Arsenal travel to league leaders Liverpool on Saturday, with the ominous task of trying to bounce back from a draw against Brighton by getting a result against the most in-form team in the country.
Clearly, Unai Emery will want to go full strength at Anfield, as anything less will make it pretty much impossible to get a result. There are still a number of injuries for him to deal with though, with multiple formations possible depending on who is available, so it’s not entirely straightforward.
Let’s have a look at our predicted lineup for the clash (that was written before it was announced that Mesut Ozil would be staying at home with a ‘knee’ injury):
1. Goalkeeper and Defence
Shkodran Mustafi is the key piece of the puzzle in defence. If he’s available, Arsenal may well go for three at the back, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny starting alongside the German. However, considering he couldn’t even make the squad against Brighton, we don’t expect him to be starting against Liverpool three days later.
As a result, Unai Emery still doesn’t have enough centre-backs to make a back-three work, so a back-four seems more likely. Koscielny and Sokratis should start in the middle, with Sead Kolasinac keeping his place on the left, as Nacho Monreal is also struggling with injury and the Bosnian defender in good form.
On the right, Hector Bellerin is still out, and Stephan Lichtsteiner performed terribly against Brighton, playing the full 90 minutes. Therefore, it makes the most sense for Ainsley Maitland-Niles to start at right-back.
In goal, Bernd Leno should start over Petr Cech once again.
Click ‘Next’ for Midfield, Forwards and the full Predicted Starting XI
Arsenal vs Liverpool Betting Tips
Arsenal and Liverpool have both scored at least one goal in nine of the last 11 matches between the two sides. Bet on both teams to score with 138.co.uk at 6/10.
There have been at least four goals in Anfield clashes between Arsenal and Liverpool on each of the last five occasions. Bet on over 3.5 goals with 138.co.uk at 6/5.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the Premier League’s top scorer, with three goals in his last two games. His last goal against Liverpool came in the first 10 minutes of the match, and he opened the scoring against both Burnley and Brighton. Bet on Aubameyang to score first with 138.co.uk at 11/2.
Prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal (15/2 with 138.co.uk).