The Liver Bird  

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Five Things To Note From The Arsenal Win

1) Mo Salah is here to stay

A header from Joel Matip opened up the scoring for Liverpool on Saturday evening in their 3-1 win over Arsenal but it was Mo Salah who would go on to grab the headlines. A blatant shirt pull by David Luiz meant the Egyptian was awarded a penalty (which he converted with ease) but it was his second goal of the game that was really special.

Image via The Guardian

David Luiz had an absolute mare and Salah not only gained the penalty off him but left him for dead on his route towards goal meaning the ex-Chelsea man could only look on in desperation as the forward scored with a low finish.

Some like to question whether Mo can keep at the level he has been playing in previous seasons but I have no doubt he'll be up there fighting for top goalscorer again in 2019/2020.

2) Virgil van Dijk is going to be under a microscope this season

I don't know if anybody else has noticed this but from about five minutes into the Norwich game it appears that all commentators are now on van Dijk's case. They've had enough of the world class, Champions League winning defender and now want to try and pick faults at any moment.

Gary Neville today wasted no time having a dig at van Dijk simply because on a couple of occasions the Dutchman decided to give Pepe a bit more freedom, but he still had things under control. It's already winding me up this and there's a whole season to go yet.

3) Adrian unlucky

It was frustrating to see Adrian's reaction upon conceding late on in the game, an early mistake when he should have left Virgil to deal with the situation nearly ended in a goal for Arsenal but on the whole, I thought Adrian did quite well. He was unlucky to concede after a bit of a mis-hit by Torreira eventually turned into a goal.

It must be extremely tough for the sub keeper as he's barely had anytime really to settle in with the squad and get used to how his defence will play things in certain situations. For me, as much as I'm 100% behind Adrian we definitely need Alisson back sooner rather than later.

4) VAR nonsense

It's no secret that I'm very much in the sack VAR off camp, I know opinions on this are as split as who likes Marmite but that red card decision early on was absolute nonsense. Nobody in the ground had a clue what it was for or even if it was related to an Arsenal or a Liverpool player. There's no screen at Anfield but even on the screens at home, we're sat watching a cut out of the referee next to a replay of a situation on a purple VAR background with zero information as to what is being checked. Martin Tyler didn't have a pissin clue what was going on. I still don't even actually know what happened... absolute joke.

5) This team is solid

It was always going to be hard for Liverpool to hit the ground running, especially after a dodgy pre-season and with the pressure of entering this year as Champions League winners but the Reds have looked very strong so far.

Norwich and Southampton you could argue weren't a full test for Klopp's side but they made Arsenal look pretty average today. It's evident how happy the team is together and the link-up play between the front three is just awesome. I am so excited for the rest of this season, this team is solid.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Three Times Liverpool V Arsenal Was Awesome For The Neutral

It's funny, when you ask people to name classic football matches and rivalries not many people come up with Liverpool v Arsenal. In my opinion, this has thrown up some of the most exciting league fixtures of recent times.

The game often has lots of goals and although there have been times when the match has felt one-sided (see Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1, December 2018) on the whole it makes for an evenly pitched clash and I for one am looking forward to Saturday's game.

So for this post, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and look back on some of the close ties between the two sides.

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 3 - Friday 22nd December 2017

A cold December evening three days before Christmas saw the two sides line up with Liverpool in 4th place. The Reds needed at least a draw to remain in that position.

It was a great start for Liverpool who opened up the scoring with a rare header from Coutinho after 26 minutes. Mo Salah then went on to score early in the second half with a deflected strike. Things looked comfortable for Klopp until the Reds failed to deal with a cross from Bellerin. His effort was met by Alexis Sanchez who headed home Arsenal's first of three in six minutes.

Image via Sky Sports

Just three minutes later the Gunners had found a second thanks to a strike from Xhaka, Mignolet attempted to save but couldn't get enough on it. The Reds were well and truly under pressure now and with barely a chance to regroup, two minutes later Arsenal had scored again this time thanks to Ozil.

Liverpool looked dumbfounded but the neutrals watching across the country were chuffed this match had been the Friday night selection. It was a crazy game of football and it wasn't done yet.

Never a side to throw in the towel, Klopp's team eventually found an equaliser to keep themselves in 4th. Bobby Firmino's powerful strike was enough to beat Petr Cech and collect a draw.

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4 - Sunday 14th August 2016

The opening encounter of the 2016/2017 Premier League season and what a belter it was. It took 30 minutes for the first goal to go in after Theo Walcott found the net for Arsenal (after missing a penalty just moments earlier) but from there on out it was goals galore.

Image via The Independent

A lovely free-kick from Coutinho gifted Liverpool an equaliser just before half time and Adam Lallana found the net to put the Reds 2-1 up after 49 minutes. Seven minutes later Coutinho scored again to increase Liverpool's lead and this was closely followed by a strong strike from Sadio Mane.

Things were looking great for the Reds but one minute later, future Liverpool starlet Oxlade-Chamberlain would score for Arsene Wenger's side. Arsenal were starting to gain momentum but despite finding another goal thanks to Chambers at 75 minutes it wasn't enough to earn them any points and on this occasion, Liverpool would walk away victorious.

Liverpool 3 Arsenal 3 - Wednesday 13th January 2016

Liverpool... and Arsenal... loads of goals? Who'd of thought it?

Yep, the two sides were at it again back in January 2016. Bobby Firmino opened up the scoring very early on for the Reds but saw his goal cancelled out when Ramsey found an equaliser.

Clearly not happy with this our Brazilian forward then scored a stunning goal from 20 yards to put Liverpool back in the lead. It was a wet and miserable January evening and neither side wanted to lose this game, Arsenal also had one eye on the title at this stage of the season.

Image via Football 365
Giroud who was influential for Arsenal then went on to score once in the first half and once in the second, Arsenal remained in front for the majority of the second half. That was until a Welsh substitute entered play.

Joe Allen was brought on for Emre Can at 82 minutes, perhaps not the most likely goalscorer, Joe converted a low drive on the stroke of 90 minutes to grab Liverpool a point and dent Arsenal's title hopes.

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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Bobby Hat-Trick Brushes Arsenal Aside

Liverpool came back from a goal down to stun Unai Emery's Arsenal side in an emphatic 5-1 victory at Anfield. A hat-trick from Roberto Firmino was joined by goals from Sadio Mane and Mo Salah meaning the Reds remain unbeaten at the top of the table.

Arsenal's opening goal after just 11 minutes came as a bit of a surprise to onlooking Kopites who perhaps assumed it would be the Reds finding the back of the net first on their home turf. A good cross from Iwobi found the Gunners' youngster Maitland-Niles who ensured he converted to put his side ahead.

Image via Sky Sports
Some Arsenal fans in the pub went absolutely crazy for the goal, a risky tactic I thought as surely they didn't think that alone would stop Klopp's XI?

Firmino punished just three minutes later with his now signature "no look goal", it was Bobby himself who also started the attack, linking up with Mo Salah.

The Brazilian clearly wasn't content with just the one goal on Saturday evening though as he found the net again just two minutes later. With Arsenal defenders falling around him as he slalomed towards goal, it looked more like a bomb had gone off as Bobby finished his attack putting his side 2-1 up. A brilliant goal.

Liverpool were completely and utterly dominant in this game, Arsenal's defence was all over the shop and their main attacking presence in Aubameyang barley even touched the ball. Full credit to Arsenal for coming to attack at Anfield and not playing defensively as many teams do, Unai stuck to his tactics but unfortunately for the visitors, they played perfectly into Liverpool's hands.

Another goal for the Reds followed at 32 minutes, this time it was Sadio Mane. A long range ball from Andy Robertson found its way to an encroaching Mo Salah who with a perfectly placed first touch pass managed to find Mane. The number 10 still had a lot to do as the ball bounced but he converted with ease and the Reds were now 3-1 up.

Arsenal just looked lost and things went from bad to worse when Liverpool were awarded a penalty two minutes into extra time in the first half. Sokratis took two swipes at Salah and for me, it was definitely a peno. Mo scored the spot kick confidently to put Liverpool 4-1 up. A special note for the build-up to this penalty must go to Alisson who played a stunning pass directly to Firmino to set up the attack.

Being 4-1 up after the first half and knowing that Arsenal weren't going to get back into this game made the second half a boring one for the neutral but Liverpool would find a final goal to secure their solid win over their London visitors.

Another penalty, this one perhaps a bit soft for me after a bit of contact/pushing with Lovren. Roberto Firmino stepped up to the spot in order to try and seal his hat-trick and he did just that right in front of the adoring Kop.

A stunning game for Liverpool who were also aided earlier in the afternoon as Wolves got the better of Spurs. There's just something about this team this season, going down and still finding a way back, those sprinkles of luck against Chelsea and Everton (I still can't stop laughing about that match, good old Origi)... it just feels like everything has clicked into place. 

We're cooly and calmly going about our business and no matter what anybody is throwing at us, we're finding a way through. I for one am now starting to allow myself to get excited. Roll on Manchester City.

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Sunday, 4 November 2018

REPORT: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1

Liverpool had the better chances at the Emirates on Saturday evening but could not find a way to collect all three points against Arsenal. 

The Reds started in a lively fashion and despite Arsenal's increasing possession stats, Klopp's side were still able to make the most of it on the break. 

Image via Daily Star
A goal in the first half from Sadio Mane was incorrectly ruled offside, Mane being involved in the second phase of play after Firmino, who was onside, played the pass. It was a harsh decision and had it been given it could have provided Liverpool with a real boost early on in a difficult game. 

You don't necessarily expect a defender to have the best chances for your side but Virgil van Dijk went close on three occasions for Liverpool. It was extra frustrating for me watching on as I had a quid on van Dijk to score anytime arghhhhh haha. I particularly enjoyed his effort when he remained up from a corner and took it down like a world class striker if only he'd sent it to the left or right of the keeper!

Liverpool's chance to take the lead finally came just after the hour mark when the ball splayed out to the edge of the box there's a sense of relief once you see James Milner heading towards it, he was always going to smash that ball in the net. His face during the celebration said it all, 1-0 up with half hour to go and it looked as though Liverpool might be able to take the victory. 

That was until the influential Lacazette got involved though. The forward has been a revelation so far this season for the London side and it was obvious he would make his mark during this key fixture. 

Alisson for me shouldn't really have come out towards the attacker but when you assess the positioning of the defence at the time, he probably had little choice. Whether he should, or shouldn't have come out though, you have to hand it to Lacazette, it was a stunning finish and not many players would find the net from there. 

With just eight minutes to go, Liverpool nearly found the net straight after the Arsenal goal thanks to a quick break but Mane's shot missed the target.

It was a game that Liverpool really should have won but in the grand scheme of things, is a 1-1 draw away at Arsenal a bad result? I certainly don't think so. The result moved us back to the top of the league with City of course yet to play but overall things are looking very steady at the moment for the Reds. 

If Klopp's side just keep doing what they're doing, Liverpool could be in a very exciting posting post-Christmas. 

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

PREVIEW: Arsenal V Liverpool

Liverpool travel to Arsenal on Saturday evening in what is set to be an exciting game for the neutral but a nervous time for any Kopites or Gunners. 

Image via premierleague.com
The Reds come into this fixture on the back of a 4-1 win over Cardiff. Arsenal, on the other hand, drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace in their most recent fixture which was a surprise for many. 
The Londoners started the season with some tough fixtures but had quietly (we'll not so quietly actually, their performances have caught everyone's eye) gone about their business until that hiccup against Palace. 

Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league at the moment alongside City and Chelsea but Arsenal have lost twice so far this season. 

Injuries for the Reds mean doubts are banging over Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson. 

Arsenal have taken a bit of a hit and also have a league cup game to contend with prior to our clash. Koscielny remains out, Bellerin is a doubt while both Kolasinac and Monreal will undergo late fitness tests. 

The last time the two sides met was in  December last year. Living up to its hype, that game ended 3-3 with Coutinho, Salah and Firmino on the scoresheet for Liverpool. Arsenal's last trip to Anfield saw them fail to find the back of the net as the Reds won 4-0.

Liverpool have not lost to Arsenal since April 2015. 

I am in Inverness for this one as I'm away for my birthday. I am hoping I can catch the game in a nice cosy Scottish pub haha. I am not sure whether we'll have enough to get a win from the Emirates but I can see this one being a high scoring draw. 

Enjoy the match folks wherever you are watching! 

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Saturday, 23 December 2017

Reds Throw Away 2-0 Lead At The Emirates

For fifty minutes on Friday night, Liverpool had fooled their fans into thinking it would be a walk in the park at the Emirates. Two-nil up after goals from Philippe Coutinho and Mo Salah, the Reds looked dominate against an Arsenal side lacking in ideas but after a spell of just five minutes, Klopp's side had lost their lead.

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 3
Image via The Guardian
A headed goal from Alexis Sanchez opened up the period of utter madness, this was followed by a shot from Xhaka and two minutes later Ozil put the Gunners ahead. Thankfully for Liverpool, Firmino found an equaliser just after 70 minutes but the Reds should never have put themselves in that situation and they have no real excuse.

An early forced substitution saw James Milner replace Jordan Henderson, in reality, that should have affected the balance of the Liverpool side but Milner performed well and was involved in some of the chances.

Coutinho's goal was a rare effort using his head but it was Mo Salah's goal that really lit up the night. A timely pass from Roberto Firmino saw Salah set out towards Cech, with three Arsenal defenders encroaching, the Egyptian never lost his cool and slotted home with a minor deflection.

The elation on the faces of the travelling Kop was soon replaced with confusion. From absolutely nowhere (and I mean nowhere, Arsenal had barely threatened the whole game) at the other end of the pitch, the Gunners capitalised on a lapse in concentration and netted their first of three. 

Three minutes later, Xhaka took a chance with a strike from 25 yards, Mignolet looked as though he had it covered but the Belgian flapped just one hand at the effort and watched it trickle in. 

Two minutes after that Arsenal scored their third, Ozil found the net and put Wenger's side into the lead. It was just phenomenal, the Gunners had found something extra and Liverpool were left shellshocked. 

Firmino's goal secured a point for the Reds but the game once again highlighted Liverpool's incapability of holding on to a lead. 

Post-match James Milner said in an interview that he believed Liverpool should play more boring football. Hilarious as it is, fitting perfectly with his parody Twitter account, the fact is that he's spot on. Sides who securely hold on to a lead do it by playing more intelligently, slowing the pace and passing the ball more. You won't hold on to a win against a side like Arsenal continuing to play with all guns blazing.

It's a weird one because prior to kick off, once again you would probably take a draw but as with the Chelsea game, Liverpool deserved to win, they just couldn't see it out.

It's a problem that's difficult to solve but I think we now need to seriously look at some key positions in the team including the goalkeeper. Without improving the reliability at the back, the Reds are never going to be serious contenders, even with a stunning strike force.

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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Festive Fixture At The Emirates

The Liver Bird is back! Where've I been? Well, to be honest, I don't really have a good excuse, other than being mega busy and struggling to balance my job with blogging at the moment but I'm determined to keep doing what I love; writing about Liverpool FC!

The Ox Liverpool
Image via Liverpool Echo
So we're here, as I write this it's the day before the match and the day before I break up for a whole week of general merriness. I'm looking forward to the forthcoming fixture pile-up and genuinely think we will get the better of Wenger's side in London. 

Arsenal are currently sat 5th in the table, just behind the Reds in 4th. The Gunners have 33 points to Liverpool's 34 and would leapfrog Klopp's side with a win. 

Injuries mean Liverpool are unable to call upon Alberto Moreno and Joel Matip while Daniel Sturridge is also struggling with fitness. For Arsenal, Olivier Giroud is out. Klopp, however, does have one positive, welcoming Emre Can back from suspension.

The last time the two sides met was actually this year, the Reds put four past Arsenal at Anfield with Mane, Firmino, Salah and Sturridge all on the score sheet in August. In Liverpool's last five visits to the Emirates in the league, they have only picked up one win. 

Arsenal is obviously a tough place to go but having watched them play this season I'm just not sure they are set up to deal with our attack at its best. We saw in the reverse fixture how dangerous our forwards could be and I don't think the protection of the Emirates is going to be enough to prevent the likes of Salah, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino etc from finding the net.

Liverpool enter this game on the back of a 4-0 victory against Bournemouth, spirits are high after gaining a good draw in the Champions League and despite the stick given to the defence (which I still stand by), things are actually looking relatively solid at the moment.

Arsenal play extremely openly and that suits the Reds to a T, Wenger isn't going to pull a Mourinho and block the pitch, strangle the game and try to find a late goal. He loves to deploy his flair players which in turn leaves gaps for our own starlets to exploit.

I reckon this will either be a high scoring draw or a big Liverpool win, either way, it should make for a quality Friday night fixture! It will be interesting to see if Oxlade-Chamberlain gets a start, particularly after he put in a good performance at the weekend! Come back to The Liver Bird on the weekend for my thoughts on the game.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

Liverpool Batter Arsenal In 4-0 Anfield Win

Liverpool walked away from Anfield on Sunday afternoon with all three points after an emphatic victory over an extremely dire Arsenal side. The Gunners offered absolutely nothing in front of goal leaving Loris Karius with very little to do.

Image via The Guardian (Phil Noble/Reuters)
The lack of goalkeeping requirement was perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Reds as Karius looked nervous on occasion stepping in to the role after months without a game. The bizarre decision to entirely drop Simon Mignolet from the side (not even allowing the Belgian to appear on the bench) left many Liverpool fans scratching their heads before kick off.

Jurgen Klopp explained that Migs was simply being "rested" but I wasn't born yesterday. A goalkeeper doesn't need to be "rested" and certainly not this early in the season. Something has happened, I'm not sure what, but you don't just drop a keeper with no real reason behind it. I have no qualms with Karius making an appearance in goal to give Mignolet some competition either but I don't feel Simon has done anything recently to deserve being replaced, certainly not so suddenly in the run up to a massive game.

As I mentioned though, thankfully, Karius had very little to do. The main focus was very much on Petr Cech's goal as he had to deal with Liverpool's free flowing attack.

The first goal came courtesy of Roberto Firmino, a lovely cross from Joe Gomez into the box allowed the Brazilian to head home after just 17 minutes. It was Sadio Mane though who scored the pick of all four goals when at 40 minutes he whipped home a stunning solo effort.

By this stage the Reds were visibly in control of the match, reeling off 10 minute possession stats as high as 75% to Arsenal's 25% at one stage. Wenger's side really looked in terrible form, they genuinely just didn't seem bothered, there was no fire there, no desire to get back into the game. At 2-0 up in the first half Arsenal still could have easily got themselves on track but the players just didn't seem concerned, add into the mix that for some strange reason Wenger decided not to play his £50+ million signing in Lacazette and as an Arsenal fan you have to be asking several questions.

Liverpool may have got the better of the Gunners twice last season but not for years have I seen the Londoners so lacklustre in this fixture. It was a crying shame as these games are usually some of the most exciting. Arsenal's loss though is of course Liverpool's gain and the Reds started the second half in exactly the same fashion as the first. 

Mo Salah's goal just before the hour mark saw him run half the length of the pitch after possession was stolen. With a cool finish, Liverpool's new signing celebrated wildly in front of a beaming Kop End. 

To top it all off, Daniel Sturridge entered play at 74 minutes and had scored by minute 77. The vision of Salah allowed for a well timed cross which the England forward converted with ease. I always enjoy watching Sturridge find the back of the net as despite his more bit part role at the club of late I still feel he's a top quality player on his day. Injuries aside and with regular football he could still be up there with the best in the Premier League.

It was a superb display from Klopp's team and whilst I still have some huge concerns over the Mignolet/Karius situation, hopefully they will be answered over the coming days. Next up for the Reds is Manchester City and I honestly think we'll beat them n'all. It's the Burnleys and Watfords of this world that Liverpool need to learn to contend with at the moment, not the big boys!

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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Liverpool V Arsenal

Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Sunday afternoon as they look to collect another win in the Premier League. The Reds started the season with a draw against Watford but managed to collect all three points against Palace in a 1-0 victory.

Image via mirror.co.uk
On paper, Arsenal should be a difficult side to beat for the Reds but as I mentioned in the Hoffenheim post, Liverpool just seem to perform far better against the bigger, supposedly more threatening sides. Arsenal play in a tactical style that Klopp's side can punish and I fully expect us to find the back of the net on multiple occasions tomorrow. 

Team news for the Reds means they will be without Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne. Trent double A will also be subject to a late fitness test along with Emre Can who has a slight knee issue.

Arsenal have had some good news injury wise as Alexis Sanchez returns while Koscielny also comes back into the side after serving a three match ban. 

The last time the two sides met was in March this year. The game at Anfield ended 3-1 to Liverpool thanks to goals from Firmino, Mane and Wijnaldum. Welbeck scored Arsenal's only goal of the game. 

It feels like the Reds have got the better of the Gunners a lot lately but over the last 10 meetings between the two sides in the league, Liverpool have only won on three occasions. Two wins came last season and how could we forget that famous 5-1 victory in February 2014. I'd bet on Skrtel to score first in that game n'all and he did just one minute in!

Over the same time period, there have been four draws and three wins for Arsenal.

I've predicted a 4-1 win for the Reds in our work's predictor league and although that may seem a little over the top I'm genuinely quite confident for Sunday's match. I'll be betting on my main man Mane too, he's in such great form at the moment.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

Five Things We Learned From The Arsenal Game

Mane is class

On his day Mane is absolute quality. The confidence he shows when facing a side like Arsenal is just superb, never afraid to take a man on he caused the Gunners several problems on Saturday and also scored a great goal at 40 minutes.

Frustratingly he can sometimes go missing in some of the smaller fixtures but I still feel he is a player that will have clubs knocking down doors for him in the summer. Mane is a real asset and one we need to make sure we keep hold of.


Image via yahoo.com

Klopp needs a plan B

A solid performance against Arsenal for Jurgen Klopp has once again highlighted his strengths and weaknesses as a manager. At the moment he has proved his side and set up can take on the cream of the crop but he can't seem to find a plan B.

When facing teams like Leicester, Hull, Burnley etc the Reds just have no clue. Against a defensive side favouring the counter attack, Liverpool look completely out of options and Klopp clearly needs to work on that. I partly feel some of it is down to stubbornness, trying to force a system against every opposition instead of adapting slightly or playing less fancy football. Time will tell if anything changes this season or whether we have to wait until the transfer window to truly find out what Klopp's plan B is.

Risky Wenger

Wenger's team selection was definitely related to Klopp's lack of a plan B in my opinion. The massive decision to drop Alexis Sanchez backfired on the manager but prior to the match I could actually see some of the method in his madness. By playing more directly and utilising Welbeck AND Giroud, on paper that should have caused Liverpool problems, but it didn't.

It was no surprise when Sanchez did enter play that Arsenal really started to light up. 

Arsenal fans are always good entertainment


Battle for 4th

Collecting three points from Arsenal at Anfield is a huge bonus for Liverpool as they cling on to their hopes of 4th. With Manchester United failing to beat Bournemouth the weekend has ended very positively for Klopp's side.

However, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City all have games in hand. Liverpool face City in a couple of weeks and so do Arsenal but United have a relatively easy run in by comparison.

With a Merseyside Derby also coming up for Liverpool it would be just typical for us to lose to Burnely and then go and beat City and Everton. The battle for 4th is getting more and more interesting and the Reds desperately need to find some consistency if they are going to contend.

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Friday, 3 March 2017

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Arsenal

After a disastrous defeat at the hands of Leicester on Monday evening, Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Saturday in the hope of finding a victory. The Reds have had some terrible performances against the so-called lesser teams this season but it's been a complete contrast when Klopp's side have faced teams in the top six.

Image via footballfancast.com
Liverpool have picked up 16 points from a possible 24 in games against Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs this season. Against Leicester, Swansea, Middlesborough, Palace and Hull the Reds have picked up just 19 points from a possible 30.

It's no secret that the Reds have been extremely poor against the smaller sides but their set up seems to have the opposite effect against the bigger teams. For example, against Spurs, the likes of Firmino, Coutinho and Mane caused havoc. 

Along with Adam Lallana and on occasions Gini Wijnaldum, these attacking midfielders seem to fluster a lot of sides. I personally feel they work well against teams in the top six because those teams are playing in a more open manner, they aren't necessarily putting ten men behind the ball and are therefore more vulnerable.

So, on paper, Liverpool should have no bother against Arsenal at Anfield right? The previous meeting between the two sides back in August ended 4-3 with goals from Lallana, Mane and a brace from Philippe Coutinho. 

The last meeting at Anfield was another high scoring affair, this time the game ended 3-3 with a brace from Roberto Firmino and a 90th minute equaliser from Joe Allen. In the last ten meetings between the sides in all competitions, Liverpool have only won twice. There have been four draws and four wins for Arsenal.

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are unable to call upon captain Jordan Henderson who has a foot injury. Daniel Sturridge also remains out of action. After recovering from a virus it now appears he has a hip strain. Arsenal are looking relatively strong as Ozil, Ramsey and Koscielny all return to action.

Jurgen Klopp needs to make a statement on Saturday and the team need to ensure they play their part in getting Liverpool back on track. This rut we're in at the moment is only going away with a big win and playing Arsenal at Anfield is the perfect chance to collect a key victory that can act as a catalyst. 

Stat Sandwich
  • Liverpool have kept only two clean sheets in their last 22 league fixtures against Arsenal.
  • Arsenal have scored 28 goals in 12 away games so far this season.
  • Liverpool are currently unbeaten in all 12 league games this season against sides in the top half of the Premier League table.
After feeling completely miffed at the end of the Leicester game, I appear to have sourced some positivity for the game on Saturday. Matches against Arsenal are always exciting and usually involve several goals. I will definitely be placing a few bets so keep an eye on my Twitter if you want some terrible tips haha (though I did win £45 off a pound bet in Serie A last week...).

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Five Things We Learned From Liverpool's Opening League Game

Image via theguardian.com

1) Moreno had a mare

When it comes to sticking with a footballer and trying to cling on to the fact that they may have something left to offer it always feels like I'm one of the last fans hanging on. It's no different with Alberto Moreno, there was a time very recently where I was singing his praises as he went through a more settled stage but after Sunday's performance it's very clear that he just isn't cut out to be a top level left back.

He has zero positional awareness and while he occasionally offers something going forward this doesn't come anywhere close to making up for his continuous lapses at the back. It's a real shame because when he first came to the club he looked like he might be moulded into a quality player but that boat has sailed I'm afraid, absolute mare he had.

2) Migs not lost it?

After rumours that Loris Karius would in fact replace Simon Mignolet it looked as though the Belgian wouldn't get another chance to really impress between the sticks. Karius however broke his hand meaning the questionable Mignolet started in goal against Arsenal.

Granted, we conceded three goals but I'm not entirely convinced that Migs could have done much about them, his defence didn't help on several occasions. When he saved Walcott's penalty he proved that he can still be a reliable keeper so it will be interesting to see what happens when Karius returns to fitness.

Who would you prefer in goal this season? Vote here

Images via the guardian.com

3) Coutinho Magic

The magician didn't take long to sprinkle his stardust at the Emirates, the number 10 opened Liverpool's scoring for a brand new Premier League season. Coutinho is a phenomenal player to watch when he's having a good day, on a bad day he can very often go missing but when gifted a free kick within range you always fancy him to do something special.

What a goal it was, a beautiful free kick, perfectly placed high into the top left corner of goal away from the stretch of the great Petr Cech. As if the free kick wasn't enough he then somehow converted a second goal off his shin. I often look at Coutinho and worry that he'll be snatched away from us, I was half expecting to see him leave this season but here's hoping we'll see him in a Liverpool shirt for the foreseeable future!

4) Mane worth the money?

A £30+ million price tag for Mane had several Liverpool fans wincing earlier in the summer but while some questioned the fee, nobody questioned Mane's ability. The youngster is a super quick and talented player offering a fresh option for Liverpool going forward.

For me he had a relatively strong game on the whole, topped off perfectly by his wonderful goal on 63 minutes. On the right hand side of the pitch Mane was strong during his run taking on two Arsenal defenders in the box with ease, his finish was sublime. I am seriously looking forward to seeing him play regularly for the Reds. A great first league game for the Senegalese forward.

Image via theguardian.com

5) I'm 50p down...

I have to confess... A tiny part of me was actually pretty gutted with today's result. I'm still living off my student loans at present until I get my first wage packet from my new job at the end of the month so I figured I'd pop a few bets on.

I had a quid on Mane in a 2-1 which went down the pan, 50p on a 3-3 and 50p on a 4-4 for £100. I won't lie, if Arsenal had of spoiled our tremendous party I would have been slightly pleased with the £100 bonus for more ciders and cocktails haha!

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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Liverpool Versus Wenger

Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal for 20 years... That's a bloody long time in football and during that time it's fair to say we've had several scrapes with the Gunners so in the run up to our opening league fixture on Sunday I thought it would be good to take a look back through the Wenger years.

In the time that Arsene has been in London, Liverpool have had a total of seven managers; Roy Evans, Gerard Houllier, Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish, Brendan Rodgers and of course Jurgen Klopp. As far as I am aware, Kenny Dalglish is the only one to have voiceiferously told the Frenchman to "piss off" on the touchline. Good old Kenny.

Images clockwise from top via: arsenal.com, dailymail.co.uk and mirror.co.uk
In the early days under Roy Evans (including his stint with Houllier) Liverpool picked up some strong results against Arsenal namely in the League Cup when they beat Wenger's side 4-2 in the round of 16 thanks to goals from McManaman, Fowler and Berger.

Four seems to be a number that sticks when it comes to games with Arsenal during the Wenger era, on eight occasions one or both sides have netted four goals. Perhaps the most famous incident of four goals was the one involving Andrey Arshavin. He bagged four in a single game against the Reds back in April 2009. Liverpool under manager Rafael Benitez had some tricks of their own though with Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun providing two goals a piece.

Arshavin now plays in the Kazakhstan Premier League...


From the Houllier years who can forget little Michael Owen in the Millennium Stadium. It was the treble season for the Reds and Arsene Wenger certainly wasn't going to stand in the way of Gerard. The FA Cup final was a highlight for Liverpool and remains an important moment from the last couple of decades against the Londoners.

The Rafa Benitez era was an exciting one at Liverpool, forever remembered for that Champions League victory in 2005 but Rafa also came across Arsene Wenger's side in 2008 in his pursuit of more European silverware.

Images from top to bottom via: mirror.co.uk and goal.com
The first leg in the quarter finals ended well for Arsenal after they collected a 1-1 draw at the Emirates but they had yet to travel to Anfield. A nail-biting game for the Reds at L4 eventually ended in a 4-2 victory. I remember the game well because I was inconsolable when when Adebayor's goal went in at 84 minutes, head in hands, refusing to look at the screen, then my fella was trying to tell me we had a peno but I just thought he was winding me up! Thankfully he wasn't. The Reds went on to get knocked out by Chelsea in the semi-final.

For Brendan Rodgers, perhaps one of his most impressive games as Liverpool boss came against Arsene Wenger on 8th February 2014.

"It was breathtaking." - Brendan Rodgers

Martin Skrtel of all people had found the back of the net after just one minute at Anfield and that really set the tone for a terrible day at the office on Arsene Wenger's part. Nine minutes later Skrtel had scored again. Most of you know of my strange love for Martin Skrtel, I couldn't believe what I was seeing, up out my seat absolutely elated, every time we had the ball we looked like we'd score. I'd never seen such a confident performance against the Gunners. A Daniel Sturridge goal and a brace from Raheem Sterling sealed the 5-1 victory.

Image via bleacherreport.com
Jurgen Klopp will walk his side out for his second meeting with Arsene Wenger on Sunday and after collecting a 3-3 draw the German will be looking to seal his first win against Arsenal. On their home turf it is always difficult and against the experienced Wenger it could be a tough start for the Reds.

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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Allen Nets Equaliser In 90th Minute

Image via theguardian.com
Liverpool versus Arsenal is rarely ever a dull game, even in clashes where no goals are scored both sides always manage to put on a show and it was no different on Wednesday night. The six goal thriller was end to end in the first half with the Reds perhaps faltering a bit in the second, Klopp's side didn't give up though and it was Joe Allen at 90 minutes who scored an equaliser to ensure both teams walked away with a point.

It was Roberto Firmino who was first to score in the game, the Brazilian has had performances called into question of late, looking somewhat lacklustre without his compatriot Philippe Coutinho. The number 11 though made sure he took his chance on this occasion as Petr Cech failed to completely deal with a shot from Emre Can, the ball splayed out to Firmino who converted to put Liverpool into the lead.

It was a brilliant start for Klopp's side and I think it's fair to say not many expected Liverpool to take the lead. However, predictably, the lead didn't last long when Ramsey managed to find an equaliser after some neat play from the visitors. With two goals in just 14 minutes it was clear that this game was going to be a corker.

Five minutes later and Firmino was at it again this time a beautiful strike from 25 yards out found its way into the back of the net. The Brazilian was looking confident and shortly after his second a chance to complete a hat trick with a volley on the turn arose, it would have been sublime but it wasn't to be.

Arsenal had plans of their own as Giroud found his side another equaliser. At 25 minutes a corner whipped in by Ramsey caused a real issue for Simon Mignolet who dealt poorly with the danger, a touch from Giroud was enough to find goal.

The second half saw Arsenal take the lead in the game for the first time when that man Giroud once again found the back of the net. It was a lovely goal initiated by a nice turn in the box but you have to feel Liverpool were asking for trouble again with some rather questionable defending.

The Reds continued to battle but for long periods it looked like the visitors had managed to grab a hold of the game as the second half went on. The Reds did not give up though and the introduction of Christian Benteke and Joe Allen proved a pivotal move from manager Jurgen Klopp who must have realised he needed fresh legs on the pitch.

At 90 minutes, just when it looked like all hope was lost, a ball into the box from Jordan Henderson was met by Benteke who rose like a salmon to ensure he got his head on the ball, his header crossed goal to an awaiting Joe Allen who with a perfectly timed effort smashed home the Liverpool equaliser. What a way to end the night!

You have to say fair play to Benteke and Allen there because lets face it, without them we'd have been walking away without any points. Perhaps I'm being bias but a draw was the right result for me, over the whole 90 minutes I don't think there was too much between the two sides.

Next up for Liverpool is Manchester United!

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Arsenal

Image via liverpoolecho.co.uk
The Reds welcome Arsenal to Anfield on Wednesday evening and after some improvement in terms of injuries, along with the signing of Steven Caulker, boss Jurgen Klopp may be able to field a slightly stronger team than first predicted. The loaning of Caulker hasn't exactly excited many Liverpool fans but it's clear to see that it's a quick fix to a rather immediate issue in defence.

Injuries

There's some positive news for the Reds as both Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure are available. Jordon Ibe and Jordan Henderson could also feature but there will be no Daniel Sturridge. For Arsenal they are without key man Alexis Sanchez, Cazorla, Welbeck and Wilshere are also out but Ozil could return to the side on Wednesday evening.

Previous Meetings

The last time the two sides met was in August last year  in what was a strangely eventful 0-0. In April last year the Reds fell to a heavy defeat at the hands of Arsene Wenger's side when the Londoners scored four and Liverpool could only manage a consolation goal from the penalty spot thanks to Jordan Henderson. Emre Can was also shown red in that game.

Arsenal's last visit to Anfield wasn't so straight forward though after the match ended in a 2-2 draw. I remember that game well because I had 2-2 as the result and I also had Skrtel to score last haha. We have to go back to September 2012 to find an Arsenal win at Anfield.

Form

Arsenal at the time of writing are sitting pretty at the top of the table they've won four out of their last five games in the league faltering only once when they lost to Southampton on Boxing Day. Liverpool on the other hand are 8th in the table and have only won two of their last five matches in the league. The two 1-0 wins over Leicester and Sunderland didn't exactly set the world alight and Jurgen Klopp will surely be hoping that his side can instead emulate their performances against City and Chelsea on Wednesday night.

Stat Sandwich

  • In 12 matches in the league under Jurgen Klopp Liverpool have scored just 14 goals.
  • Ozil has scored or offered an assist for 16 of Arsenal's last 24 goals.
  • In the last nine matches in the league between the two sides at Anfield, 35 goals have been scored.
Betting

After seeing that high scoring stat above I think I might well have a quid on a big score draw tomorrow. Paddy Power are offering odds of 300/1 for a 4-4 draw, not exactly in the realms of the unknown is it that? Haha. A 3-3 draw is down at 50/1 while a 2-2 draw is 12/1.

First goalscorer for Wednesday evening may be difficult to predict because it's hard to tell whether Klopp is going to start Benteke or not. I personally think he'll be dropped tomorrow but his odds to find the net first with Paddy Power are at 5/1 at the moment. Firmino who needs to find the back of the net soon in my opinion to avoid criticism is at 15/2 to score first.

Finally, if you fancy a scorecast with Arsenal taking the lead but Liverpool to win you can get odds of 75/1 for Giroud to score first but Liverpool to win 2-1.

If you fancy a bet simply click on the banner below to take advantage of £30 free when you spend £10, just remember to put the whole tenner on one single bet to qualify!

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Potentially The Most Exciting 0-0 Draw You've Ever Seen

Image via mirror.co.uk
Ok, maybe "the most exciting 0-0 draw ever" is a bit of an exaggeration but Monday night's clash with Arsenal turned into a far better game than I was expecting for Liverpool. We have a diabolical record at the Emirates and to find myself frustrated slightly after picking up a draw says a lot about our performance in the game. If only we could have found the back of the net!

The game started very brightly for the Reds who were off the mark with a shot from Benteke in just two minutes, shortly followed by a strike that smashed off the woodwork from Coutinho it looked like Liverpool were going to punish Arsenal in the very early stages.

Just before the eight minute mark the only blip in the first half for the Reds occurred when Arsenal had put the ball in the back of the net. Aaron Ramsey was ruled offside by the linesman but on closer inspection there appeared to be little wrong with the goal.

Brendan Rodgers' side continued to build the pressure in the first half as the Gunners struggled to deal with some slick movement from the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Milner and Benteke. Coupled with a solid defensive display and some confident runs from Clyne and Gomez Liverpool were making Arsenal look like an average side.

I haven't seen us play that well at the Emirates in a very long time but it was becoming more and more evident that despite our best efforts we just weren't going to find that all important goal. The final nail in the coffin came when Christian Benteke missed what looked like a simple shot at goal. A superb searching cross whipped in by Firmino was begging to be reached by the Belgian, he got a foot on it but Cech with a good save prevented the Reds from taking the lead. For me, he should have smashed it high into the net and over the keeper, or just put some height on it to be safe really. I don't mean to complain but I can't help but feel he could have done better there. A frustrating moment for sure.

Benteke's chance wasn't even the final of the half, at 44 minutes a shot from Philippe Coutinho looked destined to find the back of the net but Cech kept his side in the game once again with a sublime save to push the effort onto the post.

After failing to score in the first half Liverpool knew that Arsenal would benefit from the break, able to regroup and pounce on their visitors after stalling their rhythm.

Wenger's side did begin to get a foothold in the second half but the game was still scrappy (I hate that term but it describes what I saw) neither side really could maintain a strong enough grip on possession which led to rapid breaks, increasing the excitement for both sets of fans.

Alexis Sanchez hit the post at 59 minutes for the home side but just ten minutes later hearts were in mouths as Giroud's shot from close range may have won the game for Arsenal if it wasn't for the quick reactions of Simon Mignolet. Another brilliant save in a game where the goalkeepers both shone.

Arsenal continued to push but Liverpool would not let up. A special highlight should be placed on the performance from Martin Skrtel who was an absolute rock in defence getting all his tackles and aerial duals spot on throughout the 90 minutes. He's often moaned at and he definitely is prone to a mistake but the service that man has given to this club is phenomenal, proud to have him on my shirt.

And so, Liverpool were forced to settle for a point in an enthralling 0-0 draw. The plus side is that it was a fantastic performance from the Reds and they are yet to concede in the league. With West Ham up next, things are looking good for Brendan Rodgers' side.

I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:

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Sunday, 23 August 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Arsenal V Liverpool


Liverpool travel to London on Monday evening as they prepare to face Arsenal in their third fixture of the season. The Reds have picked up two wins out of two whilst the Gunners have won just one game having lost their opening tie against West Ham. Will a stumbling start from Wenger's side assist the Reds or is it going to be the same old story at the Emirates?

Injuries for Liverpool mean they are likely to be without captain Jordan Henderson who picked up a problem against Bournemouth. They are also unable to call upon Joe Allen, Jon Flanagan and Daniel Sturridge. For Arsenal they are without Flamini who has an ankle problem and Jack Wilshere is also still unavailable. Out too are Welbeck and Rosicky.

The last time the two sides met was in April this year. The Reds took a beating at the Emirates as Arsenal put four in the back of the Liverpool net. A penalty from Jordan Henderson was the only consolation for Brendan Rodgers' side as they also had to deal with a red card for Emre Can.

Liverpool's last victory over Arsenal was in February 2014 it was a simply stunning performance from the Reds as they scored four goals in 20 minutes at Anfield. The game eventually ended 5-1 with Martin Skrtel, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge on the score sheet.

It's no secret however that Liverpool's record at the Emirates is less than favourable. In our last ten meetings in all competitions at the Arsenal ground we have won just one fixture. There have been four draws with the home side winning on five occasions.

On Monday night Liverpool need to break their duck but they also need to prove to fans and neutrals that they can put on a serious performance against a side that many are naming as title contenders. I feel it's a good time to be facing Arsenal after their initial loss in the league and sometimes it's better to get these kind of fixtures out the way early on.

Stat Sandwich

  • Martin Skrtel has scored three goals in his last two league games against Arsenal (and has won me some money in the process haha!)
  • If Arsenal were to lose this game it would be only the third time that they have lost their opening two home matches of a campaign.
  • Mignolet has kept more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in 2015 - 11

For me, Liverpool have got to pull a lot out of the bag in order to try and get the better of Arsenal tomorrow. The psychological aspect of failing to win at the Emirates will no doubt play on the minds and with a missing captain it could be a shake up that the Reds didn't necessarily want.

On the other hand, on the assumption that Emre Can will replace Henderson in midfield, his different style of play may aid Liverpool in their search for three points. With Benteke up front once again it is vital for me that we get the ball over to him and with Henderson not involved (one of the only players crossing the ball), there will be a lot of pressure on James Milner to offer a supply line for our big forward.

I can't see us walking the ball into the net against Arsenal, either we whip the ball in to Benteke (or Skrtel from a corner) or we wait tirelessly for a piece of Coutinho magic.

I forgot to ask you for your score predictions this week but I am hoping we might be able to scrape a score draw! I'll definitely be popping a quid on Skrtel to score as it has served me well over the years, I'll update you on Twitter with any other bets I place.

Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!

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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Reds Lose Ground On Champions League Spot

image via: guardian.co.uk

Liverpool fell to a disastrous defeat on Saturday afternoon as Brendan Rodgers was forced to watch his side lose 4-1. In a game that could make or break the Reds' season, it was always going to be a difficult task but surely not one that would result in a hammering.

Rodgers started with a very protective midfield line up consisting of Allen, Henderson AND Lucas. Whilst it was clear the aim was to protect the recently changed back three due to the missing Martin Skrtel, the overly protective set up had a massive effect on Liverpool's attack.

Raheem Sterling was chosen to start up front whilst Daniel Sturridge made the bench. Mario Balotelli who is apparently "injured" did not even feature in the line up.

Things started poorly for Liverpool who struggled to deal with Arsenal's immediate pressure. The Gunners were determined to set the pace and certainly flustered the Reds from the off. As the Reds eventually settled into the game refusing to let Arsenal through, they would find themselves regretting a great chance involving Markovic and Sterling.

A great break enabled Markovic to make a run into the box, his decision making though perhaps was not at its best. Either that or he didn't have the confidence to strike, whatever the reason he opted to make a poor pass to Sterling who with an outstretched leg just couldn't quite convert.

It was clear the Reds would live to regret their missed opportunities and it wasn't long before Arsenal punished. 

At 36 minutes the home side got their chance when Bellerin took a left footed shot from inside the box and swept it around Simon Mignolet. It was a real shame because Mignolet had kept the Reds in the game with two fantastic saves just moments before but the Reds were now behind.

Three  minutes later and Liverpool had a free kick in a dangerous position to deal with. This  is where Mignolet perhaps let himself down slightly after such a good start. The free kick from Ozil was a good one but Mignolet should have perhaps been placed better and failed to deal effectively with the chance.

And  so the Reds found themselves 2-0 down in the space of three minutes, yet there was still worse to come.

Just five minutes later and Arsene Wenger's side had found another goal. Alexis Sanchez had managed to create himself a bit of space just outside the box and with a fantastic strike had beaten Mignolet. The Reds were now 3-0 down before the stroke of half time after eight minutes of madness.

I never expected Liverpool to win ths game, I perhaps was clinging on to the hope of a score draw but I certainly never thought we would be battered. At half time it felt like there was no hope and with only a half fit Daniel Sturridge left on the bench to create any real sort of impact the Reds were ultimately doomed.

Sturridge immediately replaced Lazar Markovic at the start of the second half. The first incident of note for Liverpool would be a booking for Emre Can. At the time it didn't matter but a silly challege late on would see Can dismissed.

Whilst the Reds managed to keep out Arsenal for the majority of the secod half and created a few chances, they couldn't quite convert. Unfortunately for the Reds Sturridge was also barely able to get himself on the ball and it was surely an act of desperation from Rodgers to bring him back so soon.

A slight positive for Liverpool occurred at approximately 75 minutes in when Raheem Sterling won a penalty. I expected Sturridge to step up for this one but it was in fact Jordan Henderson who just about converted the penalty for the Reds.

For a short while the boost of the penalty appeared to spur Liverpool on, after all, one more goal atthis  stage could have created a very nervy end for Arsenal. The positivity soon faded though as a few minutes later Emre Can was given his marching orders. It was a silly challenge from Can who will now miss Liverpool's masssively important FA Cup tie against Blackburn on Wednesday evening.

Now down to ten men, the Reds had to deal with the ever increasing Arsenal pressure who clearly weren't content with just the three goals. A minute into extra time they found themseves a fourth. Assisted by Alexis Sanchez, Oliver Giroud was able to score from outside the box with a strike that flew into the top left hand corner.

This match was painful to watch. At stages it felt like Liverpool were going to be able to put a mark on the game but by missing vital chances it was always going to be an uphill struggle at a ground we rarely win at.

I've been prioritising the FA Cup for a long while now because I had a feeling it would be the only thing we had left to cling to. The  game against Blackburn now is huge, without a potential FA Cup win the season has been pretty terrible and who's to say it can't get worse?

To even have a snfiff of a chance of getting back into the top four Liverpool must hope United slip up. United are capable of a few slip ups in my opinion but in order for the Reds to stand a chance we must go on a near perfect run which I can't see happening.

Ah well, we may as well try to stay positive??? 

Next up for Liverpool is Blackburn in the FA Cup. A match preview will be available on the blog on Tuesday evening.

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Friday, 3 April 2015

MATCH PREVIEW: Arsenal V Liverpool

Image via: mirror.co.uk

I'm back! Don't pretend not to be well excited...

You may have missed my blog posts here on The Liver Bird over the past couple of weeks, you may have not been arsed but I can assure you it feels bloody good to be back blogging and off we go with an Arsenal match preview! (P.s. I'm so glad I didn't have to write a report for that United game, 6am I was up to watch that... unbelievable!)

The Reds currently find themselves 5th in the table on 54 points after losing their first league game in 14 against Manchester United on 22nd March. It was a big blow for Liverpool who could have leap frogged van Gaal's side if they had collected all three points. Arsenal are sitting in third on 60 points having won their last six fixtures in the league.

Injuries for Liverpool have improved somewhat over recent weeks however the game may come too soon for Daniel Sturridge whilst Adam Lallana is also unavailable. The real problem for the Reds is the fact that both Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel start their three match bans on Saturday. Skrtel in particular will be a huge loss for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers aims to forge an unfamiliar back three once again.

For Arsenal they have a few injury woes as Diaby, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Debuchy and Arteta are all unavailable. There is also a doubt hanging over Danny Welbeck who will be subject to a late fitness test prior to the game.

The last time the two sides met was in December last year. In a game that ended 2-2, Liverpool lost Fabio Borini in the 90th minute after he received a red card. I remember this game particularly well because I'd had a punt on Skrtel last goalscorer on his own and also a quid on the 2-2 scoreline. When Skrtel netted in the 90th minute I went mental! Haha.

At the Emirates, things become tricky for the Reds who have failed to win there in the majority of their recent visits. They did however collect all three points in August 2011 after an Aaron Ramsey own goal and a Suarez effort.

Stat Sandwich

  • If Liverpool can keep a clean sheet on Saturday they will set a club record of seven consecutive away clean sheets in the league.
  • Arsenal have found the back of the net in every one of their 22 league and cup matches at home so far this season.
  • The Reds have picked up 26 points in 2015, only Arsenal have picked up more (27).

I don't mean to bring the mood down but I'm not holding out much hope for a win tomorrow. We may be able to nab a score draw but I just can't see us collecting all three points on Saturday. With the missing Skrtel and also potentially a missing Daniel Sturridge I think Liverpool may struggle both in attack and defence at the Emirates.

Arsenal play some very nice football and as proven in the meat of the stat sandwich above, they know how to find the back of the net. Of course Liverpool can rely on their brilliant clean sheet record and here's hoping we can pull off another one but at present it feels like a very difficult task.

I will almost certainly be having a few bets tomorrow so follow me on Twitter to see where my money goes - @LFCKirstyLFC

In the meantime however be sure to follow my new venture @PuntCheeky. It's just a simple Tumblr blog where I will be posting betting previews for random football games. A betting preview for the Arsenal V Liverpool game will be available later this evening over on the Punt Cheeky Blog.

Retweets/shares and follows are very much appreciated as I try to get this blog off the ground and see where it takes me!

Enjoy the match folks! Wherever you are watching.

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