Saturday’s visit of Liverpool will be a big test for an Arsenal side in brilliant form while Liverpool desperately need a win to carry on fighting for fourth spot.
Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s opponents:
|Record Signing||Andy Carroll (£35M in 2011)|
|Ex Gunners||Kolo Touré|
|Top Scorer||Raheem Sterling/Steven Gerrard (6)|
|Most Assists||Raheem Sterling/Jordan Henderson (7)|
|Most Yellow Cards||Henderson/Gerrard/Martin Skrtel (6)|
|Star Player||Raheem Sterling|
|Biggest Liability||Dejan Lovren|
Style of play
After a torrid start to the season, Brendan Rodgers has settled on a formation which seems to get the best out of his side.
We saw it in its more embryonic stages at Anfield in December, where Liverpool absolutely ran us ragged.
Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho had ‘free roles‘ just off Raheem Sterling up front, and we could not get to grips with them.
Playing three really advanced forwards, plus wingbacks, allows Rodgers to implement the high intensity style that he likes. Liverpool will press with structure and look to outnumber us in the middle of the pitch.
Jordan Henderson has added goals to his all-round play, while Joe Allen has unassumingly grown into his role at the club in the past couple of months.
At the back is where they are vulnerable.
Three centre-backs allow them to play out from the back, but also leaves them open to big diagonal passes and direct attacks. Southampton caused them problems this way, and it was the basis for Manchester United’s victory a fortnight ago.
Season so far
Following the loss of Luis Suárez last summer, Brendan Rodgers embarked on a spending spree.
After losing out to Arsenal in the chase for Alexis Sánchez, Rodgers raided Southampton for Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert. Controversial striker Mario Balotelli was also signed, as was young winger Lazar Marković. Emre Can joined from Bayer Leverkusen, and Spanish defenders Alberto Moreno and Javi Manquillo joined the club near the end of the transfer window.
With so many players to bed in, and some of those signings ill-advised, Liverpool really struggled for the first few months of the season. An injury to Daniel Sturridge left the club overly reliant on the new players as well as young stars Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho.
In December Brendan Rodgers changed to the 3-4-3 described above. Liverpool were ninth in the Premier League beforehand, but have won 10 of their last 15, losing only to Manchester United (twice) in the first, and most recent, games using the new system.
Their form since Christmas has left Liverpool with a shot at Champions League football next season, but with the Reds five points adrift with eight games to go it looks like the fitness of Sterling and Sturridge will be pushed to the limit.
Arsenal’s last 5 results against Liverpool: DWLWD
|League||21/12/2014||(A)||D 2-2||Arsenal: Debuchy (45+1) Giroud (65)
Liverpool: Coutinho (45) Skrtel (90+6)
|FA Cup||16/02/2014||(H)||W 2-1||Arsenal: Oxlade-Chamberlain (16) Podolski (47)
Liverpool: Gerrard (59)
|League||08/02/2014||(A)||L 1-5||Arsenal: Arteta (69)
Liverpool: Skrtel (1, 10) Sterling (17, 52) Sturridge (20)
|League||02/11/2013||(H)||W 2-0||Arsenal: Cazorla (19) Ramsey (59)
|League||30/01/2013||(H)||D 2-2||Arsenal: Giroud (64) Walcott (67)
Liverpool: Suárez (5) Henderson (60)
Record for Arsenal v Liverpool:
Overall record between the two clubs:
Head to Head
Liverpool’s last 5 results: LWDWW
|League||Manchester United||(H)||L 2-1||Sturridge|
|FA Cup||Blackburn||(H)||D 0-0||–|
|League||Burnley||(H)||W 2-0||Henderson, Sturridge|
|League||Manchester City||(H)||W 2-1||Coutinho, Henderson|