BBC football expert Mark Lawrenson has stated his prediction for the much-awaited Premier League clash between Arsenal and Liverpool on Saturday night.
The Gunners have had a dismal league campaign, and they are presently languishing in the ninth position with 42 points, nine adrift of the top four.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have also experienced a poor season by their high standards and are just two places and four points ahead of the Gunners.
Both teams face a must-win situation to stay in the Champions League race, and Lawrenson has stated his prediction ahead of the game.
The Reds are winless in the previous three trips to the Emirates Stadium, but Lawrenson has backed them to come on top with a 2-1 triumph.
He told BBC Sport: “This is a big game for Liverpool and their top-four hopes, at the start of a big week for the Reds – they have the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday.”
“It is hard to know what sort of test they will get from Arsenal, though, because we saw how good and bad, the Gunners can be in their 3-3 draw with West Ham last time out.
“I am not sure how Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has got any hair left after watching that – he must have been tearing it out at times.
“Liverpool cannot really afford to rest anyone here, even though Jurgen Klopp would probably like to. They need a win to stay close to Chelsea, who are in fourth place, and I think they will get it.”
Both teams have been inconsistent in the league, with the Gunners faring slightly better with eight points compared to the Reds’ six in the last five games.
The north London side have beaten the Reds on two occasions this term, but both were via a penalty shoot-out in the Community Shield and Carabao Cup.
In the reverse fixture, they put up a decent display but were eventually beaten 3-1 by the Premier League holders, with Diogo Jota scoring his maiden goal for the club two minutes from time.
Despite the poor run in 2021, the Reds remain the favourites for this contest, and the onus is on them to win and keep up in the top-four race.
They are currently five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, and anything other than a win tomorrow could hamper their Champions League hopes through the league.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com