What a game we’ve got coming up!
In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we’ve gotten our writers together for a short prediction on how they think the game will pan out.
And if you think we’re just going to throw these predictions out there and then forget about them, fear not.
We’ll be back to take a look at how we did and laughing at the person who got it wrong more than anyone else.
Lee Hurley Win 3-1
The battle of the two teams on top of the 2015 form guide with both teams needing a win for different reasons. It’s all set up to be a cracker and like many of these games and their tendency to disappoint, I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen on Saturday.
If one side needs the win more, it’s Liverpool who will want to avoid falling nine points behind Arsenal and that could leave them open enough for Arsenal to profit.
Anything could happen in this game so I’m letting my happy out to play.
Helen Trantum Win 2-0
Earlier in the week I had this game pegged as dropped points, as despite being on a long winning run we’ve not exactly set the world on fire with the way we’ve achieved those victories.
However, with a bit of distance I’ve come back to my usual optimistic self.
Our strength in depth is highlighted by the options available to the manager for this fixture, and as long as we’re not suicidal at the back then we should have some success as it’s hard to see Liverpool keeping our front five out, whomever we pick.
I expect us to start energetically but conservatively given the importance of the game for cementing our position in the Champions League race, and kick on later in the game for a 2-0 victory – Giroud for certain and Cazorla is well overdue a goal too.
Stephen Bradley Win 3-1
It’s not often that a game between 3rd and 5th can be described as a six-pointer, but this is one of those occasions. Arsenal are six points clear, although it’s effectively a seven point gap given that our goal difference is +15 more than Liverpool’s.
A win would make that a nine point gap, and would sew up at least fourth in the league.
Liverpool will be desperate to win this, and their build-up to this game shows it. A lot of effort has gone into encouraging Daniel Sturridge to play whilst carrying an injury, something he has been reticent to do in the past. Recent speculation about Raheem Sterling’s future hasn’t helped calm nerves either.
Add all that to missing Skrtel and Gerrard through suspension, and the possible loss of Lallana through injury, and you have a team far from its peak potential.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are welcoming back Debuchy and Wilshere from injury, with only Welbeck a doubt from the interlull.
This is a golden opportunity to secure a Champions League spot, and because of this, I expect a 3-1 win.
Paul Williams Win 2-1
I feel worryingly confident about this one.
I say worrying because Arsenal have a troublesome habit of repaying confidence with catastrophe.
We have a settled side, the team- before international interruptus – were on a good run and Liverpool have some injury issues to deal with.
I think this has all the hallmarks of a 2-1 victory for the red and white dynamite.
Sylvain Jamet Win 2-0
Well, it is a home game, so I expect three points, especially with the race for second place being on.
There is always uncertainty about injuries after an international week but things do not look too bad. The only question is one about the team getting back into the rhythm but facing Liverpool should provide enough motivation.
Arsenal to win 2-0 as Liverpool don’t have much offensively and defensively.
Lewis Ambrose Win 2-0
Back in December we couldn’t get to grips with the 3-4-3 Liverpool have been playing, and we’ll be in trouble if the same happens again – regardless of their missing defenders.
The system adds more solidity to their team, Cazorla’s ability to switch play will be key – hopefully our two wide players stay wide and offer something in behind.
If they do, we’ll win. Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool
Nia Griffiths Draw 2-2
I get the distinct feeling this match will be pretty cagey from both sides.
Both teams and managers will be feeling each other out and looking ahead to our potential FA Cup final tie.
There will probably be a lot possession play in the first half especially, trying to break the other down and work their way up the pitch.
Fortunately, for once we’ve had a few injury boosts ahead of the game, while Liverpool have Martin Skrtel out due to serving his three match ban. Therefore, we may be able to pick them apart defence slightly easier.
However, their attacking players can be particularly lethal and their first team is mostly fit.
Unlike a regular Arsenal/Liverpool match, after the international break, I don’t see it being as fast and frenetic as usual.
Andi Foster Draw 1-1
With nearly everyone available and rested, this game should be coming at the right time for Arsenal. With Welbeck as an injury concern though will Walcott get a start?
With Gerrard and Skrtel banned, how will Liverpool line up against us?
There are definitely question marks.
I know that I am normally the skeptical one but there will be a lot of motivation to keep the push going and to put a serious dent in a rival’s top four hopes.
Liverpool, however, were on a fantastic run of form before losing to United and they will want to get back to that.
Whatever happens it will be close but I think Arsenal will just fail to get the three points. 1-1 (or 2-2)
Sean Ferguson Win 2-0
Liverpool are missing key players and we should be able to field a strong eleven.
We should be able to cope with what Liverpool have going forward with Sturridge out and with Skrtel suspended at the back I’m confident we’ll score.
My only concern about this game is the early kick-off straight after the international break, but we’re on a good run, Liverpool are coming into this game with injuries and suspensions to key players and off the back of a demoralising defeat to United.
Going to go for a 2-0 win. Giroud and Alexis with the goals.
Mark Fine Win 2-1
Very interesting game considering how the reverse of this second half fixture turned out last year. Liverpool, like last year, are looking for a strong second half run. Despite losing to United at home in what now seems years ago, Liverpool haven’t lost since meeting them first at Old Trafford in mid-December.
That was just before our 2-2 draw at Anfield, where Martin Skrtel scored a late header at 90′. But we won’t have him to deal with at the Emirates, since both he and Steven Gerrard will both be out of the picture due to red card suspensions.
Nor might they have Daniel Sturridge, who could still be out with injury. That poses a big problem offensively since it only leaves: Raheem Sterling, who has been struggling; Adam Lallana, who might be slow coming back from a groin injury; and Mario Balotelli, who still hasn’t shown the Super Mario of old.
Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho might be their only hope of scoring on Saturday.
On the flip side of this, we have nearly a full squad: Diaby, Wilshere, Arteta and Debuchy all returned to action this past week. Welbeck will also take a late fit test for the knee problem that occurred during the Lithuania match. Ox is the only man left in the treatment room at the moment.
On paper, this all makes us vastly superior to Liverpool, especially this being at the Emirates.
So as long as we don’t try any bizarre experiments, play fast and play hard, we really should win this – if it weren’t for Anthony Taylor doing something completely stupid – and I don’t even want to go there.
After all is said and done, I really think that Skrtel’s absence is the difference-maker here: 2-1 to the Arsenal, with Giroud and Alexis scoring for us, and Henderson scoring for ‘Pool.
Anita Sambol Win 3-1
I’m optimistic about this one.
We drew against Liverpool at Anfield, with Per and Debuchy as our centrebacks!
Yes, Liverpool are in a great form, but so are we, and I’m sure we will continue this run. Not sure who will play for Liverpool, but there’s no Škrtel to score like he usually does.
We have basically the whole squad fit, and Arsene will have sweet troubles picking out the starting 11.
My prediction: 3-1 to Arsenal, sure Lovren will score that one if he plays
Charlotte Marshall Draw 1-1
OK, time to prove how bad I am at predictions!
So it seems we’ve come out of the international break reasonably unscathed (thank you football gods) and with Liverpool without Gerrard, Škrtel and apparently asking Sturridge to ‘play through the pain’ it sounds like we’ve certainly got the upper hand in terms of personnel.
We’ve been on a great run of form recently and with second place looking more and more obtainable each week, I’d hope we’ll hit the ground running and pick up three points.
However I’m predicting a 1-1 draw, because, Arsenal.