Reds’ Season All But Over

Image courtesy of eurosports.com
Steven Gerrard was sent off last time out. IMage courtesy of eurosport.com

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Arsenal v Liverpool


Emirates Stadium, London

Saturday April 4 –  10:45pm (AEST)

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Liverpool travel to Arsenal on Saturday (AEST) in a match they must win if they’re to finish in the Top 4 of the EPL. 

After spending much of the first half of the season outside the Top 4, Arsenal have hit form at just the right time. Eleven wins in their past 13 matches has propelled the Gunners into third on the EPL ladder, six points above fifth spot Liverpool. A lot of their success must be credited to French striker Olivier Giroud, who has silenced his critics that claim he’s not a week in, week out goal scorer. Giroud has scored eight goals in Arsenal’s last nine league matches, including a brace against Newcastle last time out. That brought the 28-year-old’s season tally to 13 goals in 17 matches, and he’ll be hungry to add to that figure come Saturday.

After riding out a 13-match unbeaten streak, Liverpool’s hopes of a Top 4 finish took a massive blow when they lost 2-1 to arch rivals Manchester United at home a fortnight ago. Steven Gerrard’s brain explosion that saw him sent off just 43 seconds after coming on as a half-time sub means he’s unavailable for selection through suspension. Daniel Sturridge continued his impressive return from a long injury layoff with another goal against the Red Devils, and he’ll have to be on song against an Arsenal backline that can be fragile at times. Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson have both picked up form at the same time, setting up a tantalising midfield battle between themselves and Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.

Three points at this stage is valuable to both sides, but Liverpool will be the more desperate team. Arsenal, however, have a dominant head-to-head record against the Reds, losing just twice out of their past 15 meetings.                  

 

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