Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs Liverpool
Venue: Emirates Stadium – Saturday, April 4 – 12:45 BST (07:45 EDT)
Match Odds: Arsenal 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – Liverpool 100/30
These two sides have been the best Premier League teams in 2015 so far and this game represents another huge moment in the race for Champions League qualification, with Liverpool five points adrift of fourth and six points behind third-placed Arsenal.
Defeat for Liverpool in this game will leave them desperately playing catch-up and they arguably need to go all out for the win to stand any chance of making the top four.Embed from Getty Images
Meanwhile, Arsenal can heap the pressure on Manchester City as a win would see them leapfrog City into second, even if only for a few hours.
The Gunners are on an impressive run of six straight wins in the league and have lost just twice in their last 15 games, winning 12 and drawing one.
Liverpool have also been in great form and their 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United last time out was their first Premier League loss in 14 matches after they’d been on a 13-game unbeaten run, consisting of ten wins and three draws.
Arsenal’s main man in recent weeks has been the in-form striker Olivier Giroud – the Frenchman has scored nine goals in his last nine games in all competitions as well as six in his last five Premier League matches.Embed from Getty Images
Arsene Wenger will certainly be hoping that Giroud and his Arsenal teammates can continue from where they left off following the international break.
Brendan Rodgers will be urging his players to call upon the performance that famously ripped Arsenal apart at Anfield in that 5-1 win back in February 2014.
The reverse fixture between these two sides this season ended as a 2-2 draw in dramatic fashion as a 97th minute header from Martin Skrtel rescued a point for the Reds after goals from Mathieu Debuchy and Olivier Giroud had given Arsenal the lead following Philippe Coutinho‘s opener.Embed from Getty Images
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) remains out for Arsenal, while Danny Welbeck suffered a knee injury on international duty but could still make the squad. Mathieu Debuchy, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby all featured in a friendly against Brentford on Tuesday but it is unlikely any of them will play due to lack of match sharpness. Tomas Rosicky could also return to the squad following illness.
Liverpool will be without skipper Steven Gerrard as he begins a three-match ban following his red card against Manchester United. Martin Skrtel is also unavailable after he was suspended retrospectively for a stamp on David De Gea. Jon Flanagan remains out with injury, while Adam Lallana (groin), Dejan Lovren (abdominal) and Daniel Sturridge (groin) are all trying to recover and could be doubtful. Youngster Jordan Ibe is also out injured.Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/W/W/W
Liverpool’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/W/W/L
Key Stat: Arsenal have only lost one out of their last 14 games at home to Liverpool in the Premier League (W7, D6).
Key Player: Aaron Ramsey – The Welshman is starting to show glimpses of the incredible performances we saw last season and his goals from midfield between now and the end of the season will be crucial – his battle with Jordan Henderson will be one to watch.Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool – Arsenal are on a great run of form and Liverpool are missing a few key players. This will be a tight but very entertaining game and the Gunners should just edge it with the home advantage.