Liverpool v Arsenal Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
August 20, 2019
Anfield - Premier League
The Premier League's top two face off on Saturday afternoon, as Liverpool host Arsenal, with one side set to lose their 100% record. Early wins for both sides have put them in a strong position, but this weekend poses their first real test of the campaign.
Anfield does not hold good recent memories for Arsenal, who have lost their past two games 5-1 and 4-0. The most recent saw a hattrick from Roberto Firmino and goals from Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane, despite Ainsley Maitland-Niles opening the scoring.
Jurgen Klopp is without Naby Keita, but should be able to restore captain Jordan Henderson to the line up, having rested the midfielder against Southampton. The manager is expected to start his trusted front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip battling it out for the second centre-back spot alongside Virgil Van Dyke.
Unai Emery is without his first choice full-backs due to injuries to Hector Bellerin and new-signing Keiran Tiernay. Granit Xhaka also remains out, meaning a midfield trio including last game's man-of-the-match Dani Ceballos, Matteo Guendouzi and either Joe Willock or Lucas Torreira.
Liverpool v Arsenal Predicitons and Previews
With six points each on the board, Liverpool and Arsenal will know that Saturday's game could have a significant impact on their early-season form. For the home side, a defeat would further push the agenda that the Reds are looking far from last season's level, whilst for Arsenal, losing would bring to an end the brief positivity generated so far.
Klopp in particular will have a lot to manage, with his players struggling through playing an extra game already this season, the Super Cup. Given that this was also the case last season, due to the Champions League and League Cup run, with rotation at a minimum due to a gulf in class between the starting XI and reserves, fatigue could play an issue for Liverpool this season.
For Emery, the problem is different, as his squad if far more balanced, yet to a degree that the manager does not look to have set on his strongest XI. With Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac both missing out I the early season, experiments have been made across defence and midfield, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang the only certainties up front.
Dani Ceballos made a great case against Burnley to add his name to the list of untouchables, but Emery will surely be wary of building his team around a player that is set to rejoin Real Madrid at the end of the season. Similarly, with Bellerin and Tierney out, it hard for the manager to judge the balance of his back line, although he appears to have opted from a centre-back duo of Sokratis Papastothopoulos and David Luiz.
Whether this Arsenal squad is at the level to challenge Liverpool remains to be seen, but fans will hope that at very least they are able to reduce the four goal disparity of the past two meetings. For Liverpool, a win is needed, although the form it comes in is irrelevant, once this game is under their belts, they can rotate the squad and look to reset for the coming season.
Sadio Mane to score anytime at 6/5
Despite playing in the African Cup of Nations, Mane looked sharp against Chelsea and will push on against Maitland-Niles.
Over 2.5 goals at 7/15
If past games are anything to go by this should be a high scoring encounter with both sides getting on the scoresheet.