16th April 2011
Arsenal have got a chance to close the gap behind leaders Manchester United to just four points with the Gunners desperately needing a victory to stay in the race for the only trophy left for them this season. Liverpool, on the other hand, are full of confidence following the impressive performance against Manchester City and it looks as though they could get something from this game.
Arsenal enjoyed a very good start to the season and up until late February the Gunners were going strong in all competitions, but the shocking defeat to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final seems to have been the turning point of the season. After missing a great chance to end their trophy drought, the Gunners were eliminated from both Champions League and the FA Cup, while the three-match winless run in the league served as a major blow to their Premier League title aspirations. The Gunners ended the poor run by beating Blackpool away last weekend, but in order to stay in the title race, Arsene Wenger’s men will probably have to win all remaining games, including the derby against Manchester United at the Emirates. The hosts have received a welcoming boost as Alexandre Song, Wojciech Szczesny and Johan Djourou have returned to contention, although Manuel Almunia, Bacary Sagna and Thomas Rosicky remain injury doubts.
Kop legend Kenny Dalglish has got to be congratulated for what he has done at Anfield after replacing Roy Hodgson, especially since Steven Gerrard was out on the sidelines most of the time. King Kenny led the Reds from the brink of relegation zone to sixth place in the standings and it now looks as though Liverpool will have no problems ensuring European qualification. The Reds managed to make amends for the defeat to West Brom as they hammered star-studded Manchester City side and they are now under no pressure, which should give them the edge over Arsenal. Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez have started to show their immense potential and there is no doubt the two players will form an excellent attacking partnership for years to come. The visitors will again be without Gerrard, Johnson, Kelly and Agger, meaning that Kenny Dalglish is likely to field the same side that started the Manchester City game.
Arsenal have been struggling for form of late and they could find it tough against in-form Liverpool, meaning that we should see a very tight game. The Gunners are favourites here, but I am not sure they will be able to break the Reds, who are playing great football at the moment.
Verdict: Draw (X)
Best Odds: 11/4
Bookmaker: Victor Chandler
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