Liverpool travel to the Emirates stadium on Wednesday night to take on Arsenal. It is the Reds’ game in hand on Manchester City and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Liverpool are aiming to clinch the title, whilst Arsenal are fighting for a top four finish. Here’s a preview of the game.

The gap to Manchester City is now 3 points, with City travelling to Selhurst Park tonight. Any slip ups and Liverpool will be looking to capitalise when they travel to London on Wednesday night. A win for City, and the Reds have to match that to keep their fate in their own hands.

Liverpool are on a run of eight straight wins in the Premier League, with that run seeing them reel Guardiola’s side back in. It’s the kind of run that is required to win a league title these days. City went on a 12 game winning run that saw them leave their rivals behind in December and January.

The Reds know they will lift the title should they make it 18 wins in a row come Matchday 38. That is no mean feat however, with several excellent sides standing in their way from now till the final day of the season.

Arsenal are one such club, with Mikel Arteta finally getting a tune out of his young side. The Gunners currently sit 4th with 51 points, a point ahead of Manchester United and with three games in hand on the Red Devils.

It is an impressive season for Arteta’s troops as they had to overcome a wretched start. In their last ten games, they’ve managed eight wins and a draw, conceding just seven goals. Their only defeat in that sequence was the controversial 2-1 home loss to Man City.

They were more than worthy of victory that day but key refeereing decisions went in favour of City (surprise surprise), and the Gunners had nothing to show for a gutsy display. They will look to replicate that performance and not the one that saw them fall 2-0 to a Diogo Jota inspired Liverpool side two months ago.

On that night, Arsenal felt Liverpool were vulnerable. The Reds were without Mané and Salah (as well as Keita) due to AFCON, and had failed to score against them at Anfield despite Xhaka getting sent off after 25 minutes. This emboldened Arteta to actually attack Liverpool.

That turned out to be a mistake. The Reds rode out the storm and hit Arsenal with two long balls to Jota who did the rest. You can expect Arteta to have learnt from that night and seek to adapt accordingly. They will be better off sitting deep and aiming to hit us on the counter.

If they can get runners from deep to time their runs well, the high defensive line Liverpool hold religiously could see them profit. The Gunners are on a five match winning streak at the minute and are full of confidence. This should make for a very exciting encounter.

Liverpool have grinded their way through results in the past fortnight. They haven’t been at their rip-roaring best since they took Leeds apart at Anfield. They’ve still managed to clinch the League Cup trophy, knock Inter out of the Champions League, and get past West Ham and Brighton.

Their strong defensive framework has given them the ability to grind their way to victory. It’s been an unforgiving schedule and it is understandable if they aren’t playing at their absolute best every single game.

The Reds have an identical record with Arsenal over the past ten games, also winning eight and drawing once. They’ve only conceded 5 goals in that run however. It is set to be a real battle of two teams on form come Wednesday night.

The two sides have met three times already this season, with Liverpool enjoying two wins (4-0 and 2-0) with the other ending in a goalless stalemate at Anfield in the Carabao Cup semi. Jürgen Klopp has a excellent record against Arsenal since taking charge in 2016.

He’s faced them on 17 occasions in all competitions, winning 11 and losing just three times. Two of those three defeats were on penalty shootouts, with the other an error strewn 2-1 loss at the Emirates in 2019/20 when the Premier League title was already in the bag.

The last time these two sides met off the back of 5+ winning runs, was back in 2008/09 where the Reds title chase faltered with an incredibly exciting 4-4 draw at home to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. Arhsavin netted all four goals for the Londoners. Expect similar fireworks.

Team News

For Liverpool, Ibou Konaté has returned to training after missing the last few games. There was no sign of Mohamed Salah in training on Monday afternoon however, after the Egyptian picked up a knock against Brighton. That makes him a doubt for Wednesday night.

There’s no word on James Milner and Kostas Tsimikas who both missed training today. For Arsenal, it’s almost a fully fit squad with only Tomiyasu unavailable. The right back has been out with a calf injury since January. Saka also picked up a knock against Leicester and will be assessed.

Key Players

Luis Diaz

The Colombian is a man in form. He was named Man of the Match last time out as he netted his second goal in five league starts for the club. His pace, dribbling ability and directness will cause lots of problems for Cedric Soares who will continue to stand in for Tomiyasu.

Alexander Lacazette

The Frenchman has been the old head conducting the symphony for Arsenal’s young attack. He’s not as prolific as he used to be, but he’s reinvented himself as a creator/facilitator. He’s got 3 goals and 7 assists in his last 11 league games and you can expect him to drop deep to feed balls in behind for Saka and Martinelli to run onto.

Van Dijk & Matip

The two man mountains have been absolutely brilliant this season. The discipline with which they’ve kept the high line has been a huge talking point of the season. That discipline will surely be tested at the Emirates with Arsenal possessing real pace in attack. If these two are on top of their game, Liverpool should win.



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