Arsenal and Liverpool to Entertain on Sunday

By on April 15, 2011

With two games in four days, Arsenal have an opportunity to close the gap on Premier League leaders Manchester United. Standing in their way this weekend is an in-form Liverpool side under Kenny Dalglish, off the back of a 3-0 thumping of Manchester City on Monday night. Arsenal only recorded their first win since February 23rd (excluding Leyton Orient in the FA Cup) last weekend when they defeated Blackpool 3-1 at Bloomfield Road. Will that give them the momentum they need to pick up 3 points at the Emirates on Sunday?

Liverpool haven’t had too much luck on the road of late, losing 2-1 to Roy Hodgson’s West Brom last time out, and a 3-1 defeat at West Ham at the end of February. In between they did record a 2-0 victory at Sunderland. They did however record a 1-0 victory over an, albeit lacklustre Chelsea side earlier this year.

Both sides have defensive weaknesses which I expect to make for an exciting end-to-end battle at the Emirates. Robin van Persie’s quick feet, lethal left foot and his eye for goal will cause problems to both Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel in the middle of defence. With the returning Fabio Aurelio likely to play at left back and the inexperienced John Flanagan looking to play his second consecutive game at right back after making his debut on Monday, Arsenal could look down the flanks to get the ball to Robin van Persie inside the 6 yard box. Both Samir Nasri and Andrey Arshavin’s tight dribbling should cause the Liverpool full backs problems, while Arsenal’s own Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna enjoy overlapping.

Lucas, Jay Spearing and Raul Meireles will have to combine to prevent Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere running the show in the centre of midfield.

Going forward for Liverpool, I fancy both Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll to cause this Arsenal defence problems. Dirk Kuyt has 9 Premier League goals this season too. Andy Carroll scored Newcastle’s winner at the Emirates earlier this season, thanks to a mistake from Manuel Almunia. His height, physical game and aerial ability will cause Arsenal problems with the right service.

Luis Suarez is quick and nifty and I can picture him winning a penalty off Jens Lehmann as Blackpool almost did last weekend (only for the ref to play on and Blackpool to score). I expect the Uruguayan to have a big impact in this game, and hope he stays on his feet.

Arsenal are desperate for 3 points to keep their title challenge alive before they travel to White Hart Lane midweek, 24 hours after Manchester United face Newcastle.

Although I believe Liverpool would be better in the long run if they didn’t qualify for the Europa League, Kenny Dalglish is a passionate man who enjoys European competition, so no doubt he’ll go for the 3 points (now expect to hear conspiracy theories from Manchester United fans).

With van Persie, Fabregas, Nasri, Suarez, Carroll and Kuyt coming up against liable defences, Betfair are being kind offering 1.86 that both teams score on Sunday. When these two teams met on opening weekend, the game finished 1-1. And that was with a defence-minded Roy Hodgson in charge of Liverpool…

Written by Premiership Tips

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