Liverpool vs Arsenal – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Sunday 9th April 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Arsenal’s trip to Liverpool. The two sides are in contrasting form, but Arsenal haven’t won at Anfield in over a decade. Can Liverpool get something? Read on with our Liverpool vs Arsenal prediction.
Liverpool vs Arsenal Match Preview
Liverpool and Arsenal meet in the Sunday afternoon kick-off in what is crunch time for Arsenal’s title hopes. Liverpool come into this game in bad shape. Last month they were eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid. However, their league form is most concerning – they haven’t won in three games and have only scored once on that run (a beautiful Salah curler at Man City that turned out to be meaningless). Their goalless draw at Chelsea midweek was a very drab affair between two clubs struggling badly – Liverpool have fallen off a cliff this season.
At home, Liverpool have actually been excellent. The famed Anfield crowd has carried them through many games, and indeed they have nine wins and 30 points from 13 games at home this season (compared to only 13 points gathered away). Therefore, Liverpool will feel much more confident about this game in front of their supporters than if they were playing at the Emirates (where they lost 3-2 in the reverse fixture). With 43 points after 28 games and sitting in eighth position, the Redmen have much to do to qualify for Europe.
In contrast, Arsenal make the long trip north in fabulous form. The London club are on a seven-game winning run in the league and have scored at least three goals in each of their last five league matches. Nobody predicted that Arsenal would be top of the table and fighting it out with Man City after 30 games (or indeed predicted Liverpool’s collapse), yet here we are. This fact highlights how unpredictable football is and is a testament to the exceptional job coach Mikel Arteta has done with his young charges.
Away from home, Arsenal have been excellent this season, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will know the danger the league leaders pose. Indeed, Arsenal have 11 wins and 34 points from 14 Premier League away games this season. With 28 for and nine against, they have the joint-most scored and least conceded in the away table. With Man City now only five points behind and Arsenal yet to visit the Etihad, Arteta is well aware of the value of three points here. We don’t expect Arsenal to play for a draw – they know they must not give City any encouragement whatsoever and will likely go for it and risk losing for a greater chance of attaining all three points.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Thiago
Will Not Play: Keita, Bajcetic, Diaz, Ramsay
Might Not Play: Saliba
Will Not Play: Tomiyasu, Elneny, Nketiah
Liverpool vs Arsenal Lineups (Predicted)
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Henderson, Elliott; Jota, Gakpo, Salah
Arsenal (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Zinchenko, Gabriel, Holding, White; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Martinelli, Jesus, Saka
Liverpool vs Arsenal Analysis
The game’s flow could be easier to predict. Liverpool and Arsenal tend to control the ball in their games (Arsenal have averaged 60 per cent possession and Liverpool 59 per cent this season, and they are third and fourth in the table for completed passes), but against each other, there might be less monopolising of the ball. We foresee a game where both teams have their spells in possession. Liverpool are in the doldrums and arguably on a downward spiral compared to the youthful and more effervescent Arsenal. However, Liverpool can still beat any team at Anfield with the power and motivation of their home crowd.
Fabinho, Henderson and Elliott (or Milner) must try to take care of the ball in midfield and not let the Arsenal midfielders steal it from them. We anticipate a fascinating midfield battle, as both teams will likely play their 4-3-3, and both midfields possess energy and technique. Liverpool’s midfield tends to be more about energy and facilitating and enabling the wide players and forwards. Partey’s power and dynamism could overrun the generally ageing Liverpool midfield. Xhaka will be his usual competitive self, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him and Fabinho carded in this game.
The key in the midfield battle for us is Odegaard. Our readers will know that we are massive fans of the Norwegian and his ability to be comfortable both in a midfield three and further forward. His football IQ, ability to find gaps between the lines, technique, passing, and link-up play are all of the highest order. If he can get on the ball, he can make things happen for Arsenal and give them an advantage in that midfield area, particularly if he picks up spaces between Fabinho in the Liverpool holding role and the Liverpool central defence. Odegaard’s role could be crucial here.
How Will Each Team Attack?
The width is likely critical in this game. Both sides have serious talent on the flanks, both from full-back and in advanced areas. The midfielders must shift across and cover the spaces that both teams’ full-backs leave when they go forward.
Despite their struggles, we expect Alexander-Arnold and Robertson to start for Liverpool. Their ability to bomb up and down the pitch and deliver crosses and cut-backs could be critical – as stated, both have had their issues this season, but on their day and in a one-off game, they can be a handful for any side. Zinchenko will do similarly for Arsenal – sometimes advancing down the line and sometimes coming inside to play as an inverted full-back. He must be very wary of Alexander-Arnold and Salah on that side. Klopp dropped Salah against Chelsea, but he remains a serious threat through his dribbling, shooting and ability to link play. Arsenal must be mindful of his every move.
Besides Salah and the full-backs, Liverpool have a threat with Jota, Gakpo and Nunez in attacking areas. Gakpo is a great link-up player and a superb finisher. At the same time, Jota has had scoring issues but remains a nuisance for teams through his industry and presence. Nunez might start from the bench, but his pace and dribbling in attack down the left could be crucial at some stage – especially if the defensively suspect Alexander-Arnold is caught upfield. Elliott can also supplement the attack from the right-hand side central midfield position – his left foot is dangerous.
Arsenal have many dangers of their own. In addition to the previously mentioned Odegaard and Zinchenko, they have several tricky and dangerous forwards. It is a balancing act for Arsenal as Man City are chasing them down, so a win could be vital. As a result, we expect players like Trossard, Martinelli, Jesus and Saka to be pushing hard to get Arsenal the victory. All four are very tricky and technical players with brilliant close control, quick feet, and adept in tight spaces.
Hence, Arsenal’s wingers and forwards must attack the Liverpool defence and try to make their way into the box for shots on goal and crosses. We expect they will often counter when Liverpool overcommit. Transitions could be a crucial part of this match as both teams have abundant pace and dribbling on the break, posing a significant threat in open spaces. Either way, Arsenal must try to find ways to harm the Liverpool back four and get one-on-one opportunities against Alisson.
This game is tricky to predict, and it really is crunch time for Arsenal. The Gunners have several difficult clashes in the climax of their season on their quest for the title. In a way, the pressure is off Liverpool. They will probably not qualify for the Champions League now and likely view the Europa League as little consolation. Still, the Anfield club will want to make a statement in this game and show that they can still bloody the nose of a side riding high at the top of the table.
We should always appreciate how intimidating the Anfield crowd is for opposition sides. The stadium is unique in English football – Liverpool’s contrasting record home and away highlights just how much impetus the fans give them. Indeed, Arsenal last won at Anfield over a decade ago. If they were to win here, it would signify that they are ready to win the Premier League again after 19 lean years. However, we reckon this will be an entertaining end-to-end game which could go either way. If there is a likely winner, it might be Arsenal, but given that the game is at Anfield, we will go for it ending in a stalemate.
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
Liverpool vs Arsenal Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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