A struggling Liverpool will host Arsenal at Anfield in what could become a crucial game in the Premier League title race.
Jurgen Klopp was quick to point at the power of Anfield ahead of their game against title-chasing Arsenal. Despite the Reds having a miserable season on all fronts, their home ground has proved pivotal on several occasions. They also have a formidable record this season, losing just once.
Liverpool will come into this venue confidently, having beaten Manchester United 7-0 the last time Anfield hosted a Premier League clash. Their record in the last six years against Arsenal have been impressive enough to remain optimistic, but their recent form has cause for concern.
Klopp on Anfield:
"We need Anfield, that's clear. But Anfield is not the only thing we should rely on." pic.twitter.com/jkZy78JcHo
— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) April 8, 2023
Klopp remains confident about finishing in the top four despite Liverpool being outsiders in the race. They suffered two huge blows with the heavy loss the Manchester City last weekend and a dull draw against Chelsea in midweek. They hope to regain form and continue the quest to finish in Champions League places with a victory over Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta was in the Arsenal side in 2012 that last beat Liverpool at Anfield. Returning to the venue as manager, the Spaniard is yet to taste victory at this venue. The Gunners must get three points here or risk losing ground in the title challenge.
Arsenal comes here with plenty of confidence and momentum, having won their last seven Premier League clashes. They remain eight points clear of Manchester City, having played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s side.
They can feel optimistic about breaking the Anfield curse and retaining their advantage over Man City. Arteta will remain wary of how Liverpool plays here but will want his side to play with the same confidence they have shown all season. They will also take solace from their victory at the Emirates in the reverse fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Jurgen Klopp could bring some of those players he rested for the midweek trip to Chelsea. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah could return to the lineup. The centre-back missed the midweek game altogether with illness.
The fitness of Thiago Alcantara will be monitored in order to determine whether he is available for #LIVARS, Jürgen Klopp confirmed. ⤵️
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 7, 2023
There were also updates on injured duo Thiago Alcantara and Luis Diaz, with the pair spotted in full training. They will unlikely start the game, but they could become options off the bench for the Merseysiders.
Salah will return to take his place on the right side of the attack, which could also see Cody Gakpo leading the line ahead of Darwin Nunez. Diogo Jota has been impressive in recent times, and owing to his record against Arsenal, he could start on the left of the front three.
James Milner could become an option in midfield, with Curtis Jones likely to make way. Jordan Henderson could move to the left side of the midfield three, with Fabinho sitting at the base. Stefan Bajcetic remains sidelined with an injury alongside Naby Keita.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Gakpo, Jota
Mikel Arteta had a cagey press conference ahead of the game where he did not reveal the extent of the availability of some of the injured players. He did hint that one of those could come into contention, with many speculating that it be William Saliba.
Saturday sessions 💪
📍 London Colney pic.twitter.com/g8IiWvrd0p
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 8, 2023
Rob Holding has played the last two Premier League games in Saliba’s absence on either side of the international break. The English defender could retain his place, as the Frenchman may not make the matchday squad. He will start alongside Gabriel Magalhaes in central defence.
Oleksandr Zinchenko will retain his place at left-back and likewise with Ben White on the right. Thomas Partey will sit at the base of the midfield, with Martin Odegaard and Granit Xhaka on either side of the Ghanaian enforcer.
Arteta will have to make a tough choice regarding his front three, with many of Arsenal’s attackers hitting top form. Bukayo Saka will undoubtedly come back into the lineup after being on the bench against Leeds United. Still, the manager will ponder over the choice between Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus, with the latter likely winning the race.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Ben White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
- Liverpool are without a win in their last three matches in the Premier League.
- Liverpool have taken 16 points from their last 18 at Anfield in the Premier League.
- Arsenal have not won at Anfield since 2012.
- Arsenal are on a seven-game winning run in the Premier League.
- Arsenal have scored at least three goals in their last five matches in the Premier League.
Player to Watch
😍 HE CAN'T STOP SCORING
💪 XHAKA WITH A CRACKER OF A HEADER
🔴 4-1 ⚪️ (84) pic.twitter.com/a1KawLOqkG
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 1, 2023
The Swiss international has hit a rich vein of form, which shows Arsenal’s tactics are working again in favour of the midfielder. He has scored in his last two games and continues to shine in that Gunners midfield. He has become the key player for Arteta, who will hope he dominates the midfield on Sunday.
Xhaka’s role has been drastically modified this season. His attacking impetus will prove important for Arsenal in unlocking the Liverpool defence. His partnership with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Martinelli on the left side will possibly prove the Gunners’ best route towards Alisson’s goal. The Swiss midfielder will have to play a massive role in it.
Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal
One cannot underestimate the importance of the Anfield crowd, who have proven time and again they could be the twelfth man for their side. Yet, an in-form Arsenal side could assert their control over the proceedings. Arteta has done it against some of their fiercest rivals this season.
Jurgen Klopp may pin all his hopes on the Anfield crowd. But Arsenal have proven their mettle away from home. They are the best team on the road in the division and could continue their title charge with an emphatic win. Moreover, this fixture usually promises plenty of goals and never a dull moment. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for Mikel Arteta & co.
I’ve been a Gunner since 1970. Im proud of our current team and their performances this season under excellent Mikel Arteta.
Tomorrow’s game will be tough if Liverpool score first. We have to go 2 goals clear before they score, or it will be a looong 90 minutes. I hope your prediction is spot on.
We are the Arsenal. Today’s game is blitzkrieg on Liverpool. No retreat no surrender. COYG
the good thing about this Arsenal team, is that anybody can score, they play as a unit and they have the chemistry. However with high tempo matches, even Thomas Partey makes a lot of mistakes. His pass accuracy reduces astonishingly.
Liverpool are good at home. Very good, but they are going to face fighters who have more points away than home.
I Pray for Arsenal defense but Jesus is a gifted presser. I have no doubt Arsenal shall emerge as clear winners.