Gunners fancied to shoot down Liverpool’s challenge
A home defeat by Manchester United two weeks ago wouldn’t have been part of Liverpool’s plans and they’ve got an easier stiffer test coming up at the Emirates.
Brendan Rodgers has lost Daniel Sturridge to injury yet again and Martin Skrtel has been banned for three matches following that stamp on David De Gea. Steven Gerrard is also suspended so that’s three key members of his starting XI removed from the equation already, suggesting the Reds are right up against it as they bid to resurrect their Champions League challenge.
Adam Lallana must also be a doubt after withdrawing from the England squad last week, though Raheem Sterling should be available having being rested for his country’s friendly in Turin on Tuesday.
Liverpool have won just one of their last 18 away games at Arsenal in all competitions and have kept only one clean sheet in those matches, though they haven’t conceded an away goal in over 500 minutes of football.
They’ve kept four clean sheets in their last five and only conceded one in the other and have looked a lot more secure since the return to fitness of Laurent Koscielny.
At the other end of the pitch, Olivier Giroud is proving the main man. He’s scored nine in his last nine appearances, including both in their most recent victory at Newcastle. Arsene Wenger’s first XI seems to be getting stronger by the week and most of those on the bench would walk into many teams in the Premier League so a strong end to the season looks on the cards.
Chelsea may be too far ahead of Arsenal and have a game in hand but second-placed Manchester City are certainly in the Gunners’ sights and they are secure in the knowledge that, if they avoid defeat against Liverpool, there will still be at least a five-point gap to the fifth-placed team going into next week’s fixtures.
An Arsenal win at 4/5 looks a solid bet as the visitors have multiple selection problems. Wenger’s team to score first and win is 10/11 in the Matchflow market.
The match kicks off at 12.45pm on Saturday, April 4 at the Emirates.