Arsenal v Liverpool, 24/8/15

by Timothy Masters on August 23, 2015

SanchezRonMacLast weekend, as City and Chelsea clashed in a game that could have serious ramifications in terms of the outcome of the league this season, the commentator mused that the match had maybe come too early to be really meaningful, but we all know that’s not true. Regardless of the stage of the season managers know that when playing their direct rivals the +/- on points is always vital, and the same is true today as one of the perennial top four takes on a team desperate to add their name back into that list, with Liverpool travelling down south to take on Arsenal. As always in the Premier League, there are sub-plots and super-plots to take in, but when they are all removed this is just a classic match between two of the top league giants.

After just two matches Liverpool are in the top four, but watching either of their recent wins isn’t going to convince many people they can stay there until the end of the season, if truth be told. Bournemouth got a lovely welcome to the league as a typically crap decision cost them a point in their recent meeting with the Anfield club, and the first game of the season Brendan Rodgers oversaw was headed for a draw until Coutinho decided to do something Brazilian and liven up events. Arsenal got an away win over Palace last weekend, again with the help of the referee, and with neither side in great form this could be a kick-start or kick-up-the-bum for the winner or loser respectively.

Home field advantage plus having the better players means Arsenal start the match as 3/4 favourites with BoyleSports, while the away team are rated 21/5 by VictorChandler and probably face an uphill battle. Christian Benteke has started his Liverpool career well, and will need to be on form today if his team are to trouble the home back four, but the big Belgian at least looks to have the tools to do so. Liverpool are monitoring Jordan Henderson for this game, but know they will once again not be able to call on Jon Flanagan or Daniel Sturridge, and fear Joe Allen is also out for a couple of weeks. For Arsenal it seems like Jack Wilshere is really stepping it up in the absence of Abou Diaby with another couple of months out, and is joined on the treatment table by Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck.

Image credit: Ron Mac

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