no side distraction this season which means Brendan Rodgers has the luxury to rest his key players and field his best 11 week-in-week-out.
The Reds strike duo – Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge – have been firing all cylinders at the moment are becoming a nemesis for other defenders. Suarez, despite missing first five games have scored six goals already in the league in four appearances while the SAS pair has contributed 14 goals so far between them.
Arsenal will be without their influential midfield spoiler Mathieu Flamini for this tie who is out for 2-3 weeks with a groin injury. Mikel Arteta however will be back from suspension while youngster Serge Gnarby has been ruled out too.
Liverpool will probably miss Jose Enrique for this tie as the Spaniard yet to recover from knee injury but the Reds are set to receive a massive boost with the return of Philippe Coutinho. The youngster suffered a shoulder injury against Swansea City and fans are waiting with bated breath to see him linking up with two top class strikers upfront in Rodgers’ 3-5-2 system.
- Arsenal have just lost only one match out of their last 12 clashes with Liverpool, winning four and drawing seven. However, Liverpool haven’t lost at the Emirates in their last three visits and are unbeaten in the league away from home thus far.
- England international Daniel Sturridge has scored a single goal in eight of his nine league fixtures this season, with Southampton the only team where he missed out.
- November is Arsenal’s least productive month in Premier League history with the Gunners gaining only 1.55 points per game. October is their second most productive month (behind March).
Prediction: Too tight to call, so 1-1 would be a fair result for both the teams. Arsenal are 12/5 to get a draw with Ladbrokes against Liverpool on Saturday.