Liverpool v Arsenal Betting Tips Explained
Liverpool and Arsenal meet at Anfield on Saturday evening for what looks to be one of the most crucial matches of the season for both sides. Neither is capable of winning the Premier League title and the top four is now the goal for both Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger but recent form, and the form of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Manchester United suggests that at least one of them won't achieve that goal and Saturday's result could go a long way to determining which club misses out.
For Liverpool the match is an absolute must win as there are some serious questions starting to be asked about the Reds. They have won just one of seven Premier League matches since the turn of the year and also exited both the EFL Cup and the FA Cup in 2017. The list of clubs who have picked up as many as Liverpool's six points in 2017 now includes Swansea City, Hull City and Crystal Palace, and at least one of them will be relegated at the end of the season.
The calls for Klopp to be fired may be a little over the top but there are some real issues at Anfield. The 'Heavy Metal Football' only works when players are at their peak and the energy expanded in the first half of the season seems to be catching up with some Redmen. Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho suffered injuries, with the former still unavailable and the latter not back to full fitness, and both Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana have been far less effective in recent weeks than they were at the start of the season. The most crucial of all though was losing Sadio Mane to the Africa Cup of Nations. The Senegalese star is fundamental to Liverpool's football and without him they lack the energy, drive and ability to scare defenders that is so characteristic of their style of play.
The good news though is that Arsenal are in a similarly strenuous situation. The Gunners may have taken more points than Liverpool since the start of the year but they've also lost heavily to both Chelsea and Bayern Munich, which has been hugely demoralising for the supporters and the unrest is being felt all around the Emirates. Arsenal are not in dire straights but they're at a tipping point and defeat would almost certainly spark a huge reaction from their already irate fans that could have a cataclysmic effect on the club.
That actually looks the most likely outcome on Saturday as you sense that it will be easier for Klopp to motivate Liverpool following their 3-1 defeat to Leicester City than it will be for Wenger to convince his players that they are capable of winning at Anfield. Liverpool's problem hasn't been raising their game against the big sides and they actually have the best record in the Premier League against the top six. It's the minor matches that sees them suffer due to the fact that teams defend in numbers and don't leave gaps. Arsenal, by contrast, attack in large groups and can find a way to cut through the defensive barriers posed by weaker sides. They cannot, however, deal with strong attacks who can counter quickly and exploits the space that they leave in defence.
Chelsea and Bayern tore the Gunners to pieces and there's a strong suspicion that Liverpool could do the same. As long as Klopp's back four (which surely won't include Lucas Leiva this weekend) can hold firm then they can launch the kind of counter attacks that saw them win 4-3 at the Emirates on the opening day, beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, win the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park and win 2-0 against Spurs a fortnight ago. Mane, the team's talisman, scored four goals in those four games and he looks a great bet at over 2/1 to net on Saturday as Liverpool bounce back to winning ways.
Liverpool v Arsenal Match Stats
- Liverpool lead Arsenal 84-78 in total meetings in all competitions. 54 matches have been draws.
- Liverpool have not lost to Arsenal at Anfield since September 2012
- Arsenal are without a win against Liverpool in their last three meetings
- Arsenal have taken one point from 4 away games against the current top seven
- Liverpool are unbeaten against the current top seven and have won six and drawn four of their 10 matches against the top sides in the Premier League.
Liverpool v Arsenal Predictions