Both teams enjoyed spectacular weekends and will go into this match full of confidence.
Liverpool beat Cardiff City on penalties in an exciting and memorable Carling Cup Final to end their six-year wait for a trophy while Arsenal battled from two goals down to defeat arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 in a classic north London derby.
While a trophy in the cabinet is important for Liverpool in terms of progress and morale, they must turn their attentions to something arguably more important which is Champions League qualification.
They head into Saturday’s match in seventh position and as many points behind Arsenal in fourth place. The Reds are now an outside bet to finish in the top four with both Chelsea and Newcastle above them in the reckoning but home advantage is key this weekend.
Liverpool, like Manchester City, are unbeaten at home this season. However, they have won just four out of 12 in front of their home fans, on a par with Blackburn Rovers who sit in the bottom three.
Kenny Dalglish’s side have become draw specialists at Anfield, with eight matches ending all square this season. That is where out attentions will focus on for this particular match because six of the last nine meetings have ended in deadlock, five of which with a 1-1 scoreline.
Arsenal look susceptible on the road and have lost more than they have won – six defeats to five victories, with two draws thrown in for good measure.
Despite netting five goals last Sunday, the Gunners have not scored in three of their last four away matches in all competitions. That said, at Anfield, they find their shooting boots and have scored in their last five Premier League visits. The 2008-09 campaign saw them score four times in a remarkable 4-4 draw.
With Liverpool solid, if not spectacular at home and with eight draws at Anfield already this season combined with the recent draw sequence between these two, another stalemate would not come as a great shock.
Verdict: Draw @ 3.6 (Bet Victor)
- Liverpool @ 2.05 (Boylesports)
- Arsenal @ 3.8 (Betfred)
Due to playing away from home, red-hot Robin Van Persie does not head-up the bookmaker’s first goalscorer list in the betting, with them favouring Liverpool striker Luis Suarez instead. But, with 33 goals in all competitions to his name this season, Van Persie cannot be ignored and he is available to bulge the back of the net first at 6.5 (bet365).
Selected other first goalscorers:
- Luis Suarez @ 6.0 (Sky Bet)
- Craig Bellamy @ 7.5 (Boylesports)
- Andy Carroll @ 8.0 (Paddy Power)
- Steven Gerrard @ 8.5 (Bet Victor)
- Dirk Kuyt @ 10.0 (Sportingbet)
- Maxi Rodriguez @ 12.0 (Paddy Power)
- Gervinho @ 13.0 (Boylesports)
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain @ 15.0 (Boylesports)
- Charlie Adam @ 15.0 (Coral)
- Theo Walcott @ 15.0 (Bet Victor)
- Mikel Arteta @ 19.0 (bet365)
- Aaron Ramsey @ 21.0 (bet365)
- No Goalscorer @ 13.0 (Sky Bet)
One player who showed his goal scoring ability last week was Dirk Kuyt for Liverpool. The bustling midfielder had only been on the pitch five minutes during extra time of the Carling Cup Final and put Liverpool 2-1 in front. With three goals in his last six club matches, he’s worth a dabble at 4.0 (Sportingbet).
Selected other anytime goalscorers:
- Luis Suarez @ 2.5 (Ladbrokes)
- Robin Van Persie @ 2.6 (bet365)
- Craig Bellamy @ 3.0 (Sky Bet)
- Andy Carroll @ 3.25 (Paddy Power)
- Steven Gerrard @ 3.4 (Sky Bet)
- Maxi Rodriguez @ 4.5 (Ladbrokes)
- Gervinho @ 4.75 (Sportingbet)
- Theo Walcott @ 5.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain @ 5.5 (Sky Bet)
- Charlie Adam @ 5.5 (Coral)
- Mikel Arteta @ 7.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Aaron Ramsey @ 7.5 (bet365)
With recent history between these two clubs suggesting a draw and with five of the last nine meetings ending in one goal apiece, I cannot see beyond a 1-1 draw. Unsurprisingly, it’s also the bookmakers’ correct score of choice and the best price currently available is 7.5 (Bet Victor).
Selected other correct scores:
- Liverpool 1-0 @ 8.0 (Sky Bet)
- Liverpool 2-0 @ 11.0 (Coral)
- Liverpool 2-1 @ 9.0 (Bet Victor)
- Liverpool 3-0 @ 19.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Liverpool 3-1 @ 17.0 (Coral)
- Liverpool 3-2 @ 29.0 (Bet Victor)
- Draw 0-0 @ 13.0 (Sky Bet)
- Draw 2-2 @ 15.0 (Sportingbet)
- Arsenal 1-0 @ 12.0 (bet365)
- Arsenal 2-0 @ 23.0 (Bet Victor)
- Arsenal 2-1 @ 13.0 (Betfred)
- Arsenal 3-0 @ 51.0 (Betfred)
- Arsenal 3-1 @ 31.0 (Coral)
- Arsenal 3-2 @ 41.0 (Bet Victor)