Liverpool vs Arsenal: Line-ups
Three losses and a draw from their last four games in all tournaments is form of a side embroiled in a relegation dogfight rather than the hunt for Champions League qualification, and Liverpool’s recent failures have dropped the Reds down to eighth spot in the table – 10 points worse off than fourth-placed Manchester United on the same number of matches.
During that displeasing winless streak, Liverpool have only managed to find the back of the net once, but all of their games in that sequence have come away from home, and Anfield comforts have largely still been kind to those in Merseyside red during their troubled campaign.
Only Arsenal, Man United and Manchester City have performed better on familiar territory this term than Klopp’s side, who have taken 16 points from the last 18 on offer at home – keeping clean sheets in each of their last four – and Arsenal could do with taking a leaf out of Real Madrid’s book rather than Man United’s when it comes to Anfield preparations.
Arteta’s men have scored at least three goals in each of their last five Premier League victories – never before in their top-flight history have they done so six games in a row – and the Gunners truly made the rest of the division stand up and take notice when they defeated Liverpool 3-2 at the Emirates back in October.
However, the Arsenal army have often lacked the artillery to break down the Anfield walls, as Liverpool are unbeaten in nine Premier League home games against the visitors – winning each of their last six by a 22-4 aggregate scoreline – but the time is nigh for the Gunners to end their Merseyside hoodoo.
Throughout their golden Premier League streak of the past few weeks, Arsenal have never truly convinced defensively, and the likely absence of Saliba spells goalmouth optimism for a Liverpool side whose Anfield resistance still has them in with a shot of a top-four finish. However, for what they may lack in the rearguard, Arsenal have more than made up for it in the final third, and Liverpool’s recent penchant for clean sheets at home is unlikely to count for much against the second-most potent team in the league. Goals should be a guarantee in this tantalising contest, which ought to live up to the billing and then some, but the Gunners’ soft underbelly has now been replaced by a hardened shell, and Arteta’s side can eke out another thrilling win to take another step towards top-flight supremacy.