Arsenal v Liverpool – Three KEY Player battles

Arsenal vs Liverpool: Three player battles to look forward to

Arsenal host what could well be an under-strength Liverpool side at the Emirates this Saturday, looking to reinforce their current position on the Barclays Premier League table and dent a further blow to the Merseysiders’ chances of a top 4 finish.

The task, however, is going to be far from straightforward, as Liverpool do have enough personnel in their ranks to cause plenty of problems for the Gunners, who went unbeaten in all competitions during March. In a game of this magnitude, it is those individual player battles that will have a huge bearing on which team comes out triumphant when the final whistle is blown. So, as for this Saturday’s engrossing Premier League encounter between Arsenal and Liverpool, which are the three player battles to look forward to?

Raheem Sterling vs Laurent Koscielny/Gabriel Paulista
Daniel Sturridge only has an outside chance to be fit for this marquee Premier League clash, meaning that Sterling could be the one to lead the line for the Reds. The diminutive winger played as a forward earlier this season, and enjoyed quite a bit of success. By far the most crucial aspect to Sterling’s game is his searing pace and deceptive movement that can be too hot to handle for most Premier League defences.

The North Londoners, in recent seasons, have struggled against sheer pace that the Scousers possess in abundance. So it is highly unlikely that Per Mertesacker, given his struggles this season, will be given an opportunity. Therefore, Koscielny and Paulista could be the central defensive partnership for the Gunners, and one of them will be tasked with stopping Sterling, who could be playing to prove a point against Arsenal who are touted to be his potential suitors this upcoming English summer.

Alexis Sanchez vs Alberto Moreno
The Chilean forward has not been quite at it over the last couple of months, when he has registered 1 assist and scored just 1 goal across all competitions. For a player of his caliber, though, the lean patch cannot go on for too long, and it would be terrific for Arsenal if Sanchez rediscovers his form this Saturday. He is an important cog in this Arsenal squad, as he, with his pace, power and goal scoring ability, gives them a myriad of options to play around with.

Sanchez could be up against Moreno, who has been the most utilized player at left wingback since Brendan Rodgers started deploying his side in the 3-4-2-1 system. Moreno has pace to match Sanchez’, but the question is whether he can handle the pressure of such a big occasion. When Manchester United visited Anfield before the international break, Moreno had a real nightmare on Liverpool’s left-hand-side, as he was solely at fault for both the goals Juan Mata scored.

Francis Coquelin vs Philippe Coutinho
This midfield tussle between Coquelin and Coutinho could possibly decide the way this game takes shape. Coquelin has been a central figure to Arsenal’s success over recent months, as he has been alert to a danger more often than not and decisive in his defensive actions. Playing against Liverpool and man-marking a coruscating Coutinho, could be a different challenge altogether for the Frenchman.

The Brazilian midfielder has been in red-hot form recently, scoring 2 unbelievable goals and creating 10 chances in his last 6 Premier League appearances. More than the stats he has racked up, he is playing with great vitality and confidence, factors which have been crucial to his recent success as a midfielder. He is more than capable of beating opposing players in 1v1 situations, but he will know that Coquelin wouldn’t be intimidated by his recent form or the threat he carries.

Though Danny’s Welbeck’s tussle with Emre Can on Arsenal’s left-hand-side will be another key battle to look forward to, the aforementioned player duels will carry greater significance and, in many ways, be decisive in the way this game takes shape. Coquelin’s tussle against Coutinho could prove to be the game-deciding midfield battle, as the Brazilian is Liverpool’s most in-form player and will be keen to make things happen in central areas, where the visitors would want to target the hosts’ defensive resilience.



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Tags Coquelin Sanchez Sterling


  1. A “coruscating Coutinho”!? LOL. Not suggesting he is bad but his two recent worldie goals are putting a deep gloss on a frankly underwhelming season. Even seen him tipped to be short-listed for PFA POTY. Wtf! In the PL Ozil matches his goals/assists/chances created stats in half the minutes/games played. Santi murders all his stats with a similar number of games/minutes played.

    1. @ Jonestown

      I’ve said it since day 1 but no1 listens to me coutinho is NOT good! I’ve haven’t seen a more over hyped player in a long time. There is no part of his game that impresses me he reminds me of a cheap Gervinho and that’s saying something!

      1. Touch too far there, he’s a very good player but I’d draw the line after that. He isn’t in the same league as silva/mata/santi/ozil etc he’s a more consistent Jack Wilshere.

        1. Ya maybe but I just don’t rate the guy at all I would happily take lallana or sterling over coutinho. He is just so 1 dimensional he does a little fake to the left and cuts to the right EVERYTIME.

          Gervinho at least had like 6 goals and 3 assists in half the game time while coutinho has 4 and 4 and everyone is drooling over him

  2. Let’s not forget David ospina will be a key man in goal for us, to stop any liverpool chances! Coyg!

    1. Key spectator I hope. Would love to smash them lot and shut their fans up for good measure. Really hoping we boss the game and the crowd starts singing “come home Raheem” for the banter….would find that hilarious.

  3. Looking forward to seeing giroud add to his goal tally tomorrow against liverpool at the emirates! Coyg!

  4. Yeah got a feeling Lamp post will be on the score sheet, he has really come into his own since his return.

    Wenger must have changed his light bulb.

  5. I think its very crucial for Sanchez to be taken on moreno and same for opposite wing. That four liv have in midfield will be joined by the two behind their striker making it very congested, especially centre. I think Sanchez should stay close to him at right times so the other two behind striker wont have time to help wingbacks.

    When we have the ball in our area.. defensive area i think its important to not play the ball forward in midfield too early, we should be patient so to draw in those two players behind their striker, we need to detach the three forwards away from the four in midfield… if we can do that well and Sanchez can beat moreno heading toward goal one of the three defenders must come to Sanchez… also crucial to have three Arsenal players arriving in their box, Ramsey Giroud and another looking from a pass from Sanchez. Hopefully all our plans go without a hitch.

    1. Well thats a good plan, but we all know sanchez will not stay on the wing and cut inside and give the ball away cheaply initiating liverpool counter attacks.

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