Arsenal vs Liverpool preview, betting tips and preview: Gunners to avenge Anfield horror show
Arsenal to win and BTTS @ 11/4 with Paddy Power
Draw HT/Arsenal FT @ 5/1 with Paddy Power
Liverpool to win and over 2.5 goals @ 5/2 with Paddy Power
Arsenal host Liverpool on Friday night with revenge very much on the forefront of their minds after a nightmare trip to Anfield back in August. With the season just three games old, the Gunners were humiliated 4-0 in a game that showcased all the issues Arsene Wenger has been criticised for over the past few years. Their defensive strength was questioned, but not before their effort and fighting spirit. It could be a different story now, though.
Having lost just once at home this season, the Gunners have found a base for good form that has helped them challenge for a place in the top four. They come up against a Reds side that has been scoring goals for fun this season, something they haven’t been doing recently. Mohamed Salah is the first player to score over 20 goals in all competitions this season, and he will obviously be a huge threat.
We can see this game going either way, but think Arsenal will get on much better than they did on Merseyside.
A huge reason for the Gunners flattering to deceive somewhat has been the drastic decline of Alexis Sanchez. Arsenal fans are beginning to lose patience with a player who is out of contract at the end of the campaign and made no bones about his desire to move to Manchester City last summer. Since scoring five against Huddersfield, the attacking trident of Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette have not been on song, meaning the hosts have lost one and drawn two of their last four league games. They only narrowly beat a poor Newcastle side 1-0 last week, too, and they could have conceded towards the end of that game.
Liverpool may have had to bounce back from successive draws themselves, against Everton and West Brom, but they did so emphatically by scoring four at Bournemouth. It is hard for Jurgen Klopp to fit all of his attacking talent in the team at once, meaning at least one of the ‘Fab Four’ of Salah, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will probably be on the bench. Defensively, though, Liverpool have been typically open in defence so there are few better teams for Arsenal to end their goal worries against.
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Theo Walcott remains sidelined for the home side, but it is unlikely that there will be any other selection dilemmas for Arsene Wenger. Olivier Giroud will argue he didn’t deserve to lose his place after netting a late equaliser at Southampton recently, while some have advocated dropping Sanchez after a string of poor performances, but that is doubtful in such a big game.
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Liverpool do not have any fresh injury concerns, but they will struggle to fit in their attacking players without unbalancing the side. Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has finally started to find his feet in a Reds shirt and could start against his former club.