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Preview: Arsenal v Liverpool: Team News, Line-Up & Prediction
Arsenal get back to Premier League action after the international break as we welcome Liverpool to the Emirates tomorrow afternoon.
This is a huge game in the race for Champions League qualification. We currently sit in the box seat as we’re third in the table and six points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool, while we also boast a superior goal difference.
Therefore, victory tomorrow would open up a nine point gap with seven games left to play, which would almost ensure we finish above the Merseysiders this season.
We have a very good recent home record against them, losing just once in the last 18 in all competitions, while they needed an injury time equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw at Anfield earlier in the season.
We also go into the match as the divisions in-form team having won our last seven league games on the bounce, so there is every reason to be positive.
For once, there is also good news on the injury front as every single senior squad player is currently in full training. The first time that’s happened in almost 10 years!
That’s not to say every player is available for selection tomorrow though. Oxlade-Chamberlain is not in contention as he’s still working his way back to full fitness following a hamstring injury.
Debuchy, Wilshere and Arteta all stepped-up their comebacks from long-term injuries after playing in a friendly against Brentford on Tuesday and Arsene will make a late decision over their involvement – although I’d be shocked if any were picked to start.
Diaby is also edging closer to being available after playing in midweek but I don’t think w’ell see him involved against Liverpool.
The only other doubt is Welbeck as he’s facing a late fitness test on the knee injury that he picked up while away with England.
As for Liverpool, it’s no surprise to hear that Lallana and Sturridge have made miraculous recoveries from their ‘injuries’ that saw them withdraw from the England squad.
However, Gerrard and Skrtel will be suspended.
The major decisions for Arsene is Gabriel/Mertesacker, Gibbs/Monreal, Cazorla/Ramsey and Welbeck/Walcott. It’s difficult to know what the boss will do but this is the eleven I’d go with.
Liverpool are quick in attack so we need Gabriel and Gibbs’ pace while I’d sacrifice Ramsey in order to keep both Cazorla and Ozil playing in the middle. If Welbeck doesn’t make it then Walcott can start on the right – let’s hope his form improves as he’s been poor recently.
We’re playing well, the squad is in good health and confidence is high, so I’m going to back the boys to secure a vital victory tomorrow. Liverpool will no doubt be well up for this one but as long as we can contain their attack I think we’ll be able to pick them off at the other end.
Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool