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Hansen & Barnes On Liverpool v Arsenal

John Barnes and Alan Hansen, pundits for the New Football Pools on tonight's game between Liverpool and Arsenal.

John Barnes says:

'The Liverpool v Arsenal game promises to be an exciting clash but whether it`s a must win game I`m not so sure. This is Liverpool`s hardest remaining game on paper and Rafa Benitez`s side are more than capable of winning all their remaining games, so a draw would not be the end of the world. Obviously a lot depends on Manchester United but to win this game would keep the pressure on Sir Alex`s side and means they won`t be allowed any breathing space.

I honestly think Liverpool will win the game with Arsenal likely to be a little weary mentally and physically after the late heartbreak of semi-final defeat to Chelsea only 3 days ago. Rafa and his side will have had a few extra days rest which could prove a factor but I`m sure they`d swap the rest to still be in the Champions League. Also the Gunners will be missing a few players both in attack and defence so will be under-strength as a result.

If you throw in the fact that Arsene Wenger has a two-legged Champions League semi-final with Manchester United to prepare for then he may want to make sure his big stars are fully fit and ready for that one. After all, a top 4 place looks pretty much assured so the Champions League must be Arsenal`s priority. However, Arsene will also want to maintain his young side`s momentum of 18-matches unbeaten in the Premier League ahead of that tie as two defeats on the trot could seriously dent their confidence. It`s hard to chop and change a side without losing rhythm so it`s a difficult one to foresee what Arsene will do team-wise.

Arsenal are always a tough team to beat but a win tonight for Liverpool would maintain the pressure on a weary looking United side prior to their home match on Wednesday night against Portsmouth.'

Alan Hansen says that tonight is a 'must win' for Liverpool if they want to put pressure on Manchester United adding:

'In fact, this game is no different to any of Liverpool`s remaining games, they are all must win matches. Every game has the same significance as all have 3 points up for grabs. If Rafa Benitez`s side don`t win then United will gain renewed confidence going into their match with Portsmouth on Wednesday. Therefore, Liverpool need to take the points to put a seed of doubt into the minds of the United players entering a match you`d expect Sir Alex`s team to win.

Arsenal will be a tough test; after all, they`re unbeaten in their last 18 league games. However, after being knocked out of the cup at the weekend and with one eye on their Champions League semi this may be a good time to play them. You just don`t know what will happen in this game. It`s a tricky one for Arsene Wenger as he`ll want to maintain his team`s momentum but will also try to strike a balance between resting those that need it but not at the expense of his young side`s confidence.

Liverpool`s extra few days rest may prove a factor in the result of this game as will the home side`s form at Anfield in recent weeks. Rafa`s side just need to repeat what they`ve been doing in front of the Kop as they`ve done exceptionally well in the last 5 or 6 games matches apart from the Chelsea Champions League defeat.

I would expect a high-tempo entertaining game but with Liverpool needing the win more than the Gunners, I would expect Rafa`s team to grab all 3 points and return to the top of the Premier League. Then it`s up to Manchester United to respond to the challenge. Game on!'

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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 21 2009

Time: 4:40PM

Your Comments

Surprise, Suprise that both Hansen and Barnes think that Liverpool will beat us. And what's with "Liverpool need the 3pts more than the Gunners" quote from Hansen. We want to keep our unbeaten run in the Prem going, and what better way to get ready to face Man utd than beating their nearest rivals.
hackneyval
Surprise, Suprise that both Hansen and Barnes think that Liverpool will beat us. And what's with "Liverpool need the 3pts more than the Gunners" quote from Hansen. We want to keep our unbeaten run in the Prem going, and what better way to get ready to face Man utd than beating their nearest rivals.
hackneyval
I am so happy everyone thinks we will lose some of the pool fans are forecasting a 6 1 hammering. Never enjoy it when we are the favorites. Go you gunners and Nick just show what your made of. Expect and hope Gibbs has another good game.
alwaysgunner
I am so happy everyone thinks we will lose some of the pool fans are forecasting a 6 1 hammering. Never enjoy it when we are the favorites. Go you gunners and Nick just show what your made of. Expect and hope Gibbs has another good game.
alwaysgunner
ag, are you serious about the pool fans actually thinking they'll hammer us?? They seriously need to get over themselves.
jaelle
ag, are you serious about the pool fans actually thinking they'll hammer us?? They seriously need to get over themselves.
jaelle
jaelle, yep general opinion is we have no chance.
alwaysgunner
jaelle, yep general opinion is we have no chance.
alwaysgunner
well, ag, they're complete morons.
jaelle
well, ag, they're complete morons.
jaelle
AG where did you get that from because it wasn't from vital liverpool...... i think the biggest score line must have been mine what was 2-0 which i thought was a fair result considering that you had so many players out so i know that you never got it from us at vital liverpool............
muffdaddy1983
AG where did you get that from because it wasn't from vital liverpool...... i think the biggest score line must have been mine what was 2-0 which i thought was a fair result considering that you had so many players out so i know that you never got it from us at vital liverpool............
muffdaddy1983
 

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