Anfield will witness the latest test of Arsenal’s title credentials as the Gunners travel to face Liverpool. It has been a tough season for the home side, as they have been way off the levels they have displayed in previous campaigns. However, they have recorded some impressive victories at home and they will want to show that they can still compete with the best teams in the Premier League. It is an opportunity to put a dent in another team’s title challenge and they will be keen to do that.
Jurgen Klopp will know that the upcoming summer will be huge. If they fail to qualify for the Champions League, it will make it difficult for them to rehaul the squad in the way many supporters expect them to. Their revenues will be hit and there will be pressure on FSG to fund the rebuild, which is not a guarantee. Liverpool are ten points off the Champions League. There is very little margin for error now, which means they can’t afford to lose this weekend.
Arsenal have been excellent this season, but they will know that there is still a lot of work to be done to clinch the league title. Manchester City are back to their fluent best under Pep Guardiola and it is possible that the current champions don’t drop another point this season. They have certainly had similar runs of form in previous seasons. The trip to Anfield is a difficult one, but Arsenal need to win to keep their points gap. Arteta will be hoping that his side can deliver a big performance on Sunday.
Liverpool have won their last six home league matches against Arsenal, scoring 22 goals in the process.
If Arsenal win on Sunday, it will be their first league double over Liverpool since the 2009-10 season.
It hasn’t been as good a first season as Darwin Nunez would have hoped. He has carried a big threat in the matches that he has played, but he hasn’t been consistent in his finishing and there has been a period of acclimatisation. The next couple of months will be crucial for him, as there is an opportunity to find his rhythm ahead of the summer. If he can get some confidence into his game, he could be a real asset for Liverpool next season. Klopp will know that his summer signing has areas to work on, but he does cause chaos in the final third. Opposition teams don’t enjoy playing against the Uruguayan striker and it does seem to be a matter of time before he finds his consistency in England. In the Premier League, he has contributed eight goals and three assists. Nunez will be looking to reach double figures for goals at the very least. If he and the team can put together a run of form, he has the quality to reach 15. Arsenal have been a good defensive team this season, but Nunez can have a big impact this weekend.
After being put on the bench last weekend, it would be a surprise if Bukayo Saka isn’t recalled to the starting eleven. He has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season and Saka will be keen to end the campaign in good form. If Arsenal are to go on and win the title, Saka needs to remain at his current high level. The England international has contributed 12 goals and ten assists in the league. No other player has reached double digits for both goals and assists. That underlines the dual threat that he carries in the final third. Liverpool’s defence has been vulnerable in recent weeks, as they have conceded a lot of chances. Saka will be relishing the opportunity to face them this weekend. There will be opportunities for him to add to his goals and assists.
Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara are both doubts for the weekend. Luis Diaz is nearing a return to action and could return to the matchday squad.
William Saliba could be back for Arsenal after a back injury. Eddie Nketiah remains on the sidelines, while Takehiro Tomiyasu will be missing for the rest of the season.
It is difficult to look at these two sides’ recent performances and not believe that Arsenal will win this weekend. However, Liverpool do have a knack of delivering in the big matches at home, with the recent 7-0 win over Manchester United being the best example of that. Arsenal are a level above though, so Liverpool will need to raise their performance. It should be a great watch for the neutral with goals expected at both ends. A draw won’t do a lot for either team, but it could be the likely result.
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal