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Roberto Firmino’s strong claim to start vs. Arsenal as James Milner nears unique record

Roberto Firmino‘s excellent history against Arsenal could convince Jurgen Klopp he is worthy of a start, while James Milner could claim a unique Premier League record.

Firmino has scored 8 goals in 11 league games against today’s opponents. He has scored more for the Reds against Arsenal than he has against any other club.

Between them in 27 league appearances for Liverpool Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have scored 19 goals against Arsenal.

In the seven league games when all three have started they have scored a combined 14 goals.

Only Jack Parkinson, Gordon Hodgson and Robbie Fowler (all with nine) have scored more goals for Liverpool against the Gunners than Firmino.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have not kept a clean sheet in the last 12 games in all competitions, since a 0-0 home draw with Man United last January.


The Emirates issue

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, July 14, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp speaks to his players during a water break during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

At the Emirates, Liverpool have won two out of 14 league encounters. In August 2011 they won 2-0 and in August 2016 they recorded a 4-3 victory.

They are the Reds’ two wins in the last 20 league visits to Arsenal since a 1-0 win at Highbury in 2000.

That 2011 victory is the only time since 1983 that the Reds have won at Arsenal by more than one goal.

Seven of Liverpool’s last 13 league visits have ended in a draw.


Klopp vs. Arsenal

Jurgen Klopp has lost one of his 10 league games against Arsenal, with three wins and three draws. In that time the Reds have scored 30 goals.


Milner’s latest record?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 7, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp bring on substitute James Milner for Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. Manchester City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If Milner comes off the bench he will become the most-used substitute in Premier League history.

He is currently on 158, along with Peter Crouch.


Arsenal on course for a record low?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta speaks with Dani Ceballos during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Arsenal FC at Goodison Park. Everton won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Gunners are in danger of finishing outside of the top four for a fifth successive season for the first time since 1985/86.

They have 42 points from 29 games – their lowest total in Premier League era is the 51 attained in 1994/95. Last season they accumulated 56 from 38 games.


Tonight’s referee

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, September 16, 2016: Referee Martin Atkinson during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Martin Atkinson will be referee tonight.

This is the sixth time he has managed a game between these teams – with Liverpool winning once (2-0 in August 2011 at the Emirates).


This season’s scorers

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 7, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal from a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. Manchester City won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal: Aubameyang 14, Lacazette 13, Pepe 8, Saka 6, Nketiah 5, own goals 5, Gabriel 3, Willock 3, Balogun 2, Luiz 2, Elneny 2, Smith Rowe 2, Tierney 2, Odegaard 2, Bellerin 1, Mari 1, Nelson 1, Xhaka 1

Liverpool: Salah 25, Mane 12, Jota 10, Firmino 6, Jones 4, Minamino 4, own goals 4, Wijnaldum 3, Alexander-Arnold 1, Grujic 1, Henderson 1, Matip 1, Origi 1, Robertson 1, Shaqiri 1, van Dijk 1

* Statistics courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).

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