Liverpool v Arsenal Betting Preview
Back Arsenal to extend their Premier League advantage with a win
He may not have had the immediate, explosive effect that many Liverpool fans had hoped for, but Jurgen Klopp has certainly steadied the ship at Liverpool since he took charge back in October with ten wins in his first 20 games. The Reds are currently eighth in the league with 30 points, but sit only three points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and six off the top four. After resting ten first-team players for the club’s FA third round tie against Exeter City on Friday, Klopp will be hoping that his re-energised squad will be able to take advantage of an Arsenal side who played a day later with a full-strength side.
However, Liverpool have only won three of their last eight games in all competitions, and have failed to find the net more than once in seven of their last nine. The team is struggling to find goals, something that isn’t helped by the prolonged absence of Daniel Sturridge, who is unlikely to feature on Wednesday night. Despite failing to put together an impressive run of results of late, Liverpool will head into the game with only two home defeats to their name all season, the last coming back in November when Crystal Palace inflicted Klopp’s first defeat as head coach. They haven’t played at Anfield since Boxing Day, but I think the Liverpool faithful will have to wait even longer to see their side claim three more points – I’m backing Arsenal to win.
On the other hand, Arsenal’s form of late has been emphatic. Arsene Wenger’s side have won seven of their last eight in all competitions, with a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Southampton being the only blemish during that period. The Gunners are top of the Premier League table after 20 games with 42 points, two ahead of high-flying Leicester City in second, and will be hoping for another victory on Wednesday night in order to keep up the momentum in their fight for a first Premier League title in 12 years.
Arsenal come into the tie on the back of three consecutive wins in all competitions, including their 3-1 win over Sunderland at the Emirates on Saturday in their third round FA Cup meeting. Despite falling behind to an early goal from Jeremain Lens, Wenger’s men recovered well and eased comfortably into the fourth round. However, Arsenal have only won two of their previous six games away from home in all competitions, and this form could prove to be their undoing on Wednesday night. In my opinion Liverpool are not playing well enough to cause Arsenal any serious problems, and I expect Wenger’s men to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
It’s fair to say that Liverpool have struggled in recent years against Arsenal, winning only two of the last 17 encounters between the two sides. Arsenal have won eight of those games and are unbeaten in their last four. The two teams played out a 0-0 draw back in August, which means Arsenal haven’t recorded a victory at Anfield since 2012 – but I expect that to change in two days’ time.
To score at any time – Olivier Giroud 7/5
The Frenchman has 16 goals to his name in all competitions this season and is enjoying some of his best form under Arsene Wenger. He netted against Sunderland on Saturday, and will be hoping to add to his tally on Wednesday night after finding the net in three of his last seven appearances against Liverpool. I recommend backing odds of 7/5 for Giroud to score at any time.
Both teams to score – No 5/4
This is a nip-and-tuck market. Both teams have found the net in five of the last seven meetings between the two, and in four of the last five at Anfield, however a dull 0-0 draw back in August suggests that there’ll be little in the way of clear-cut chances on Wednesday. Liverpool have only scored four in their last six Premier League matches, and I think they’ll struggle to find the net when they come up against the third best defence in the division. In my opinion, odds of 5/4 for a no vote are very appealing.
Match odds – Arsenal 29/20
The North London side are favourites to take all three points on Wednesday night, priced at 29/20, and it is unsurprising considering the recent form of the two sides. You can pick up odds of 2/1 for a Liverpool win, who as we saw with their 5-1 win over Arsenal back in 2014, are more than capable of producing a shock result. The draw, which in my opinion is the most likely result to jeopardise my prediction, is priced at 5/2.
Writer’s Prediction: Liverpool 0 – 2 Arsenal
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.