Venue – Emirates Stadium, London
Referee – Martin Atkinson
Date & Time – Friday, December 22nd @ 19:45 GMT
Current Odds – Arsenal 11/8, Draw 13/5, Liverpool 7/4
With 13 wins from their last 14 home league games, the Gunners will be hoping to take Liverpool to task on Friday night. Wenger and co will almost certainly still be hurting from the 4-0 defeat they suffered at Anfield back in August, too.
In their last five games, Arsenal have won 3 and drawn 2, while conceding only 1 goal.
Liverpool returned to winning ways at Bournemouth on Sunday. It was a very impressive performance from the Reds where, despite a Defoe effort against the post in the first half, they were generally in complete control. The fact this result was achieved with Mané being rested was another plus. Since the disappointing defeat to Spurs at Wembley, Liverpool have played 12, won 8, drew 4, lost 0. They have scored 36 (avg. 3 per game) and conceded just 7 (avg. 0.58 per game).
Arsenal Team News
Aaron Ramsey is out until early January with a hamstring injury. The Gunners are still without Santi Cazorla whose Achilles injury has kept him from any first-team action for months.
Mustafi is still a doubt in defence but I expect him to make the starting lineup.
Arsenal’s Top 3 Rated Players this season (WhoScored.com)
- A. Ramsey ————— 7.33
- M. Ozil ——————- 7.28
- A. Sanchez ————— 7.23
Liverpool Team News
Clyne is unavailable until February with a back injury. Matip is not expected to be fit again until January while Moreno (ankle) is also unavailable for the next few weeks at least. Lallana continued his road back to match fitness at Bournemouth and will be hoping for more of the same on Friday night.
Daniel Sturridge is still a doubt with a tight hamstring. Mignolet returned in goals last weekend and I think he’ll hold onto his place for Friday. I think Mané will start as the Reds go full-strength up front. Emre Can returns from suspension and might replace Wijnaldum in midfield.
Liverpool have no suspensions for this game.
Liverpool’s Top 3 Rated Players this season (WhoScored.com)
- P. Coutinho ————– 7.98
- M. Salah —————— 7.64
- R. Firmino —————- 7.31
Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1) – Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny(c), Mustafi, Monreal; Xhaka, Wilshere; Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Henderson(c), Can, Coutinho; Salah, Firmino, Mané
When they last met
Liverpool took the Gunners apart at Anfield in August, winning 4-0. The last meeting at the Emirates was the excellent 4-3 Liverpool win on the opening weekend of the 16/17 season.
Arsenal 1 – 3 Liverpool
Bournemouth did not set up to deny the Reds last Sunday and the Arsenal game will be the same. This is Wenger, not Mourinho. It will suit Klopp’s team but it doesn’t mean a win is a foregone conclusion. I think this game will have plenty of goals but Liverpool should take all three points, again. Back Coutinho to get on the scoresheet as he has happy memories from the Emirates from the opening game of last season plus he’s currently in the form of his life 🙂
** Please note – “xA” in the Form Stats tables symbolises “expected goals against”, NOT “expected assists”