Arsenal v Liverpool: Premier League Match Preview
Arsenal host Liverpool in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium tonight (7.45pm kick-off UK time).
The Gunners go into tonight’s match in 5th position in the Premier League table, with 33 points from 18 matches.
Arsenal have won 13 of their last 14 home Premier League games, losing the other to Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger’s side have scored in 23 consecutive Premier League home matches since a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough in October 2016.
The Gunners have only earned one point from four games this season against the four teams currently above them in the table, in a 0-0 draw at Chelsea in September.
Liverpool are one place above their hosts in the Premier League table, with 34 points from 18 matches.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last nine games in the Premier League (won six, drawn three) – their best run since an 11-match streak ended in November 2016.
No side has scored more first-half Premier League goals this season than Liverpool’s 19, although Manchester City have also scored 19 in the first half.
They could keep three consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time this season.
Liverpool have scored at least three goals in each of their four Premier League matches against Arsenal under Jurgen Klopp, netting 14 in total (W3 D1).
Liverpool won the reverse fixture 4-0 at Anfield on 27th August, with goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge.
The Reds also did the double over the Gunners last season.
Winning 4-3 at the Emirates Stadium on 14th August 2016 and 3-1 at Anfield on 4th March 2017.
Jack Wilshere has started consecutive Premier League games for Arsenal for the first time since May 2015. If he starts tonight it will be the first time he has started three consecutive Premier League matches for Arsenal since September to October 2014.
Mesut Ozil has been directly involved in six goals in his last five Premier League games at the Emirates (two goals, four assists).
Petr Cech will set a Premier League record of 200 clean sheets with his next Premier League clean shut-out.
Mohamed Salah has become the first Liverpool player to score 20 goals before Christmas since Ian Rush in 1986-87.
Sadio Mane can become only the fifth player to score in four consecutive Premier League appearances against Arsenal, after Tomasz Radzinski and Peter Beardsley (four in a row) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Harry Kane (five).
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be keen to impress on his first return to the Emirates Stadium since his summer move to Liverpool.
“I believe that Liverpool is very good going forward so you need overall a good defensive performance.
“I have to analyse that well and you have to guess a little bit who will play [for Liverpool]. It is not always the same – it depends on their personnel.
“They have plenty of offensive players and, looking at them recently, they have changed a lot their teams so it is difficult to guess. But I will try to see what I do. For me, the most important thing is we turn up with a positive performance.
“We have been strong at home and it is important we continue to dictate our game at home.
“When you have such a long career as I have, you have some defeats unfortunately that hurt you for the rest of your life.
“When you can put things right, do it. So let’s focus on what is in front of us and turn up on Friday night with a completely different performance.
“The motivation is there. This squad has a good mentality and it is about us, to make sure we are on top of our game. We must play with pace and a determined attitude.”
“They (Arsenal) are able to do everything. They can change styles, they played a lot of long balls against us. Whoever will play, they have a strong side.
“I’m not sure there are a lot of similarities (between the teams). A lot of the time against us, Giroud played from the beginning. That says a lot of Arsenal’s style against us.
“They are a complete side, able to do everything. Giroud can’t play, but they have a lot of good, good footballers on the pitch. We have to defend them and use any spaces we can find. We go there to perform and get as much as we can.
“On one hand we have to defend in the best game we can and if there are any gaps we have to use them. We go there to perform and get as much as we can.
“We are a team that is very offensive-orientated, but that doesn’t mean you have to give any space away. The boys do the jobs now much more often.”
Olivier Giroud joins Aaron Ramsey on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Neither are expected to return until January 2018, at the earliest.
Francis Coquelin should be available after picking up a knock in the Carabao Cup quarter-final win over West Ham on Tuesday and Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) is also fit to return.
Emre Can returns after serving a suspension.
Joel Matip is back in training, but won’t play tonight.
Daniel Sturridge has been ill but could be back in the matchday squad.
Alberto Moreno (ankle) and Nathaniel Clyne (back) are both still sidelined.
Adam Lallana is fit and available for selection. He made a substitute appearance in the 4-0 win over AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Stephen Child, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Stuart Attwell
Arsenal to win 2-1.