Liverpool v Arsenal – Anfield at 17:30

Liverpool will be looking forward in strengthening their position on top of the Premier League table as they host Arsenal at Anfield for their matchday 20 clash on the last day of the 2018 campaign. The Reds are out to continue their unbeaten start to the season against the Gunners with a home turf advantage. Liverpool definitely took advantage of Manchester City’s recent poor form as they currently lead the Premier League standings with a six-point lead.

Jurgen Klopp will now view Saturday’s match as a chance for Liverpool to put even more distance between them and Manchester City in the Premier League table. Although with Tottenham Hotspur playing earlier in the day, there is a possibility that the gap will be cut to three points when the fixture between Liverpool and Arsenal kicks off on Saturday. Nevertheless, the Reds have dealt with every tough challenge that came along their way, as well as facing the top teams in the league, and they survived in each and every one.

In the meantime, Arsenal ended their disappointing two-game losing streak over Southampton and Tottenham with a 3-1 victory against Burnley last week. However, they struggled to remain consistent when they shared a 1-1 draw with Brighton which can be quite nerve-racking ahead of their trip to Anfield. Furthermore, Arsenal  have a record of only losses in their previous five trips to Anfield in the Premier League, while also conceding 17 goals. Considering this along with the Gunners recently operating in an unpredictable run on the road, Unai Emery will now want a more improved defence and attacking methods for their clash against Liverpool.

On Saturday, will Liverpool come into the New Year still at the top of the Premier League table or will Arsenal bag a victory to secure a spot in the Big Six? The Anfield should expect a thrilling contest between these two sides.

LATEST NEWS

         James Milner might not be available to play on Saturday’s clash against the Gunners after suffering from a muscle injury.

         Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is reported to remain sidelined on Saturday.

         Arsenal are facing a defensive injury crises with Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos, and Rob Holding all unavailable due to calf, groin, and knee injury respectively.

         Nacho Monreal remains a doubt for Saturday’s clash.

PROBABLE FORMATION & STARTING XI

Liverpool: 4-3-3

Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Naby Keita; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Arsenal: 4-3-3

Bernd Leno; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac; Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi; Aaron Ramsey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi

KEY PLAYERS

Liverpool

Mohamed Salah enjoyed a stellar campaign with Liverpool last season, winning the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards. Right now, he returned to the Premier League in a much better form than he was in last term. His exceptional hat-trick against Bournemouth just this month plunged him to the top of the Premier League goal-scoring charts and is still displaying no signs of slowing down as Liverpool attempt to finish the year ahead of Manchester City at the top of the standings.

Roberto Firmino has been one of the key players for Liverpool along with Mo Salah, Xherdan Xhaqiri and Sadio Mane. Combine these four in one game could be deadly for the opponents. The Gunners are winless in their previous trips to Anfield in the Premier League, and Liverpool has Roberto Firmino to give thanks to. He has been directly involved in netting eight goals in his previous six Premier League fixtures against Arsenal.

Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has definitely been an effective player for Arsenal since he joined the team from Borussia Dortmund, scoring at least 20 Premier League goals. He is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous strikers and it can be shown in his performance with Arsenal as they secured countless victories this season. Aubameyang made quite an impression at the Emirates Stadium this season and now sits on joint-top of the scoring charts with Liverpool’s Mo Salah.

Lucas Torreira has become a regular player for Arsenal’s first team and is already one of their most important players. With his defensive focus, unwavering aggression, positional discipline and ball-handling abilities to the Gunners’ midfield, Lucas Torreira provides outstanding defence to the back four. Both his defensive and attacking skills are remarkably impressive. He was able to transform Arsenal’s tactics which makes it difficult to break down.  

MATCH PREDICTION

Liverpool v Arsenal: 2-1

Jurgen Klopp’s side are doing what no one thought was possible during the start of the season – hurling a legitimate title challenge for the Premier League crown against Manchester City. Aside from that, the Gunners underwent some difficult times at Anfield in previous years, having been thrashed in a 4-0 fixture last season after a disappointing performance. Even though Arsenal greatly improved under Unai Emery, their defence is still somewhat unstable, and with Liverpool as their opponents, it would be a miracle for the Gunners if they manage to win on Saturday. However, considering the Premier League has been full of surprises lately, Arsenal may prove that they could take on a side like Liverpool.

MATCH BETTING ODDS*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

By @EliaasMJ

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