Arsenal vs Liverpool: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this weekend’s Premier League fixture at the Emirates Stadium

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The Independent Football

Arsenal can extend their lead over top-four hopefuls Liverpool to nine points should they beat the Merseyside outfit tomorrow.

The Gunners are currently third and six points ahead of Brendan Rodgers’ side, who will hope to bounce back from their home defeat to Manchester United a few weeks ago. A win for Liverpool would see them close the gap on their hosts to three points, and two behind United who face Aston Villa later in the day.

Arsenal, though, are in a rich vein of form, having won each of their last six Premier League games, with striker Olivier Giroud scoring as many goals in such time. The north Londoners have lost just once all season at the Emirates, conceding 11 goals.

 

Liverpool can take faith from their own impressive form in the build up to this clash given their run of eight Premier League wins in nine prior to their loss against United. Their record against the top six this season is one to also take heed of – won five; drawn two; lost three.

Jack Wilshere, Mathieu Debuchy and Mikel Arteta are close to returns but still unavailable for Arsene Wenger, while Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel are both serving three-match bans for Liverpool

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 12.45pm

PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

Liverpool 2 (Coutinho, Skrtel) Arsenal 2 (Debuchy, Giroud), December 2014

Arsenal 2 (Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski) Liverpool 1 (Gerrard), February 2014

Liverpool 5 (Skrtel (2), Sterling (2), Sturridge) Arsenal 1 (Arteta), February 2014

STATS:

Liverpool have beaten Arsenal just once in their last ten attempts at the Emirates, losing four and drawing five.

No player has scored more goals in this fixture over the last three seasons than the suspended Martin Skrtel (3).

Arsenal have finished above Liverpool in five of the last seven seasons.

In their last 19 lunchtime kick-offs, Arsenal have scored 36 goals and conceded 42 – hefty away losses to Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool last season contributed much to this (17-2 on aggregate).

Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez are Arsenal’s top goalscorers in the Premier League this season with 13 each. Liverpool’s top two – Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling – have scored just 12 between them.

ODDS:

Arsenal to win: 20/23

Liverpool to win: 18/5

Draw: 14/5

CLASSIC MOMENT/MATCH:

Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal, February 2014

Indefinitely one of the club’s worst ever results, Arsenal headed into this lunchtime kick-off seeking to maintain their place at the top of the Premier League and avoid another drubbing away to one of their top-four rivals. This was not meant to be, though. From the very first minute, wave after wave of fast and ferocious Liverpool attacks tore the north Londoners apart, with the speed and movement of front-trio Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling too hot to handle for the Gunners’ defence. Two goals from centre back Martin Skrtel summed up the day for Arsenal – they were outgunned in each and every area possible. Liverpool would narrowly miss out on the title and finish second that season, while Arsenal scraped fourth.

TV: Live at 12.45 on BT Sport 1, highlights on BBC 1 at 10.30pm

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