Arsenal will bid to extend its unbeaten run to 11 games when it heads to Anfield to take on Liverpool at the weekend.
The Gunners began the season with three consecutive defeats, piling pressure upon manager Mikel Arteta. Since then, they have secured six wins and two draws from their subsequent eight Premier League matches, while beating AFC Wimbledon and Leeds in the EFL Cup.
Arsenal is now up to fifth in the table, just two points behind Liverpool. Victory on Saturday would send it into the top four, but Arsenal has a poor recent record against Liverpool, so that looks a little unlikely.
Liverpool FC vs. Arsenal FC
Saturday, November 20, 2021 – 12:30 PM EST at Anfield
Liverpool Dominates Head-to-Heads
Liverpool eased to a 3-1 victory over Arsenal when the teams met at Anfield last season. Alexandre Lacazette handed the Gunners a surprise lead, but Jurgen Klopp’s men struck back through Sadio Mané, Andy Robertson, and Diogo Jota.
The Reds were missing defenders Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, and Joe Gomez for the reverse fixture at the Emirates in April, but they still clinched a 3-0 win. It was delicately poised at 0-0 with 26 minutes remaining, but two late goals from Jota and a Mohamed Salah strike settled matters.
Liverpool has seven wins, four draws, and just one defeat from its last 12 Premier League games against Arsenal.
Liverpool’s Defense Stutters
The Reds welcomed Van Dijk, Matip, and Gomez back from injury at the start of the current season, which instantly made them title contenders once again.
Liverpool began the season with an unbeaten run of 16 games, but it slumped to a shock 3-2 defeat to West Ham in its last match. It drew 2-2 with Brighton in its previous Premier League game, meaning it has conceded four times in two matches.
The defense no longer looks quite so formidable, and even the normally reliable goalkeeper Alisson has been making errors.
The defeat to West Ham left Liverpool four points behind Premier League leader Chelsea and one point behind Manchester City and the Hammers. Klopp will be desperate for his team to return to winning ways on Saturday.
Liverpool will be missing midfielders Naby Keïta and James Milner for this game, as both men have hamstring injuries. Thiago Alcantara or Curtis Jones could come into the midfield alongside Jordan Henderson and Fabinho provided the Brazilian makes it back from Brazil in one piece.
Roberto Firmino is also out injured for Liverpool. Klopp will probably go for a front three of Salah, Jota, and Mané, but Mané picked up a minor knock while representing Senegal, so he may need to turn to Divock Origi or Takumi Minamino.
Arsenal boss Arteta will hope that Thomas Partey recovers from injury in time for this crucial game. He missed the 1-0 win against Watford before the international break with an injury.
Granit Zhaka is already a long-term absentee, so Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Albert Sambi Lokonga could continue in an inexperienced midfield.
Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Martin Ødegaard should all be fit to start in attack.
Liverpool absolutely deserves to be the favorite to win this game, but the odds look unappealing when you consider that Arsenal is unbeaten since August. BetMGM has just -225 on a Liverpool win, while Bet365 will only go to -250.
FanDuel has -115 on Arsenal +1.25 on the Asian handicap line, which is tempting, as the Gunners look a lot more solid in defense this season, and they could keep this one close.
FanDuel also has +100 on the second half being the highest scoring half. That looks like a good option too, as we are coming off a two-week international break, and it could take a while for this game to heat up.
Yet the best option could be both teams to score at -145 with BetMGM. Liverpool’s defense has looked uncharacteristically leaky of late, and Arsenal has the weapons to open it up, but it is very hard to imagine the Gunners keeping a clean sheet.
Soccer Pick: Both Teams to Score (-145) at BetMGM