Arsenal v Liverpool – December 22, 2017 – Anfield – 17:45 hrs – EPL Preview
With just a point separating the two, both Arsenal and Liverpool will rue missed opportunities to add more points with needless draws against much inferior sides. Liverpool came out of two tame affairs at home (1-1 and 0-0 draws against Everton and more shockingly against relegation candidate West Bromwich) to route Bournemouth 0-4 at Dean Court on Sunday.
Mohammad Salah continued his dream signing with the Reds, joining legends Ian Rush and Roger Hunt to complete 20 goals before Christmas. With his club-mates Firminio and Coutinho back in form with goals against Bournemouth, Mo Salah will look forward to having a run on the Arsenal defense when the Reds visit Anfield on Friday.
While goal-scoring hasn't been an issue, it's the kind of opposition that Liverpool has run into in recent times that needs to be noted. After their 1-4 thrashing metted out by Tottenham in late October, the only top six club they have encountered in their next 9 fixtures was Chelsea in November-end. While Jurgen Klopp's men can take comfort from the 4-0 belting of Arsenal the last time they met in early-September, they cannot afford to take it easy at the Emirates against the Gunners who have been playing a much improved game of late.
With Mesut Ozil finding form, the forward line supported by the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez have picked up the pieces of the Anfield debacle and have managed to claw their way up to the 5th spot of the Premier League table.
Arsenal can boast of 2-5, 2-0 and 5-0 wins against Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Huddersfield Town respectively in a 15-match spell spell since then.
One worry for their fans is that Arsenal's on-field dominance and the fluidity of their mid-fielders and forwards haven't exactly translated into goals as evinced from their games against Manchester United (lost 1-3 despite a 75 per cent ball-possession rate) and two needless draws of 1-1 and 0-0 against Southampton and West Ham United.
With both teams going in with unsure defences but propensities to attack, an exciting fare could be on the cards. Arsenal have lost just one of their last 14 games at the Emirates and look the bookmakers' favorites for Friday night's game.
Liverpool are in the 4th place with 34 points from 18 games and Arsenal just a point behind from the same number of games. The hosts would dearly love to win this one as it would catapult them into the Top Four while the visiting Reds would be happy with just a draw.
Arsenal v Liverpool Prediction
Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool
Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool