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Arsenal v Liverpool preview, fitness boost for Gunners, likely line-ups + prediction

By on November 3, 2018

hector-bellerin-arsenal-2018

Arsenal can announce themselves as genuine title contenders with a win when Liverpool come to the Emirates this evening.

There is no doubt Unai Emery has done extremely well to lead us on a recent 11-game winning streak and our unbeaten run extended to 13 matches in all competitions with a 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Blackpool in midweek.

However, the boss now needs to prove we can do it in the big games as our only two encounters with ‘big six’ clubs this season have ended in defeat [to Man City and Chelsea] so it’s time to show we can cut it against our rivals.

Arsenal head in to the game sitting fourth in the table but we’re just four points adrift of joint leaders Man City and Liverpool so we can close the gap with a win this evening.

Team news

Emery has plenty of fitness concerns ahead of the game. There was no sign of Nacho Monreal or Sokratis at training on Friday so it looks like they’re set to miss out once again with hamstring and ankle injuries.

However, Hector Bellerin did train yesterday so he could return from a minor thigh problem while Sead Kolasinac returned to training last Wednesday after recovering from a hamstring strain that’s kept him out of the last four matches.

Matteo Guendouzi is suspended following his sending off against Blackpool in midweek and Mohamed Elneny has been ruled out with a muscle injury that he picked up last week.

Laurent Koscielny is still working his way back to full fitness from a ruptured Achilles so he remains on the sidelines along with Dinos Mavropanos.

As for Liverpool, they’ll continue to be without Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson due to hamstring injuries but Mohamed Salah is fit to start despite wearing a bandage on his wrist in training recently.

Preferred line-up

I think Bernd Leno deserves to return in goal as he impressed during Petr Cech’s injury absence. As long as Bellerin and Kolasinac are fit they should obviously start and if Sokratis is out then we’ll have little option other than to go with Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi in the middle of the back four.

Midfield picks itself with Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira returning while I’d go with Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack behind Alexandre Lacazette.

This is the team I hope we see tonight:

football formations

Liverpool are expected to line-up: Alisson, Gomez, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner, Mane, Salah, Firmino

Prediction

It’s tough to predict a result here as I’m not sure what Arsenal is going to turn up. We’ve been extremely poor against the big teams in recent years and we lost to City and Chelsea in Emery’s first two games. However, we’ve certainly improved since those matches in August so I’m hoping we’ll be more competitive today.

Obviously Liverpool are a dangerous side and they have the ability to blow us away. If Bellerin and Kolasinac are missing, then I really fear for us, but if they’re fit and we don’t do anything too stupid in defence then we have a chance of taking something from the game.

I don’t see us keeping a clean sheet and it’s going to be tough to break down a Liverpool side that have conceded just 4 goals this season. However, we have the firepower to hurt them at home so I’m backing us to take a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Prediction – Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool

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One Comment

  1. wolfgang

    November 3, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Ozil has to prove himself in this type of game.He has often gone missing in big games.This is his chance to show he is worthy ofhis huge pay chek.
    He will be heavily marked and given little time and space.The gunners must show they have plan b.

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