The Reds head into this match top of the Premier League and brimming with confidence after going six points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day. The game between Liverpool and Arsenal will take place at the Anfield on December 29th, 2018.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Three-Way: 1: Liverpool -200; X: +375 Draw; 2: Arsenal +600 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Spread -1.5: Liverpool +110; Arsenal -143
Total 3 goals: Over -120; Under +100
It’s not hard to see why the Reds are currently a level above their rivals. They are undefeated at home (W8, D1), are the division’s second-highest scorers (43 goals), and have conceded the EPL’s fewest number of goals (seven). A key to their success has been their blistering match starts – Liverpool has scored the opener in 84% of their league games this season. They boast a near perfect record this season and remain the only unbeaten side left in the Premier League (W16, D3).
Liverpool is in an excellent form of seven consecutive wins and they have eight straight victories in the Premier League as the last time they failed to get three points was at the Emirates against Arsenal (1-1). The Reds exploited Man City’s drop in form and two defeats in the last two rounds to beat Wolves on the road and Newcastle at home and now they are seven points ahead of Pep Guardiola’s side.
Dejan Lovren opened the scoring against the Magpies with a well-taken volley in the 11th minute, while Mohamed Salah from the penalty spot, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Fabinho (his first goal for the club) all scored in the second half to hand Liverpool a comfortable 4-0 victory.
Jurgen Klopp will be without Joe Gomez (broken ankle), Joel Matip (shoulder), James Milner (thigh), and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), while Alberto Moreno (lower back) is listed as questionable for the tilt with the Gunners.
- Roberto Firmino has four goals in his previous three appearances for Liverpool against Arsenal at Anfield – all four came in the opening 20 minutes
- Liverpool conceded just two goals in nine home league matches
- Liverpool scored seven goals in the last two home games
Tasked with trying to halt the leaders is Arsenal, who travel to Anfield looking to close the gap on the EPL top four and build on their record of just one defeat in 17 league matches (W11, D5, L1). Whether they are up to the challenge is yet to be seen, but one thing that can be expected is entertainment. All of the Gunners nine away league matches have seen both teams score, with eight of those featuring over 2.5 match goals.
However, Arsenal is currently in the midst of a seven-game winless run against their Merseyside opponents (D4, L3). Notably, five of those seven produced over 3.5 match goals. Arsenal won just one out of their previous four games and they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Tottenham Hotspur, while they are winless in the last three road matches in the Premier League.
The Gunners got to a 1-0 lead at the Amex Stadium against Brighton thanks to an early Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal but Jurgen Locadia equalized in the 35th minute and set the final score, 1-1. Arsenal is now in the 5th position with 38 points, 13 behind Liverpool and two behind the city rivals Chelsea who is sitting in the 4th place.
Unai Emery cannot count on Hector Bellerin (calf), Rob Holding (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (ankle), and Danny Welbeck (ankle), while Shkodran Mustafi (muscle) and Nacho Monreal (thigh) are doubtful to face Liverpool on Saturday.
- Arsenal talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has 13 league goals this season, including three in his last two league appearances
- Arsenal scored 71% of their league goals in the second half
- Arsenal failed to keep their net intact in each of the previous four games in all competitions
Liverpool won three out of the previous ten H2H encounters (D5, L2) including two out of the last four (D2), while the Reds were victorious in three out of the past five meetings at the Anfield (D2). Arsenal is without a win here since September 2012 and they conceded 17 goals in the last five visits to the Anfield, scoring seven in return. Liverpool is in a fantastic form and Arsenal is struggling on the road lately and that’s why I am backing the hot Reds to cover the -1.5 spread here.
MY PICK: AH -1.5 Liverpool (+110)
ADDITIONAL PICK: Nine out of the last 11 H2H duels produced at least three goals and five out of the previous six produced four or more, so I am expecting a high-scoring affair on Saturday. We should see minimum three goals and that’s why I am going to be a bit cautious and I am going with over 3 goals, so in case they combine for exactly three, we’ll get our stake back.
MY PICK: Over 3 (-120)