Sunday, May 22, 2022

Prediction: Arsenal vs Liverpool

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 19 Jan 2022

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

Arsenal will welcome Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal clash, after the first one finished goalless last week at Anfield. Chelsea will be watching the contest closely, having already secured a place at Wembley by beating Tottenham Hotspur over two legs in the other semifinal.

Arsenal

It’s been a while since Arsenal looked this good in the middle of a season, which is certainly far away from anything that could’ve been imagined after the three opening rounds in the Premier League this term. Nonetheless, the Gunners are currently in fifth place with 35 points, two less than West Ham in fourth, but they have two games in hand on the Hammers at the moment. Their hopes of finally playing in the Champions League again next season are understandably high.

To get to this stage of the Carabao Cup, Mikel Arteta’s team disposed of West Bromwich Albion in the second round, AFC Wimbledon in the third, Leeds United in the round of 16, and Sunderland in the quarterfinals.

In all competitions, the Gunners’ last-six run consists of a 2-0 win over West Ham at home, a 1-4 triumph away to Leeds United, the already mentioned 5-1 thrashing of Sunderland in North London, a 0-5 thrashing of Norwich away, a disappointing 1-2 defeat at home to Manchester City, a shocking FA Cup exit at the hands of Nottingham Forest by 1-0 away from home, and the goalless first leg of this particular tie against Liverpool.

Arsenal were supposed to face arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur away on Sunday, but the match was postponed at their request due to a large number of players being unavailable for selection.

Arsenal have parted way with left-back Sead Kolasinac, who has joined Olympique Marseille permanently, and they’ve reportedly reached an agreement for centre-back Pablo Mari to join Udinese on loan. They’re believed to be working hard on signing midfielder Arthur Melo on loan for Juventus, as well as striker Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina.

Team News

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went to represent Gabon at the African Cup of Nations, but following positive COVID-19 test and an apparent recovery, he’s been diagnosed with cardiac lesions and has been sent back to the club. It seems it will be some time before we see the controversial 32-year-old forward back in action.

Meanwhile, Granit Xhaka is unavailable after picking up a straight red card in the first leg, while fellow midfielder Thomas Partey (Ghana) and Mohamed Elneny (Egypt), as well as winger Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast) are away representing their countries the AFCON. Attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard has reportedly tested positive to COVID-19 and has consequently been ruled out as well.

Apparently, winger Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, right-backs Tahekiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares and Calum Chambers, are all doubts due to injuries or fatigue.

With Albert Sambi Lokonga the only central midfielder at Arteta’s disposal, Ben White could be moved up the pitch to join him there with Rob Holding set to deputize at centre-back alongside Gabriel Magalhaes.

Liverpool

Liverpool will likely be turning their attention to this competition with more focus, now that Manchester City have pulled away by 11 points in the Premier League table. The Merseysiders have a game in hand on the defending champions and they’re yet to play at the Etihad, so everything is still possible, but even if Liverpool do win that match and their game in hand, City would still have to start dropping points for the race to recommence which, at the moment, seems highly unlikely.

Manager Jurgen Klopp will have spoken sharply to his players following the first leg. Despite the fact that they were 11 against 10 for almost three quarters of the match, Liverpool failed to create a proper chance throughout, barring a late miss by Takumi Minamino.

Liverpool entered the Carabao Cup in the third round, where they beat Norwich City away by 0-3. Then they beat Preston North End away by 0-2 in the round of 16, before edging out Leicester City on penalties at home after the match ended 3-3.

In all competitions, their last-six record consists of that Leicester clash, a 1-0 defeat away to the same team in the Premier League, a 2-2 draw away to Chelsea, a 4-1 win over Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup, the goalless draw in the first leg against Arsenal, and a 3-0 win at home over Brentford a few days ago.

Team News

Liverpool are without the services of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who are currently at the AFCON with Senegal and Egypt, respectively. In their absence, much would have been expected upfront from Divock Origi and former Gunner Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but both of them have been ruled out with injuries.

The same goes for midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott, though the latter has returned to team training after recovering from a broken ankle.

Roberto Firmino is likely to lead the attacking line, with Diogo Jota and Minamino by his side. Young Kaide Gordon will be hoping for some minutes himself, and in Curtis Jones, Klopp has another option for a wide attacking role, even though the 20-year-old is by default a midfielder these days.

Conclusion

For all the progress Arsenal have made recently and the apparent crisis which has hampered Liverpool’s hopes, the visitors will likely leave North London victorious, and it will be down to them and Chelsea to battle it out for the consolation prize having lost all realistic hope of winning the league.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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Shabaan
Shabaan
4 months ago

Arsenal will beat Liverpool at Emirates stadium

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