Arsenal will welcome Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in a crucial Premier League encounter on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners enjoyed a stellar start to this season but following a disappointing few performances before the winter break, Mikel Arteta’s side have fallen behind in the title race. The North London club are currently third in the table with 46 points from 22 games, sitting five points behind the league leader Liverpool.
However, Arsenal will be coming into this game having earned an important victory over Nottingham Forest in midweek. So, Arteta’s side will feel confident ahead of Sunday’s crunch clash.
Considering Arsenal are currently five points behind the Merseyside club, they can’t afford to lose this game as a defeat on Sunday means, the Emirates Club will find themselves eight points behind Liverpool.
On the other hand, Liverpool have lost only one game in the Premier League this season and that defeat came back in September last year. So, it will be difficult for Arsenal to come away with all three points from this fixture. The Merseyside club won their previous game against Chelsea 4-1 and they will be hoping to keep their winning run on Sunday.
The reverse fixture ended in 1-1 when these two sides met at Anfield back in December. Arsenal won in this fixture last season and they will be hoping to replicate that this weekend, however, that victory was the only win Arteta’s side have enjoyed in the Premier League against Liverpool over the last seven encounters.
How to watch
The game will kick off at 4:30 PM UK time and the match will be televised live on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HDR in the UK.
Supporters can buy Liverpool tickets and Arsenal tickets for the game via official club channels and trusted online sellers like seatsnet.com.
Arsenal don’t have many injury problems at the moment but Thomas Partey isn’t in contention to feature due to his issue. Fabio Vieira has been sidelined over the last few months owing to an injury and he is set to remain unavailable for selection as well.
Having sustained a serious knee issue in his Premier League debut, Jurrien Timber has been ruled out for the majority of this season. So, he is also not in line to feature in this game.
In addition, Takehiro Tomiyasu is currently out with his national team Japan to play in the AFC Asian Cup. So, he is also unavailable for selection in this fixture.
As for Liverpool, they will be without Joel Matip – who has been ruled out for the rest of this campaign after sustaining a serious knee issue. Additionally, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara are also set to be unavailable for selection in this fixture due to their respective injuries.
Konstantinos Tsimikas and Mohamed Salah are also not in contention to feature in this fixture owing to their respective injury problems. Wataru Endo is also not expected to feature in this fixture due to his international duty with his national team Japan. Darwin Nunez is in doubt ahead of this encounter having sustained a knockout against Chelsea in midweek.
Arteta is set to continue with his preferred 4-3-3 formation with David Raya set to continue in goal. Ben White should be in the right-back position, while Oleksandr Zinchenko could remain on the opposite side. William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes are guaranteed to be the centre-back pairing for the North London club.
Declan Rice will be in the holding midfield position with Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard likely to be in the box-to-box role for the hosts.
Bukayo Saka is set to continue in the right-wing position, while Gabriel Martinelli should be in the left flank. Gabriel Jesus should lead the line for Arsenal in this crucial fixture.
Expected Arsenal line-up vs Liverpool
Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Smith Rowe, Odegaard; Martinelli, Jesus, Saka
For Liverpool, Klopp is also set to go with the 4-3-3 formation. Alisson will be in goal for the visitors and in front of the Brazilian, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomes should be the back four.
So, Conor Bradley may have to settle for a place on the bench on Sunday afternoon despite back-to-back impressive performances. In addition, Andy Robertson may also have to settle for a place on the bench as Gomes has been excellent in recent weeks in the left-back position.
Alexis Mac Allister could be in the deep-lying playmaker position, while Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones should be in the number eight position.
Diogo Jota could be on the right flank, while Luiz Diaz might be on the opposite side. So, Cody Gakpo could come in if Nunez can’t feature in this encounter.
Expected Liverpool line-up vs Arsenal
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomes; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones, Diaz, Gakpo, Jota
Saka hasn’t been at his best in recent times but he managed to put his name on the score-sheet in the last game against Nottingham Forest. So, that should give him much-needed confidence ahead of this fixture.
Rice will need to play with courage against Liverpool’s high-pressing. The responsibility will be on the Englishman to link-up the play from defence to attack. The onus will be on Odegaard to create opportunities for attackers and finish those off if he gets any.
Liverpool like to play early crosses from the wide areas so the Gunners’ fullbacks need to find a way to stop that to help Arsenal keep a clean-sheet.
For Liverpool, Jota has been the talismanic figure for the Merseyside club amid the injury absence of Mohamed Salah. So, the Anfield faithful will be hoping that the Portuguese will be able to help his side win this game by putting his name on the score-sheet.
Alexander-Arnold is the main creative player for Liverpool so Arsenal will have to keep the Englishman quiet to earn all three points from this encounter.
Arsenal have been a dominant force at home and they even defeated Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League this term. So, they will be backing themselves to earn all three points from this encounter.
However, Liverpool have been exceptional and they have already defeated the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium in the FA Cup this season.
Arteta and Klopp like to play an attacking brand of football so it’s likely to be a mouth-watering encounter for the Premier League fans. Both teams are extremely strong so the game could eventually end up in a stalemate. However, it is going to be interesting to see how the game eventually unfolds on Sunday afternoon. Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool
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