Although Arsenal currently sit top of the Premier League table, eight points clear of their closest title rivals Manchester City, the Gunners face one of their biggest tests of the season this weekend.
Arsenal travel to Anfield on Sunday – a ground in which they haven’t won at since 2012. Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta started in the Gunners’ midfield that day, 11 years ago & they haven’t won there since.
In their last four visits to Anfield, Arsenal have conceded 15 goals in total and scored just 3 times. Mikel Arteta’s side turned up to Anfield last season on an unbeaten run of 10 games in all competitions and got thumped 4-0. That gives you an insight into how tough of a place it is to go to, no matter what form Jurgen Klopp’s side are in.
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However this year it feels different. Arsenal are on a seven game winning streak in the league which is the longest run they’ve managed to put together in Mikel Arteta’s three year reign as Arsenal manager so far.
Where as Liverpool are without a win in their last four games in all competitions, losing three of them. However, all of their last four games have been away from home. The last game they played at Anfield they beat Manchester United 7-0. They’re a completely different animal at home and Arsenal will be aware of that come Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side might be 8th in the Premier League this season, 29 points behind the Gunners, however that doesn’t tell the whole story. They’ve got the fourth best home record in the league with 30/43 points picked up coming at Anfield this campaign.
If Arsenal manage to win at Anfield then it will certainly give them one hand on the Premier League trophy with eight left to play. A loss, with trips to St James’ Park and the Etihad still to come, then the title race will be well & truly alive.
These are the games Arsenal need to win if they want to be crowned Premier League champions come May, for the first time since 2003/04. Every time the league leaders have looked like falling away this season, they’ve responded in a way only champions know how.
Lost at Old Trafford. Won the next eight matches in all competitions. Lost to City at home? Won the next seven matches. Went down early in games against Bournemouth & Aston Villa? Won them both.
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Arsenal have responded like champions on more than one occasion this season. So the evidence is there that no matter what happens at Anfield on Sunday, they’ll be in the title race till the end, no doubt.
However a win would be huge and one man who could get Arsenal all three points at Anfield is Bukayo Saka. He didn’t start the last game against Leeds through illness, however he’s now back fully fit for Sunday and expected to start.
He’s the only player in the Premier League to have double figure goals & assists so far. At 21-years-old he’s Arsenal’s main man, he’s the player who’s stepped up in big moments and he’ll have the chance to do that again this weekend.
Mikel Arteta does face a selection headache ahead of the game with Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli & Gabriel Jesus all now fully fit. Trossard has recorded 7 assists in his last 6 games. He also scored a hat-trick when Brighton went to Anfield earlier this season. He’s in the form of his life but will that be enough for him get get a start on Sunday?
Also William Saliba is still being assessed on a day-to-day basis but it’s unclear whether he will be deemed fit enough to participate in the game this weekend. If not we expect Rob Holding to start his third Premier League game in a row.
Arsenal have picked up the most points away from home this season. They’ve also scored the most goals and kept the most clean sheets on their travels. There’s no doubt they’ll be going to Anfield with confidence. Like Granit Xhaka said earlier this week, they’re going to Merseyside for three points and nothing less.
This season just feels different and we’re backing Arsenal to produce a different kind of performance & result at Anfield this time around, compared to recent years.
now.arsenal score prediction: Liverpool 2-3 Arsenal
Liverpool predicted line-up: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Darwin, Firmino.
Arsenal predicted line-up: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Ødegaard, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.