After a comfortable 3-1 win and resting Mesut Ozil and Per Mertersacker against Sunderland last weekend in the FA Cup fixture, Arsenal travel to Anfield for their upcoming midweek Premier League fixture. Gunners are currently league leaders with a comfort of two points, but they may lose it if they fail to win against Liverpool.
Arsene Wenger’s side has a difficult run of fixtures over the course of next six game weeks, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Southampton and Leicester. It is important for the French manager to have his team stronger than ever and make use of the January transfer window wisely.
The fixture between Arsenal and Liverpool has always been a competitive one with 35 goals in last nine meetings between the clubs. Arsenal holds the head-to-head records of 3-0 for the last three games, and Liverpool has only managed to defeat the London club once in the last 10 meetings in all competitions.
The Gunners also get an injury boost as midfielder, Tomas Rosicky, is available for the fixture, as well as Arsenal captain, Mikel Arteta, who made an appearance against Sunderland as a substitute. However, the Gunners still have to wait for Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere to return. Sanchez might return for the game against Stoke while Arsenal will have to wait until the end of February for the England internationals to return to action.
Liverpool is dealing with their own injury crisis, as Jurgen Klopp barely has his ideal starting eleven for the match. Phillipe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel, and Dejan Lovren all will be missing the fixture due to injuries. This obviously plays as an advantage for Arsenal, but Wenger is wary of Klopp’s record against big clubs this season.
Speaking to the media, Wenger said, “[Liverpool manager] Jurgen Klopp has the personality to do well there, I don’t think you can explain their injuries by the intensity of [Klopp’s] game. [The challenge we face is] to play our game at a good pace but we are used to that pressing. It is not just Liverpool who do that.”
Liverpool has managed to win against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, and has also managed to defeat Manchester City. Gunners will have to bring their top game to Anfield if they want to win against Klopp’s side.