Another big weekend of football coming up and the game of the weekend is Liverpool v Arsenal. The early kick off on Saturday afternoon and Liverpool may be without their captain and talisman Steven Gerrard after he was withdrawn from the England V Netherlands game after a third of the game and the influential centre back Daniel Agger. The Dutch risked van Persie who managed to complete a half so he should be fit to play in this massive game for both sides.
With a race for fourth spot involving four teams this game is pivotal. A draw would probably benefit Arsenal so that they can maintain their gap however a win is a must for Liverpool. This is the first game for Kenny Dalglish as manager against Arsenal at Anfield since he returned as Roy Hodgson managed last seasons game.
Arsenal have a good record at Anfield and haven’t lost in their last four visits boasting a win and three draws. They’ve claimed a 2-1 victory, two 1-1 draws and the classic 4-4 draw from 2009. Liverpool’s last win in this fixture, in the Premier League, was on 31st March 2007, when Peter Crouch scored a hat trick to help Liverpool to a 4-1 victory, which is a little under five years ago. The Carling Cup winners will be looking to turn this record around this season having beaten Arsenal at the Emirates 2-0 earlier this season and will look to do the double over their 4th spot rivals.
The overall record for both sides in all competitions is as follows:
So let’s go back over the last three seasons and look at some of the statistics from each of the games from our Quick Match Stats Centre which you can all gain acces to by subscribing! Subscribe Now!
Liverpool v Arsenal 2008/09 Stats
This game was the famous 4-4 draw at Anfield that eventually cost Liverpool a chance at the title. A win in this game would have heaped pressure on Manchester United in the last few weeks of the season unfortunately they couldn’t beat Arsenal and one man show from, the now departed, Andrey Arshavin ensured that the Gunners took away a point from Anfield.
Below you will find the statistics from the game. We’ve chosen the passing and shooting statistics in this game which should give you a fair reflection of what happened. Liverpool had an enormous amount of attempts at goal whilst Arsenal managed to dispatch 50% of theirs!
Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas were the top passers for their respective sides both now plying their trade in Spain for arch rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. This was most possibly Liverpool’s best side in recent memory and they were firing on all cylinders with Torres and Gerrard being the catalysts that year (although Gerrard did not play in this game). Most accurate passers were Riera for Liverpool and Silvestre for Arsenal, both having left either club.
As shown above Arsenal scored four goals from just eight shots – an incredible statistic. Liverpool managed four from twenty-six shots. They managed four times the shots of Arsenal in this game. It’s also worth noting that Yossi Benayoun scored two goals against his current club in this fixture.
Liverpool v Arsenal 2009/10 Stats
In a tight affair Andrey Arshavin and Dirk Kuyt got the goals but the difference was an own goal which resulted in Arsenal taking home all three points. The defences were on top in this game which had both sides attempt only nine shots each with a joint seven on target (4-3 in Arsenal’s favour). So let’s give the defenders some credit and look at the defensive statistics from this game:
As the stats show above Javier Mascherano and Denilson managed 46 out of the 140 duels between themselves with Denilson winning 57% of his and Mascherano winning 52%. Both players won 100% of their tackles (6 for Mascherano, 4 for Denilson) and Mascherano even won all three of his aerial duels in comparison to a win percentage of 50% for Denilson.
So defences were on top, mainly the Arsenal defence who won 84% of their 19 tackles to thwart Liverpool and take home the three points.
Liverpool v Arsenal 2010/11 Stats
Last season’s game at Anfield kicked off the season for both teams so both were looking to impress. This was Roy Hodgson’s first home game of the season and it saw Arsenal dominate heavily due to Joe Cole being sent off in the first half. Liverpool played with 10 men in the second half and even managed to take the lead. What was looking like a smash and grab victory turned into a draw, once again, with Pepe Reina being credited with an own goal in this one.
Arsenal dominated with 17 shots to Liverpool’s 8 and their passing is where the domination is predominantly shown:
Arsenal attempted 536 passes to Liverpool’s 303 and had a pass accuracy of 86% compared to Liverpool’s 74%. Obviously Liverpool being down to ten men is a major reason in this also. So this was another tight game that both sides found difficult to score in, most likely because of Liverpool shutting up shop once going down to ten men and then gaining a surprising lead.
Liverpool v Arsenal 2011/12 Prediction
We’re inclined to say that the result this weekend will also be a low scoring draw however judging by the results this season, and with Arsenal being involved in a lot of them, we just cannot predict what will happen on Saturday afternoon. Arsenal have taken an 8-2 beating but then dished out 5-3 and 5-2 hammerings themselves, all games against sides that you would usually not see so many goals.
The loss of Agger and Gerrard will make it difficult for Liverpool however a low score draw may still be the likely scenario here, much will depend on the fitness of Robin van Persie and whether Liverpool’s strikers can start to find a finishing touch.
All of the Opta stats in this article are from the EPLIndex.com Stats Centre (Quick Match Stats). To gain access to this service you can subscribe here (£3.95 per month): Subscribe Now!