Having finished last season in the perfect way by lifting the FA Cup, Arsenal have got off to a dream start to the 2020-21 campaign.
With a Community Shield triumph and two wins from two in the Premier League, there is a sense of unanimous positivity around the Emirates Stadium that has not been seen for years.
Mikel Arteta has got the Gunners rolling, but a trip to the home of the champions beckons on Monday night, and it has proven to be the most difficult place to go for every team in the country. Particularly Arsenal, who have not beaten Liverpool at Anfield since 2012.
Bet365 have got Liverpool priced as 1/2 favourites, which is incidentally the same price that the Reds went off at against Arsenal at Anfield last year. The similarities don’t end there, as it was also the third league fixture of the season.
Following the 3-1 defeat, Unai Emery would have one more visit to Merseyside as the Gunners’ boss, but it was another one to forget. Having led 3-1 in the EFL Cup tie, Arsenal couldn’t get over the line, losing on penalties after a crazy 5-5 draw.
Both sides have been on the rise ever since their October thriller. Multiple pieces of silverware have been added to each of their cabinets, and their transfer business has seen both squads improved.
It would be a bold move to back against Liverpool now that they appear to be over their post-Lockdown dip in form, but it is also fair to say that there might be some value in backing Arsenal at 19/4, or 10/3 to come away from Anfield with a draw.
When the teams met in north London in July, Arsenal were not only able to capitalise on Liverpool’s defensive errors to go into the break 2-1 up, but they survived the champions’ late onslaught to hold onto all three points.
The Reds had 79% of the second-half possession on July 15th, but the Gunners’ defensive organisation secured the victory. Klopp now has world-class playmaker Thiago Alcantara at his disposal following his move from Bayern Munich, and the Spaniard, who could start on Monday night, has the quality that will undoubtedly give Liverpool a better chance of unlocking defences going forward.
Arsenal’s defence has also been upgraded, though, with new signing Gabriel needing absolutely no time to settle into the Gunners’ back three. With a breadth of attacking options too, Arteta will surely take encouragement from what Leeds United did at Anfield on the first day of the season, and will feel they can impose themselves on the Liverpool back line.
The odds suggest that goals are expected in the upcoming fixture, with over 2.5 goals a short price at 1/2 and over 3.5 at 11/8. Before their 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday, ‘both teams to score’ had landed in Liverpool’s six previous league encounters, so it is no surprise to see the odds at 8/13 for each team to oblige on Monday night.
Mohamed Salah has the shortest price for anytime goalscorer at 4/5, while it is a surprise to see Arsenal’s prolific forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as big as 39/20 with 888sport.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah were on target in the Gunners’ 2-1 win over West Ham United, and they can be snapped up at 14/5 and 10/3 respectively to find the net at against Liverpool.