Preview: Arsenal v Liverpool
The mighty Arsenal take on the red half of Merseyside on Sunday in a must-win game for both Arsenal and Liverpool if they are to stay in the title race.
Arsenal will be looking for only their third home win in the premiership this season. Only Sheffield Utd and Watford have fallen to Arsenal at Ashburton Grove this season, the score being 3-0 on both occasions.
Liverpool's away form has been even worse than Arsenal's home form this season. The Reds have only 1 point on the road this season after a draw with Sheffield United on the opening day. Don`t let that fool you, Liverpool have played Chelsea, Man United and Bolton in that time. They have also won 5 games in a row in all competitions and kept three clean sheets.
Liverpool are without combative midfielder Momo Sissoko which could see captain Steven Gerrard switch back to the centre of midfield, although Manager Rafa Benitez says that Bolo Zenden is also in contention for that spot. Liverpool have no other injury concerns, that`s more than I can say for Arsenal.
The Gunners will be without Tomas Rosicky for up to two weeks after he pulled a hamstring, Freddie Ljungberg and Baptista as well as long-term absentees Lauren and Abu Diaby. Manuel Almunia has recovered from concussion to take his usual seat on the bench (lucky us).
Liverpool could well come with a similar mentality to all our other visitors this season, that being an 'anti-football' mentality. Although they will have to come out and attack at some point because as I said, this is a must win game for them.
We can expect to see a five man midfield from Liverpool with Kuyt up front on his own. That said, Rafa would do well to play Crouch up front with Kuyt, the two of them have produced 13 goals between them when they have played together this season.
Arsenal will probably line up with a 4-4-2 now that Tomas Rosicky is injured. I expect to see Van Persie on the left with Henry and Adebayor up front. But, IF Wenger decided to go with a 5 man midfield then Young Theo could always start the right and tuck Hleb inside a little....who knows.
There is a little extra incentive for Arsenal to win tomorrow. If we were to lose and Spurs won then they would be level on points with us although we do have a game in hand.
I can't choose just one man to watch for Arsenal tomorrow so I'm choosing two. Terry Henry (That French fella) and our very own Harry Potter - Cesc Fabregas. The pair both seem to turn it on against Liverpool, especially Henry who has 5 goals in his last two games against Liverpool.
The obvious choice for Liverpool would be Steven Gerrard but I'm going to go with Dirk Kuyt. The Dutchman really is flying at the moment and could well cause Toure and co some problems.
I'll put my prediction up on the forum for you all to see. Come on over and have a little look.
Till next time....
Match Preview submitted by Simmy8_2000