Tough Month Ahead For Gunners

Image courtesy of thinkfootball.co.uk
Reds Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez are ready to ambush the Gunners at Anfield. Image courtesy of thinkfootball.co.uk

For league leader Arsenal this is the first major test in a tough February campaign. The Gunners travel to Anfield for the first of two meetings with Liverpool over successive weekends. With a home Premier League game against Manchester United, an FA Cup tie with Liverpool F.C. and a Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich ahead, a poor run could see the Gunners fall by the wayside in three competitions. The chances of Arsene Wenger's side ending its nine-year wait for a trophy will be clearer by the end of a gruelling month.

Defeat for Liverpool would leave it 11 points off the top and manager Brendan Rodgers reckons an assault on the title would be out of the question. Rodgers doesn’t think his side is in a position to challenge the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City for the championship, but it’ll play a part in deciding it.

Arsenal is a team in form, having not lost on its last six Premier League visits to Anfield. Since being hammered 6-3 by Manchester City at Etihad Stadium in mid-December, the Gunners are unbeaten in eight domestic league appearances. They’re coming off a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace and are likely to have Jack Wilshere back from injury. He’s set to line-up in midfield alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored both goals against Palace. There will be no Mathieu Flamini due to suspension, or Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott because of injury. Mikel Arteta is ok despite a knock to the knee last weekend.

Held to a 1-1 draw by West Brom last start, Liverpool has struggled against the genuine premiership contenders this season. The Reds have suffered 2-1 losses to Chelsea and Man City, and 2-0 to Arsenal in early November. Liverpool will be without Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sahko and Glen Johnson, while Joe Allen will be fitter after returning from injury via the bench at the weekend.

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