Arsenal seem to be having a mental block in front of goal at the moment but we still have an excellent home record, winning every single game this season except for the debacle against Man United, so we should be feeling pretty confident playing at the Emirates nowadays. Let’s firstly take a look at our recent home form….
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side seem to have hit top form lately and are undefeated in their last 12 games in all competitions (8W4D). They have been scoring goals for fun as well, with at least 3 in their last 4 League away games, so let’s look at their recent away League form….
So those stats make this a very difficult game to forecast, and both teams can feel confident in their own way, but one thing is sure is that Arsene Wenger still feels the pain of our 4-0 reversal at Anfield early this season. He said: “When you have such a long career as I have, you have some defeats unfortunately that hurt you for the rest of your life.
“When you can put things right, do it. So let’s focus on what is in front of us and turn up on Friday night with a completely different performance.
“The motivation is there. This squad has a good mentality and it is about us, to make sure we are on top of our game. We must play with pace and a determined attitude.”
To be fair, we normally do at home in front of our own supporters so hopefully that will give us a boost. As for the team news, we will have to it without our supersub Olivier Giroud around to help us out of any tight fix, and Aaron Ramsey is also sidelined until the New Year – but on the plus side we will have Shkrodan Mustafi back to help in defence. Liverpool have also been lucky on the injury front with only Alberto Moreno definitely missing – although Daniel Sturridge and Joel Matip remain fitness doubts.
Klopp is definitely an attack-minded coach and he has assembled an impressive front line of Salah, Coutinho, Firmino and Mane, and I wonder if we will see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back at the Emirates. Arsenal too have a scary line-up with Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette, but with Alexis looking like a shadow of his former self I am secretly hoping that Wenger is brave enough to leave him on the bench, but I doubt it, as the boss is desperate for his gamble of keeping the Chilean at the club will come good at some point. It is certainly not happening so far….
So who do we think Wenger will pick today? For starters it would appear that he is sticking with Maitland-Niles at left-wing back instead of Kolasinac after leaving the youngster out of our Caraboa Cup game in midweek, and with Mustafi back we should have our strongest back three out. With Ramsey missing I can’t see Wenger going without Wilshere as Xhaka’s partner in midfield. Coquelin is an option but he limped off on Tuesday again and may not be risked.
So here is my predicted Arsenal line up….
Koscielny Mustafi Monreal
Bellerin Wilshere Xhaka Maitland-Niles
Ozil Lacazette Alexis
Is that strong enough to beat Liverpool? We must hope that our usually strong defence stands firm and frustrates the Fab Four tonight.
Lastly, I want to look at our Head-to-Head record, which has not been very good since Klopp arrived at Anfield. Here we go..
It’s been a while since we beat them, but records are their to be broken! 21 goals in our last four meetings so the neutrals should be in for a feast, but I’m going to go against the grain. I think our defence will be back to our best and will hold them, so my prediction is 1-0 to the Arsenal!