Under-fire Reds must get top-four bid back on track – Liverpool vs. Arsenal Preview

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Liverpool’s season is in serious danger of falling apart, and a win on Saturday evening is vital against a similarly unpredictable Arsenal side.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 5:30pm (GMT)
Anfield
Premier League
Referee: Robert Madley

It is official: Monday’s 3-1 defeat at Leicester City was a new low point in the Reds’ season.

Not many saw such a pathetic performance coming, with the trip to La Manga supposed to freshen up the squad and see them return with an extra spring in their step.

Instead, Liverpool were truly appalling at the King Power Stadium, and their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League now look bleak.

Quite what has happened to Jurgen Klopp‘s men in 2017 is something of a mystery, but they a far cry from the side who were wowing the masses and racking up wins earlier in the season.

Saturday’s visit of Arsenal is a huge game in Liverpool’s season, and it pits two under-fire teams against each other.

On their day, both are capable of looking the best team in the country, but a soft centre means far too many sloppy results come their way.

This really is a match where anything could happen—either team could win 3-0, or it could be a 4-4 draw—but for the Reds’ sake, anything other than three points is not good enough.

On a positive note, Liverpool have been exceptional against their top-six rivals this season—now would be a terrible time for that to change.

If they play with the intensity they showed against Arsenal‘s north London rivals Tottenham three weeks ago, smiles will be back on supporters’ faces come Sunday morning.

Last Meeting: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool

 

Team News

KINGSTON-UPON-HULL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 4, 2017: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson applaud the travelling supporters after the 2-0 defeat to in Hull City during the FA Premier League match at the KCOM Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson is once again out with a foot injury, having missed the defeat to Leicester, and Liverpool rarely look the same team without the skipper present.

Dejan Lovren has been training in the latter part of the week, so could return from his seventh injury of the season. If not, Klopp will have to choose between Lucas Leiva and Ragnar Klavan at centre-back.

Daniel Sturridge remains sidelined, with the striker suffering from a hip issue, having originally flown home from La Manga with a virus.

The rest of the team picks itself, with Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner at full-back, despite dips in form, and Emre Can anchoring the midfield in place of Henderson. Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana should occupy the more attack-minded roles.

Liverpool’s much-lauded front three of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino were all poor against Leicester, but they should retain their places. A big performance is needed from the influential trio on Saturday.

Arsenal don’t have too many injury problems, although Mohamed Elneny is definitely out and Santi Cazorla could miss the rest of the season.

Mesut Ozil was rumoured to be struggling with illness, but the German appears to have recovered in time for the game.

 

Form

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, February 27, 2017: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino dejected after losing 3-1 against Leicester City in the FA Premier League match at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 3-1 vs. Leicester City
Won 2-0 vs. Tottenham
Lost 2-0 vs. Hull
Drew 1-1 vs. Chelsea
Lost 2-1 vs. Wolves

Arsenal – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-0 vs. Sutton
Lost 5-1 vs. Bayern Munich
Won 2-0 vs. Hull
Lost 3-1 vs. Chelsea
Lost 2-1 vs. Watford

 

Klopp’s View

Klopp said he will be looking to his supposed leaders for inspiration on Saturday, and was generally positive about the game:

“I was a real mentality player, my strength was pushing team-mates,” he said.

“You try everything in the game [as a manager]—have influence from the sideline.

“We have these players who [push others on to] do it. Adam [Lallana], [James Milner], Lucas Leiva. These three players, for sure, with different things.

“It’s Anfield, it’s our stadium, the last game we played here was fantastic. We want to have this feeling again.”

 

TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 8, 2015: A television camera blocks the view of the goal during the FA Cup 6th Round Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The top-six showdown is BT Sport’s live offering on Saturday evening, with coverage getting underway on BT Sport 1 at 5pm.

Our popular matchday live blog will be running from 4:45pm, with lots of interesting content before kick-off, and minute-by-minute updates during the game.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Fan Comments