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Can the Gunners Shoot Down The High Flying Liver Birds Title Hopes?

October 31, 2018

After a tough start to the season, which saw them lose their opening two games to Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal bounced back to form and proceeded to win their next seven Premier League games (as well as a trio of games in the Europa League and a Carabao Cup tie).

That eleven-game winning streak came to an end last weekend at Crystal Palace though when two Luka Milovojevic penalties handed the Eagles a deserved point in a game where the Gunners were fortunate to see their second goal stand after Alexander Lacazette clearly handled the cross which allowed Aubameyang in at the far post to score.

That result means Arsenal are now unbeaten in their last 12 games in all competitions, a better run of form than even Liverpool can muster, as the Reds, although unbeaten in the Premier League, have lost twice during that period, to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and then away to Napoli in the Champions League.

However, after an extremely tough run of games in a short period of time, Jurgen Klopp’s men have looked fresher in their last two matches, a 4-0 demolition of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League, followed by a 4-1 thumping of Cardiff in the Premier League last weekend. That win moved the Reds top of the table briefly, before Manchester City’s 1-0 win at Tottenham on Monday night saw City move back into the driving seat.

The game promises to be another cracker between two teams that have produced an incredible number of goals between them over their last ten fixtures, with an average of 4.5 goals per game over since 2014 and over the last five games, that average has increased to 5.4 goals per game.

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Arsenal v Liverpool – Head to Head

Arsenal v Liverpool is one of the oldest rivalries in top flight football in England and what is more, every league game, bar the first four between the teams (from 1893 to 1896), has taken place in the top flight of English football, with other matches taking place in cup competitions and the Charity/Community Shield.

As you would expect, the teams have played a total of 224 times in their history so far, with Saturdays’ game the 225th meeting between the teams.

  • Arsenal Wins – 78
  • Draws – 60
  • Liverpool Wins – 86

As well as having the better record between the teams over history, Liverpool also have a stronger recent record winning three and drawing three of the last six games between the teams. Arsenal’s last win over Liverpool was a 4-1 thumping at the Emirates back in April 2015.

Liverpool’s last win at Arsenal was a 4-3 win back on the opening day of the 2016-2017 season, but the Reds record away to Arsenal is not that strong, with Liverpool winning just two of the last ten games between the teams when they have played away to the Gunners.

Last 10 Games Between the Teams

  • Arsenal Wins – 2
  • Draws – 4
  • Liverpool Wins – 4
  • Arsenal Goals Scored – 19
  • Liverpool Goals Scored – 26

Arsenal League Performances this Season

  • V Man City (H) – L 0-2
  • V Chelsea (A) – L 2-3 (Mkhitaryan, Iwobi)
  • V West Ham (H) – W 3-1 (Monreal, Diop OG, Welbeck)
  • V Cardiff City (A) – W 3-2 (Mustafi, Aubameyang, Lacazette)
  • V Newcastle (A) – W 2-1 (Xhaka, Ozil)
  • V Everton (H) – W 2-0 (Lacazette, Aubameyang)
  • V Watford (H) – W 2-0 (Cathcart OG, Ozil)
  • V Fulham (A) – W 5-1 (Lacazette 2, Ramsey, Aubameyang 2)
  • V Leicester City (H) – W 3-1 (Ozil, Aubameyang 2)
  • V Crystal Palace (A) – D 2-2 (Xhaka, Aubameyang)

Liverpool League Performances this Season

  • V West Ham United (H) – W 4-0 (Salah, Mane 2, Sturridge)
  • V Crystal Palace (A) – W 2-0 (Milner, Mane)
  • V Brighton (H) – W 1-0 (Salah)
  • V Leicester City (A) – W 2-1 (Mane, Firmino)
  • V Tottenham (A) – W 2-1 (Wijnaldum, Firmino)
  • V Southampton (H) – W 3-0 (Hoedt OG, Matip, Salah)
  • V Chelsea (A) – D 1-1 (Sturridge)
  • V Man City (H) – D 0-0
  • V Huddersfield (A) – W 1-0 (Salah)
  • V Cardiff City (H) – W 4-1 (Salah, Mane 2, Shaqiri)

Arsenal remain unbeaten in cup competitions this season (ahead of their midweek Carabao Cup tie), while Liverpool have lost twice in Cups this season, losing to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and then to Napoli in the Champions League.

Probable Teams

Arsenal – (4-2-3-1) – Leno, Bellerin, Lichsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Torreira, Xhaka, Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Arsenal have problems in defence for the visit of Liverpool with a number of players unavailable due to injury. Hector Bellerin should be fit, but I’d expect Lichsteiner to come in to replace Xhaka at left back, with the Swiss international moving into midfield in place of Guendouzi. Other than that I feel Arsenal will likely line up with the same team, although Ramsey or Mkhitaryan could come in to replace Aubameyang if Unai Emery wanted to play a more defensive minded player instead of the speedy striker.

Liverpool – (4-3-3) – Alisson, Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Lallana, Mane, Firmino, Salah

There are a couple of changes I would expect Jurgen Klopp to make here with Alexander Arnold and Moreno dropping out at full back for Gomez and Robertson to come in. I’d also expect Milner to replace Fabinho in midfield, despite two fine performances from the Brazilian in the past two games. Lallana will probably hold on to his place in the team in midfield with Henderson injured, but Xherdan Shaqiri is pressing his claims for a starting spot after a number of fine performances in recent matches.

Our Top Tips for Arsenal v Liverpool

Full Time Result – Liverpool to Win – Evens

This is a tough game to call with both sides in good form but I think Liverpool are a better all round side and I think their attack matches up very well against an Arsenal defence that does look susceptible and which does lack pace. As such, I think the Reds will come away with a narrow win.

Correct Score – Arsenal 1-2 Liverpool – 17/2

While I can see both teams scoring in this game, I don’t think this will be a match that sees plenty of goals scored. I can see Arsenal’s attack breaking through against Liverpool, but I also feel on the counter the Reds will cause Arsenal’s makeshift defence huge problems. As such, I am backing the Reds strikers to do just enough to fire them to a rare victory over Arsenal in London by a 2-1 scoreline.

Anytime Goalscorer – Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – 8/5

Mane has a good goalscoring record against Arsenal and his goals do tend to come in bunches, having netted against Red Star and then Cardiff at the weekend, the Senegal winger will be brimming with confidence and his pace matches up well against an Arsenal back line, which with Bellerin not likely to be fully fit, could well struggle against the Reds pacy attack.

About Ian John

Ian John
Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.