Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal FC vs. Liverpool FC

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Monday, August 24 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 7/10 – Draw 3/1 – Liverpool 18/5

Match Preview

Arsenal vs Liverpool. It’s always a huge fixture on the Premier League calendar and this one comes very early in the season as the two meet at the Emirates on Monday night.

Both sides have failed to set the world on fire in their opening two games but have got some vital points on the board nonetheless. Arsenal responded to their opening loss to West Ham with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last Sunday and will now look for a first home win of the campaign.

Arsene Wenger is under pressure to bring a new striker in before the transfer window closes but will be focusing on on-the-field matters ahead of this one.

Embed from Getty Images

The Gunners have shipped four goals in two games and need to make sure they tighten up at the back if they are to build on last year’s third place finish.

Liverpool have opened the season with back-to-back 1-0 wins over Stoke and Bournemouth but have yet to really impress.

Six points from six is still a great start and if they can step up a gear, they could walk away from London with three more on Monday night.

Brendan Rodgers has a whole host of new signings at the club and he will be delighted with the fact Christian Benteke opened his account in a Reds shirt in the win over Bournemouth on Monday.

Embed from Getty Images

Arsenal beat Liverpool 4-1 in the most recent meeting between the two at the Emirates after they played out a 2-2 draw at Anfield last season.

The last time Liverpool won at Arsenal was in August 2011 and they will hope that another early season clash can deliver the same rewards.

Team News

Arsenal are likely to name an unchanged side from the one that beat Crystal Palace last Sunday. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck remain out through injury. Olivier Giroud should keep his place up front with Hector Bellerin keeping his right-back berth ahead of Mathieu Debuchy.

Liverpool’s main concern regards the fitness of Jordan Henderson as he limped off in Monday’s win over Bournemouth. If he is unable to play, Roberto Firmino may push for a first league start, though his fitness is still questionable. Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen and Jon Flanagan are all still sidelined.

Key Points

Arsenal’s form: L/W

Liverpool’s form: W/W

Key Stat: There has not been a 0-0 draw between these two sides since January 1999.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean star started at Crystal Palace last week after coming on as a sub in the opening loss to West Ham. This will be his first home start of the campaign and he can be expected to be a constant threat.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool – Expecting a very tight contest between two sides who have yet to hit the kind of form they will want to this year. This is always a huge fixture but it has perhaps come too early and so the goals might not fly in like they did last year. Arsenal to edge it by one goal.

Advertisements

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Liverpool

Premier League Final Position: 6th 

Review

Liverpool have endured a terrible season in comparison to the previous campaign, having dropped an incredible 22 points from the 2013/14 season.

It seems that Brendan Rodgers’ side are still in transition as the sale of Luis Suarez cost them dearly in their pursuit of success this term, and many fans will be asking questions of where the club goes from here.

The dreadful 6-1 loss away to Stoke City on the last day of the season means that they finish the season below Spurs in 6th place and need to regroup quickly ahead of next season.

Finishing with just one win in their last six in the Premier League is not good enough as they ended the season with a whimper and it looks as if their chances of success next season rely on a very young squad.

Embed from Getty Images

Podcast Review

Best Moment

A 2-1 win against Manchester City on March 1 sent a message across the league that Liverpool meant business and were ready to challenge for the top four after a strong run of form. They moved to within two points of fourth with that win but couldn’t qualify for the Champions League.

Worst Moment

It has to be the 6-1 loss to Stoke on the final day. A day to forget for Liverpool as they fell to sixth with their biggest ever Premier League loss. It was Steven Gerrard’s final game for the club and a terrible way to go out.

Player of the Year

Embed from Getty Images

Jordan Henderson – He was easily the most influential player in a Liverpool shirt this term and deserves much more credit than he has been given. Expect him to be handed the captaincy next term and he will need to lead the team in the absence of Steven Gerrard.

Biggest Win

Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool (August 31, 2014)

Liverpool 4-1 Swansea (December 29, 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool (May 24, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

There is a clear need for a goalscorer in this squad as Steven Gerrard finished the campaign as their top scorer. An argument could be made that Sturridge will return and provide goals, but Liverpool need to increase their goal output regardless and must not become over-reliant on just one man to get them throught.

Is this future Liverpool captain the man to build the team around?

With the season drawing to a close and the imminent departure of Steven Gerrard, Liverpool face a summer of change as they will look to mount another challenge on the top four in the Premier League next season.

With England international Raheem Sterling currently stalling on a new contract, Liverpool have acted quickly to nail down future captain Jordan Henderson to a new five-year deal in what could be their best business this summer as Manchester City were circling.

Henderson has been sensational this season and has arguably been the Reds’ best player. Yet it was Philippe Coutinho who made the PFA Team of the Season. So is the England International undervalued?

Embed from Getty Images

Current vice-captain, Henderson is the expected replacement for the long-serving Gerrard once he leaves for the LA Galaxy in the summer, having been an ever-present figure in Brendan Rodgers’ side this term.

Henderson has made huge steps this season towards being the midfield player that Liverpool need and signing him to a new contract and fighting off interest from other clubs is paramount to Liverpool’s project.

So compared to the other marquee midfielders in the side, how does Henderson fair?

Sterling Coutinho Henderson
Appearances 33 32 34
Goals 7 5 6
Assists 7 5 8

Should Sterling decide not to agree a new deal by the end of the summer, it’s a huge possibility that Liverpool will want to cash in on him while they can.

They will need to bring in reinforcements regardless of Sterling’s situation but Jordan Henderson is arguably the man to build a team around if the Reds are to remain a force at the top end of the Premier League.

Who is a greater asset for Liverpool – Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho or Jordan Henderson?

Manchester City lining up £30m move for Arsenal star – report

Manchester City are lining up a £30 million summer move for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, according to the Daily Mirror, despite the fact Arsene Wenger has issued a ‘hands-off’ plea.

The Arsenal boss revealed that he was not interested in Manchester City’s interest in Wilshere last month, claiming the Gunners did not have to sell their best players, but the Citizens have not listened and are looking to press ahead in their advances for the England international.

City are expected for a major summer shake up following a poor season, and Wilshere is believed to be near the very top of their transfer list.

Embed from Getty Images

Jordan Henderson was also a target but he has ended speculation of a move away from Liverpool by signing a new contract last week.

That means the reigning Premier League champions are willing to offer Arsenal £30 million in an attempt to land Wilshere.

The Gunners have sold top talents such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna all to City in recent years, acquiring around £70 million in those deals but Wenger is not keen on taking that total to £100 million.

Embed from Getty Images

Wilshere has just returned to the squad following his latest injury setback, but his place in the team is no longer guaranteed, especially given Francis Coquelin’s rise to prominence this year, and a move away could be on the cards.

Arsenal are keen to discuss a new contract with the 23-year-old midfielder, despite the fact he has three years left on his current deal, and the club appear desperate to retain the services of their academy product.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Newcastle

Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs. Newcastle United

Venue: Anfield – Monday, April 13th – 20:00 BST – (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Liverpool 2/5 – Draw 7/2 – Newcastle 7/1

Match Preview

Liverpool host Newcastle in this week’s Monday night Premier League game with the Reds looking to keep their faint Champions League hopes alive in front of their own fans at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers has watched his side’s form drop in the past few weeks as defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal have left Liverpool’s top four hopes hanging by a thread.

The Reds are seven points behind Manchester City going into the weekend, with seven games to go, though City travel to United on Sunday and defeat in that will give Liverpool the chance to close that gap to four.

Embed from Getty Images

Spurs are level on points with Liverpool and face Aston Villa at home on Saturday, so there is lots to play for still.

The Reds will see a home game against Newcastle as a perfect chance to get back to winning ways, especially as they’ve won eight of the last nine meetings at Anfield in all competitions, drawing once.

The Magpies are in trouble, having lost their last four on the bounce, scoring just one in the process, and last weekend’s derby defeat to Sunderland intensified supporters’ frustrations.

Newcastle have only won one of their last eight in the league and have not been able to find the net in their past three away from home.

Embed from Getty Images

They don’t look to be in any real danger of relegation but if they continue to lose matches, they could be sucked into a survival battle late on.

Team News

Liverpool will be without Mamadou Sakho (hamstring), Jordan Ibe (knee), Mario Balotelli (illness) and Adam Lallana (groin). While Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard will also miss the game as they are both suspended. Daniel Sturridge is a doubt but should be fit to start. Dejan Lovren, Emre Can and Kolo Toure are set to start in defence.

Newcastle have a worrying long injury list to worry about and will be without Jack Alnwick (wrist), Rolando Aarons (thigh), Massadio Haidara (knee), Paul Dummett (knee), Siem De Jong (lung), Cheick Tiote (knee) and Steve Taylor (calf). John Carver will also have to cope without Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini as both are suspended. Daryl Janmaat is a doubt but should be fit to start.

Key Points

Liverpool’s last five: W/W/W/L/L

Newcastle’s last five: W/L/L/L/L

Key Stat: There has not been a 0-0 draw in a game between these two in 64 games – a stretch of 41 years.

Key Player: Jordan Henderson – The Liverpool midfield ace has been thriving as captain in recent weeks and has scored four goals in his last five league games. Expect him to prove the difference again in this one.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle – The Reds to get back to winning ways in a tight contest. Newcastle have scored in their last three trips to Anfield and will likely continue that run, but without picking up any points as their miseries look set to only worsen.

Manchester City plotting £100m Liverpool raid – report

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will want the summer to be over before it has even arrived as Premier League rivals Manchester City are plotting an enormous £100 million raid for three Reds stars.

Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson have both been reported as City targets already, but Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho is now also high up on the reigning champions’ transfer wishlist, according to the Daily Star.

Coutinho scored the goal to send Liverpool through to the FA Cup semi-finals in Wednesday night’s 1-0 win at Blackburn, and City feel they could sign him for £20 million this summer.

Embed from Getty Images

The Reds would want nearer £35 million for the 22-year-old midfielder, but wouldn’t want to sell to City at any price if it could be avoided.

Sterling is being linked with almost every big club in Europe as his contract dilemma continues to roll on but the Reds have slapped a £50 million price tag on his head if they are to allow him to leave Anfield.

City are looking to bring in English players to fill their homegrown quota this summer as they look set for a hectic transfer window.

Frank Lampard and James Milner are heading out the exit door, meaning at least two more homegrown players will be needed and City are keen on both Sterling and Henderson.

Embed from Getty Images

Henderson is expected to replace MLS-bound Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain but with interest from Chelsea and City, he could be tough to keep for Rodgers.

The Reds will demand in excess of £30 million for the England midfield star who has just one year left on his current deal.

It is extremely unlikely that City will sign all three Liverpool players this summer, though they will likely prepare bids for them in the hope that they can bring at least one of them to the Etihad in time for the start of the next campaign.

Will Manchester City sign any of their Liverpool targets this summer? Who should be their priority?

City to raid Arsenal and Liverpool in £35m double swoop

Manchester City are interested in signing Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, according to the Daily Mail, as they look to add a more English feel to their starting lineup from next season.

With Frank Lampard on his way to New York City FC and James Milner’s contract set to expire, City are chasing English replacements.

Wilshere could struggle to force his way back into the Arsenal set-up as Wenger’s current system is working well and his injury-hit career could see the Gunners cash in on 23-year-old midfielder.

Henderson has attracted interest from top Premier League clubs, Chelsea and City, and has only one year left on his Liverpool contract so a move away this summer could be real possibility, especially if the Reds fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Embed from Getty Images

With the pair rated around £42 million combined – Wilshere £22m and Henderson £20m, according to transfermarkt.co.uk, they could be achievable signings for City.

The Manchester club has delved into Arsenal’s squad on many occasions, spending around £80m on Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure and Bacary Sagna in the past and clearly appeal to the Gunners’ stars as they appear to pay comparatively higher wages than the North London club.

This would be a more favourable financial move than rumoured signing of top European target, Paul Pogba. The Juventus star is attracting interest from Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United to name a few but will cost more than Wilshere and Henderson combined.

Should Manchester City sign Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson this summer? Are they the players they need?

Liverpool looking to beat United to powerful French midfielder

Liverpool are watching France and AS Monaco midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, with a move for the youngster being lined up, according to the Daily Mail, and he wouldn’t be short of options if he were to leave the Stade Louis II this summer.

Kondogbia played a huge part in Arsenal’s last 16 exit from the Champions League this season, scoring the opening goal in the game at the Emirates, giving Monaco the vital away goal that they would go on to beat the Gunners by en route to the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite competition.

Following his big money move to Ligue 1 in August 2013 from Spanish club Sevilla, he has put in some impressive displays and he won the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in 2013 alongside Paul Pogba in midfield.

Reports suggest Liverpool scouts have watched him multiple times and have been pleased with what they have seen. Any approach from the Reds will be met with stiff competition though as Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United have all been linked with the powerful Frenchman.

Embed from Getty Images

Liverpool will need midfield reinforcements this summer as Steven Gerrard is on his way to MLS, while Jordan Henderson is being linked with a move away too. While the Reds are confident Henderson will stay and sign a new deal, Kondogbia would be a more than capable replacement for the England midfielder if he were to depart.

Kondogbia can also play at centre-back or as a left-back, proving his defensive versatilities and would be a fine addition to any squad if he leaves Monaco in the coming months.

Would Geoffrey Kondogbia be a good signing for Liverpool?

Chelsea set to make SHOCK move for Liverpool star – report

Chelsea are eyeing up a summer move for Liverpool’s key midfield man, Jordan Henderson, according to the Daily Star.

In a week where Brendan Rodgers has had to deal with the possibility of Raheem Sterling leaving, they could now be set to lose Jordan Henderson too.

Henderson’s current Liverpool contract is set to expire in 2016 and the England international has reportedly turned down an £80,000-a-week offer from the Reds.

Embed from Getty Images

Liverpool will need to renegotiate and offer the influential midfielder what he wants to fend off interest from the Premier League leaders.

Champions League football could play a major role in Henderson’s decision if an offer from Chelsea is made, as this weekend’s loss to Arsenal has left Liverpool with a mountain to climb if they are to finish in the top four with just seven games left.

Brendan Rodgers is aware the club needs to be in the Champions League to attract the big names to sign for the club, but a place in Europe’s elite competition also helps to retain star names.

Speaking as a ‘realist’ after the loss to Arsenal at the weekend, Rodgers said he feels Liverpool’s chances are now gone.

With Juventus reportedly set to make a summer swoop for Chelsea star Oscar, the Liverpool vice-captain could be an ideal replacement.

Embed from Getty Images

Henderson has scored seven league goals this season and has racked up six assists in 30 appearances. By comparison, Oscar has the exact same output in five less games, though he has played in a more advanced position.

Henderson Oscar
Appearances 30 25
Goals 7 7
Assists 6 6

If Oscar is to depart Chelsea, a move for Henderson could seem more likely, especially with Chelsea looking for English options to fill their homegrown squad quota.

Henderson is expected to replace Steven Gerrard as the Liverpool captain and leader from next season and so a transfer to Chelsea would not go down well with the Reds supporters.

Will Chelsea make a move for Jordan Henderson? Would a move away from Liverpool make sense?

Manchester United star reveals Liverpool duo two of the best he’s played against

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has revealed that Liverpool midfielders Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard are two of the best players he has played against in his career so far.

The 19-year-old left-back, who joined United from Southampton last summer, has told the club’s official website about some of the best stars he has come up against and has included the two Reds leaders in his selections.

Shaw believes Henderson is the fittest player he has faced and feels that Gerrard is the best passer that he has played against.

Henderson has played more Premier League games than any other Liverpool player this season and has stepped up his game in the heart of the Reds midfield, while Gerrard has registered an average pass success rate of 86%.

Embed from Getty Images

The young defender did not feature in last week’s vital 2-1 win at Anfield as he is currently dealing with a hamstring problem. He has made 13 league appearances for the Red Devils since joining and is expected to be back for the home game against Aston Villa next weekend.

Shaw went on to add that former Liverpool hero, Luis Suarez is the best finisher he has come up against, while Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is the fastest player the youngster has faced.

He also revealed that Stoke City’s Jon Walters is the toughest tackler he has played, while also giving credit to former teammate Jose Fonte for his tackling, saying “he loved a tackle.”

What have you made of Luke Shaw since his move to United? What do you make of his choices above?