Liverpool v Arsenal Cheat Sheet
Liverpool v Arsenal
Liverpool’s poor run of form continued with a poor performance in their 0-0 draw to Chelsea in midweek and after previously boosting themselves back into a top 4 spot, they now seem a long way away from getting a Champions League spot for next season. Liverpool have a good record recently against Arsenal, they have only lost 1 of their last 6 matches against them however this loss was in the match earlier in the season. Liverpool are expecting Virgil van Dijk to be available for this fixture which will be a huge boost to them and will mean that Matip probably drops out the team and Thiago will also be in contention for the starting line-up here. Liverpool also rested a lot of key players against Chelsea in midweek, the likes of Salah and Gakpo will be at their best then going into this match.
Arsenal will consider this as one of their most important recent matches, they know that if they are to win the league, these are the sort of matches they have to go and win. The storyline for this match will be obvious then, can Liverpool give Manchester City a helping hand in the title race and pile even more pressure on Arsenal. There is hope that Saliba may be back in the squad after his injury but this game will probably come just too soon for him, while Nketiah and Tomiyasu remain injured and unavailable for selection.
Gabriel Martinelli will likely start on the left wing for Arsenal in this match and considering Liverpool’s weaknesses at defending on that side of the pitch, Martinelli could be a difference maker here. Martinelli averages 4.08 attempted take ons per match which sees him draw 1.23 fouls per 90. In this match he will be up against Trent Alexander-Arnold, who will be back in the side after being rested in midweek. Alexander-Arnold commits 0.76 fouls per 90 and has been in bad form recently. He has committed a foul in 5 of his last 6 matches and committed 3 fouls last time out against Manchester City. Arsenal have a similar level of quality to Manchester City so I would expect Alexander-Arnold to commit at least 1 foul here.
Arsenal’s most fouled player this season is Gabriel Jesus and the Arsenal striker draws 2.74 fouls per 90. Jesus will be difficult to deal with for Konate who averages 1.3 fouls per 90. Konate has been on a run of committing fouls recently, he has committed at least 1 foul in all of his last 9 Liverpool matches. Konate only played 22 minutes the last time the teams played but still managed to commit a foul and has committed a foul in every match Liverpool has played against top quality opposition this year, he should be a strong selection to commit just 1 foul.
Between Arsenal’s centre backs, they draw around 1.7 fouls per match. After being rested against Chelsea, Cody Gakpo will surely start again up front for Liverpool and the pressing forward has a surprisingly high number of fouls to his name this season. Gakpo averages 1.69 fouls per 90, his pressing will be important here due to Arsenal’s passing quality. Gakpo has committed a foul in 11 of his last 13 matches and the Dutch striker even committed 2 fouls when he came on for the last 12 minutes at the end of the Chelsea match. Considering the numbers behind Gakpo’s performances, he is put at surprisingly high odds and therefore make up good value here.
Liverpool’s most dangerous players are often their full-backs, both Robertson and Alexander-Arnold cause problems for opposition wingers who are stuck having to decide whether to stay forward or spend the whole match pushed back marking Liverpool’s full-backs. Arteta demands that his wingers do work back and have they have defensive responsibilities, something that sees the like of Bukayo Saka make a lot of fouls compared to most wingers. Saka averages 1.15 fouls per 90 and has committed a foul in 6 of his last 9 starts. Saka has committed fouls in a lot of matches against top teams, he committed a foul against Manchester City, 2 against Tottenham and 2 against Chelsea. Furthermore, the last time the 2 teams met, Saka committed 3 fouls and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was to commit a few again here, for him to commit just 1 foul looks to be a good selection here.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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