Thursday, November 15, 2018

Prediction: Arsenal vs Liverpool

Verdict: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Arsenal host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening in what looks the standout game of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

Arsenal

Starting with the host, after Arsene Wenger saw his 22-year reign in North London come to an end last summer, the Gunners have done an impressive job of adjusting to life under Unai Emery. Despite losing their opening two Premier League games to Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners are now enjoying a 13 match unbeaten run across all competitions. Scoring 24 goals already this season, only the defending champions have a better attacking record in the Premier League. While the hosts have now not dropped a point since August 18th, they do had a woeful record against Liverpool. Arsenal are winless in six Premier League meetings against the Reds, the longest run in the club’s history. If they are to extend their unbeaten record, the former PSG boss will be looking for leading goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to carry on his very eye-catching start to the new campaign. The Gabon international now has five in his last three Premier League outings. More impressive, the 29-year-old scored with all six of his shots on goal during October.

Team News

Arsenal will monitor right-back Hector Bellerin, who was forced off last weekend because of a muscle problem.

Matteo Guendouzi is suspended, while Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac are nearing returns from hamstring injuries and will be assessed.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is nursing an ankle problem, is also a doubt ahead of Saturday’s game.

Liverpool

As for the visitors, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side coming off the back of a 4-1 win over Cardiff last weekend, many have the Reds tipped to be Manchester City’s leading contender this year. Now unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League matches, their tally of 26 points from their opening 10 matches equals their highest total at this stage of a campaign. Victory on Saturday would make this their outright best start in the division. With only their goal diffrence keeping them behind the Sky Blues in the table, Liverpool have also impressed on their travels away from Anfield. Klopp’s men have now lost just one dometic match on the road since the start of March. While Arsenal have their own man in form, Liverpool’s German boss will be looking for his stellar front three to carry on their own very impressive run. Between Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and last year’s PFA Player of the Year Moh Salah, the attacking trio have now scored seven of the Reds’ last eight goals.

Team News

Liverpool midfielders Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are again ruled out by hamstring injuries.

Mohamed Salah has worn protective strapping in training this week because of an inflamed wrist tendon, but he is fit to play against the Gunners.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Liverpool have netted 17 times in their last five league games against Arsenal, scoring at least three times in each of those encounters.
  • If the Reds score three or more on Saturday it will be the first time in their history they have done so in six consecutive top-flight games against a particular opponent – and the first time it has happened to Arsenal (against any side).
  • Arsenal are winless in six Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D3, L3), their longest such run against them since a 12-game sequence from 1994 to 2000.
  • The only previous managerial meeting between Unai Emery and Jurgen Klopp was the 2016 Europa League final, in which Emery’s Sevilla beat Liverpool 3-1.
  • Three-quarters of Arsenal’s league goals this term have come in the second half (18 of 24).

Conclusion

On paper, it has all the makings of a game that will produce chances at both ends. Two sides who now sit second and third in the Premier Leagues goalscoring charts, the previous meetings between the two always have a tendency to produce high scoring encounters. With eight of the last 10 matchups seeing both teams score and over 2.5 goals after 90 minutes, we’re backing a similar outcome on Saturday.

Verdict: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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