MX23RW : Friday, January 18 23:07:27
Dec 22, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 59,409
Sanchez (53'), Xhaka (56'), Ozil (58')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Coutinho (26'), Salah (52'), Firmino (71')

Preview: Arsenal vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Liverpool.

Arsenal play host to Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night with just one point separating the two teams in the Premier League table.

Liverpool make the trip to North London having thrashed Bournemouth by a 4-0 scoreline, but Arsenal have kept clean sheets in their last three fixtures in all competitions.


Arsene Wenger watches on during the Europa League group game between Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade on November 2, 2017© SilverHub

The chant of '1-0 to the Arsenal' may not catch on in modern-day football but it is a scoreline which has helped Arsenal get their campaign back on track over the past week.

The club's supporters would have expected far more comfortable wins over the likes of Newcastle United and West Ham United, but the results ended a run of three matches without success ahead of an important period of the season.

The match-winning goals could not have been much different, with Mesut Ozil netting a stunning volley against the Magpies and Danny Welbeck converting a scrappy goal from close range against the Hammers in the EFL Cup quarter-finals, but boss Arsene Wenger will be grateful that his side have at least started to generate some momentum.

The Frenchman will naturally have concerns over the form of his attacking players with Alexis Sanchez not scoring in 355 minutes of football and Alexandre Lacazette not netting in his last two starts, but Arsenal continue to create a whole host of clear-cut opportunities and it is only a matter of time before they are converted on a more regular basis.

What will impress Wenger is his side's recent defensive record, with six clean sheets being registered in eight matches in all competitions, including three in a row since looking all at sea in the opening 15 minutes of the 1-1 draw at Southampton.

After Liverpool, Arsenal must face in-form Crystal Palace and Chelsea - either side of a trip to struggling West Bromwich Albion - but for now, full focus will be on trying to gain the victory which will take the club back into the top four in the standings.

Recent form: WWLDDW
Recent form (all competitions): LWDDWW


Jurgen Klopp celebrates during the Champions League playoff between Liverpool and Hoffenheim on August 23, 2017© SilverHub

The past three matches have summed up life for Liverpool supporters under Jurgen Klopp but when everything comes together like it did against Bournemouth last weekend, it will inevitably raise question marks as to why the Merseyside giants are not producing their best on a regular basis.

Liverpool were favourites to prevail on the south coast but by scoring four goals without reply against the Cherries, they became the first side to score more than two goals in a match against Eddie Howe's men since the September 9, a period stretching 15 matches. This was achieved in 44 minutes.

On the flip side, the ruthless performance will infuriate fans having witnessed back-to-back draws against Everton and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield, results which have kept Liverpool in the pack competing for a top-four place.

Klopp must contend with having to play four matches in the space of 11 days - a schedule which will likely bring more rotation - but with bottom-of-the-table Swansea City coming up on Boxing Day, the German will surely look at fielding his in-form players at the Emirates.

The trio of Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino should all feature on the teamsheet, with 25 goals and 11 assists coming between them in the Premier League this season, but Klopp has a decision to make over the involvement of the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane.

Former Gunner Oxlade-Chamberlain has been praised by his manager for his recent performances and will be eager to face his old club, but Mane was rested last weekend and will want to prove a point at a ground where he starred on his Reds debut last season.

Recent form: DWWDDW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWDDW

Team News

Olivier Giroud on his knees during the Europa League group game between Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade on November 2, 2017© Offside

Arsenal will be without the services of Olivier Giroud on Friday night after the French forward suffered a hamstring injury in the EFL Cup.

Aaron Ramsey also continues to recover from the same problem and will not be involved, but defender Shkodran Mustafi is expected to feature in the squad after a thigh injury.

Jack Wilshere is likely to take his place in midfield for a third successive top-flight match having been rested for the League Cup tie in midweek.

Klopp must assess the fitness of defender Joel Matip, who returned to training ahead of the Bournemouth game, while Daniel Sturridge remains a doubt through injury and having dropped down the pecking order in recent weeks.

Alberto Moreno will also remain on the sidelines, but Emre Can is available again after suspension and Adam Lallana is pushing for a start after his substitute outing at the Vitality Stadium.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Wilshere, Iwobi; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson; Can, Henderson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coutinho, Salah; Firmino

Head To Head

Friday's showdown will represent the 224th meeting between the two teams in a competitive match, with Liverpool claiming 86 victories in comparison to 78 wins for Arsenal.

Liverpool only hold a slender advantage from a historical standpoint, but Klopp's side are unbeaten in their last five contests with Arsenal, with two of those games taking place in North London.

Last season's corresponding fixture took place on the opening day of the campaign as Liverpool ran out 4-3 winners with Coutinho, Lallana and Mane all getting on the scoresheet.

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We say: Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool

Given Arsenal's strong record at the Emirates, it is difficult to back against the Gunners on Friday night but they face a Liverpool attack who relish playing away from home. Goals are almost guaranteed, but we are going to predict a share of the spoils in an entertaining clash.

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Who will win Friday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Liverpool?

Olivier Giroud on his knees during the Europa League group game between Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade on November 2, 2017
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