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Liverpool v Arsenal

Liverpool don’t do easy cup finals and their first visit to the new Wembley was no different. The important thing is that they lifted their first piece of silverwear under Kenny Dalglish’s second reign, something which the Anfield faithful will be hoping pushes them on the better things in the Premier League.

Champions League qualification is still a very achievable goal but defeat to Arsenal at Anfield this Saturday will have a big impact on this ambition. The Gunners come in to this game on the back of their rousing comeback win over local rivals Spurs, a win which had as much to do with Tottenham’s shambolic defending as it did Arsenal’s attacking play. Despite dropping so many points at Anfield, Liverpool are still unbeaten there in the league and having conceded just eight goals at home, it’s clear their failings have been in attack. Daniel Agger is out with a broken rib which should mean the less mobile Carragher slots in to replace him. This may cause some match-up problems between him and the ever dangerous Robin Van Persie, though the Dutch striker is himself an injury doubt. Kenny Dalglish should also be hoping Wenger chooses Theo Walcott over the far more effective and less predictable Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


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Another key absence could be Steven Gerrard. Although he’s still a player you’d rather have in your side, Liverpool have been more successful without him this season.

Up front Luis Suarez is a certainty to start and is worth a bet to score first at 5/1. Andy Carroll has started to find his feet for the Reds and if Thomas Vermaelen is out or is even restricted by his ankle injury, Liverpool’s number 9 could prosper in the air. Carroll is 7/1 to score first and 9/4 to score anytime.

Given the win over Spurs, Arsenal fans may be expecting big things in this game but Liverpool’s home form this season speaks of a frustrating afternoon for the visitors. If Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez can start singing off the same hymn sheet and Liverpool click going forward, then this could get away from Arsenal. Liverpool to win is worth backing by itself at 11/10 and as random as it may sound, a 3-0 win at 17/1 is likelier than you may think.


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