Home News Arsenal vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know as 3rd meets 1st...

Arsenal vs. Liverpool: 10 key things to know as 3rd meets 1st in huge clash

10
0

It is a huge day in the capital as Premier League leaders Liverpool meet third-placed Arsenal, and Jurgen Klopp‘s side can open up an eight-point lead with a victory.

Arsenal vs. Liverpool

Premier League (23) | Emirates Stadium
February 4, 2024 | 4.30pm (GMT)


The Reds steamrolled Chelsea last time out, forget their whining, and laid down another statement – and on Sunday, it’s time for another.

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of the clash.

 

1. Nunez in doubt

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The No. 9 left Wednesday’s game with a protective boot after someone “stepped on his foot,” it caused swelling and a lot of pain for Darwin Nunez.

On Friday, Klopp said he didn’t “know if Darwin is available or not,” and it will be a case of if he can get his boot back on with minimal pain and discomfort.

There was no other team news to report from the manager, which suggests Alexis Mac Allister will be available after a heavy knock to his knee against Chelsea.

 

2. A huge battle at the top

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 23, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A win would take Liverpool eight points clear of Arsenal in the table, a separation that is always nice to have, especially when already competing with the machine that is Man City.

It’s first vs. third, and we’ve already had a taste of what this fixture can offer with the draw at Anfield and the FA Cup win, which was only a month ago!

Klopp has noted his side need to be “much more dominant” against the Gunners, so let’s see if they can, indeed, have more “moments where we are in charge.”

Form – Last 5 in PL

Liverpool (most recent L-R): W, W, W, W, D
Arsenal: W, W, L, L, D

 

3. Can Bradley or Gomez really be dropped?!

2WFM8R3 Liverpool's Conor Bradley celebrates after assisting their side's third goal of the game scored by Dominik Szoboszlai during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Wednesday January 31, 2024.

It’s an interesting debate as, on form, Conor Bradley and Joe Gomez are more than worthy of their places in the starting lineup. They have earned it.

The other argument, though, would be that they have started the last five and eight matches, respectively, a run that could put them in danger of picking up an injury.

It’s the last thing Liverpool need at this point of the season, and with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson both fresh and with some minutes in their legs, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them return.

Either way, it is a strong position for the Reds to be in.

Predicted LFC XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones; Jota, Diaz, Gakpo

 

4. Any Arsenal absentees?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 13, 2022: Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There have been doubts over Gabriel Jesus after a number of knocks to his knee, but the forward is expected to take his place in the lineup.

Thomas Partey (thigh) could be in contention to return to the bench after a lengthy spell out of the side, while Mohamed Elneny is available after Egypt were knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations.

It would not be a surprise if Arteta made only one change to his side from their win over Nottingham Forest last time out, with Emile Smith Rowe making way for Kai Havertz.

Possible Arsenal XI: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Odegaard, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

 

6. The gift that keeps on giving

The academy has gifted us some incredible talent over the years, and Klopp’s legacy will be the pathway from the youth level to the first team.

His trust and faith are second to none, and This Is Anfield recently got some insight from Kirkby (video above) on the significance of the door being left open for youngsters.

At Arsenal, we could see academy graduates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Caoimhin Kelleher, Jarell Quansah, Conor Bradley, James McConnell and Bobby Clark all in the squad. Incredible.

 

6. Jota’s time to shine

Diogo Jota loves a goal against Arsenal. In fact, he’s scored more against the Gunners than he has any other team, with seven in 10 outings for Liverpool – plus two assists.

His seven goals have come in a total of 599 minutes of action against them, which averages out to a goal every 85 minutes.

With four goals and an assist in his last four games, he’s picked the perfect moment to hit a rich vein of form. More please, Diogo.

 

7. Klopp says it’s time to “buckle up”

There are more than three months of the season remaining and Liverpool are in the thick of it across four competitions, and Klopp had a brilliant message for what’s to come:

“This is the best league in the world and we are top of the table, what does that say?

“Are there any bad players in this team? Nah!

“The job is not to reflect on what they did, or how fantastic they are, good looking on top of that, and all these kinds of things.

“It’s really about us digging deep into the season, keep going, hold your breath, buckle up and go for it.”

You heard the boss!

 

8. The second half to prove defining?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (R) is challenged by Arsenal's William Saliba during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have scored more second-half goals than any other team in the Premier League, with 32. Arsenal and Man City are close behind with 28.

As for goals conceded in the second 45, the Reds are on top having let just eight goals in, with the Gunners next in line with 12 conceded.

So, two teams who grow into the game and can keep the opposition out late on. It’s going to be an interesting battle, but we can only hope it ends the same way it did only last month.

 

9. You’ve got to be joking

At this point, it is entirely laughable. You wrongly determine a handball is not a handball the previous time these two sides meet and you’re then rewarded with the same job!

All that to say, David Coote is on VAR for this one. They must have a right laugh when they do these appointments.

The referee on the pitch is Anthony Taylor, and the fourth official is Craig Pawson.

 

10. Follow along with TIA!

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 14, 2016: Supporters arrive before the FA Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal vs. Liverpool will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event in the UK, with coverage starting from 4pm (UK). We will also have our worldwide guide for you a few hours before kickoff.

If you fancy a little more biased commentary and analysis, This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog is the place to be! Harry McMullen is at the helm from 3.45pm.

Into these, Reds!