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TOPIC: Arsenal @ home, Sunday 21st Dec, KO 1600 UK

Arsenal @ home, Sunday 21st Dec, KO 1600 UK 2 years 11 months ago #218

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Liverpool find themselves in no mans land as we creep closer to the midway point of the season, sitting in 11th place seven points above the relegation zone and seven points behind 4th placed West Ham Utd. Next up is Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday afternoon; 4pm kick off UK time.

LFC 5 ARSENAL 1Liverpool won the corresponding fixture last season 5-1 with braces from Skrtel and Sterling and one from Sturridge, with Arteta scoring a consolation for the Gunners from the penalty spot. That was our first victory over Arsenal at Anfield in seven league games and it’s the kind of performance we can only dream about witnessing this season.

The Reds suffered their seventh league defeat of the season following the 0-3 defeat to Manchester Utd at Old Trafford last Saturday and our points tally of 21 from 16 games is one fewer than at the same stage of Rodgers’ first season in charge and one point less than what Hodgson achieved in his first 16 games in 2010/11. It’s our lowest points tally at this stage of the campaign of any Premier League season:

Liverpool’s lowest points return after 16 league games in the Premier League era:

Season 2014/15 – P: 16 W: 6 D: 3 L: 7 F: 19 A: 22 GD: -3 Pts: 21 (Rodgers)
Season 2010/11 – P: 16 W: 6 D: 4 L: 6 F: 20 A: 19 GD: +1 Pts: 22 (Hodgson)
Season 1992/93 – P: 16 W: 6 D: 4 L: 6 F: 25 A: 24 GD: +1 Pts: 22 (Souness)
Season 2012/13 – P: 16 W: 5 D: 7 L: 4 F: 22 A: 20 GD: +2 Pts: 22 (Rodgers)
Season 2003/04 – P: 16 W: 6 D: 4 L: 6 F: 23 A: 18 GD: +5 Pts: 22 (Houllier)
Season 1998/99 – P: 16 W: 6 D: 4 L: 6 F: 27 A: 21 GD: +6 Pts: 22 (Houllier/Evans)

Although victory over Arsenal will move us to within two points of the Gunners who are in 6th, it would take a massive improvement over the second half of the season for the Reds to be in contention of finishing in the top four come the end of the season. In 1992/93 we finished in 6th with 59pts (from 42 games). In 1998/99 we ended that season in 7th with 54pts. In 2003/04 we finished 4th with 60pts (Everton ended the following season (2004/05) in 4th with 61pts but the lowest points total achieved by a team finishing 4th since 2005/06 is 67 by Arsenal from that same season). In 2010/11 we finished in 6th with 58pts and in 2012/13 we ended the campaign in 7th with 61pts.

For Liverpool to reach the lowest points total (67) of a team finishing in 4th since 2005/06, we will need to pick up 46 points from our final 22 games. That is 13 wins, seven draws and two defeats. Doable based on Rodgers’ team from the second half of last season but this current side is a very different beast to the Liverpool of 2013/14.

Liverpool’s overall league record against Arsenal:

Total – P: 180 W: 70 D: 47 L: 63 F: 256 A: 231 GD: +25
Home – P: 90 W: 49 D: 17 L: 24 F: 174 A: 98 GD: +76
Away – P: 90 W: 21 D: 30 L: 39 F: 82 A: 133 GD: -51

Premier League form – last six matches home and away:

8th – Arsenal: P: 6 W: 3 D: 0 L: 3 F: 10 A: 8 Pts: 9
13th – Liverpool: P: 6 W: 2 D: 1 L: 3 F: 6 A: 9 Pts: 7

Premier League form – last six matches at home (Liverpool) and away (Arsenal):

3rd – Arsenal: P: 6 W: 3 D: 0 L: 3 F: 9 A: 7 Pts: 9
12th – Liverpool: P: 6 W: 2 D: 3 L: 1 F: 5 A: 4 Pts: 9

Liverpool’s record against teams managed by Arsene Wenger (all competitions):

Total – P: 45 W: 14 D: 13 L: 18 F: 68 A: 67 GD: +1
Home – P: 21 W: 9 D: 5 L: 7 F: 46 A: 34 GD: +12
Away – P: 22 W: 4 D: 8 L: 10 F: 20 A: 31 GD: -11
Neutral – P: 2 W: 1 D: 0 L: 1 F: 2 A: 2 GD: 0

The match-day officials for this fixture are:

Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: S Long, L Betts
Fourth Official: C Pawson


Liverpool are missing Sturridge (thigh), Johnson (groin), Suso (groin), Flanagan (knee) and Balotelli, who is banned for one game for his Super Mario social media activity, and may also be injured anyway!

Arsenal are without Ramsey (hamstring), Koscielny (calf), Arteta (calf), Wilshere (foot), Walcott (groin) and Ozil (knee) and have doubts over the fitness of Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin), Monreal (foot) and Rosicky (thigh).


Goalkeepers: Mignolet, Jones, Ward
Defenders: Skrtel, Lovren, Sakho, Toure, Manquillo, Moreno, Enrique
Midfielders: Gerrard (c), Henderson, Allen, Lucas, Coutinho, Markovic, Lallana, Can
Forwards: Sterling, Lambert, Borini


Goalkeepers: Szczesny, Ospina, Martinez
Defenders: Debuchy, Gibbs, Mertesacker (c), Monreal (?), Chambers, Bellerin
Midfielders: Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain (?), Cazorla, Flamini, Diaby, Coquelin, Zelalem
Forwards: Podolski, Giroud, Sanchez, Sanogo, Welbeck
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Arsenal @ home, Sunday 21st Dec, KO 1600 UK 2 years 11 months ago #220

  • KopKenya
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I agree with James Pearce when he says stick to the team that worked well vs. the Cherries mid-week. I'd stay with 3-4-2-1 until Sturridge is back.

Meanwhile, I am still apprehensive about Gerrard and Lucas playing in a mid-field 2...good thing I don't have to make that decision every week! B)

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Arsenal @ home, Sunday 21st Dec, KO 1600 UK 2 years 11 months ago #223

  • m.tharik
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I would love to see Borini in the second half. Starting with the same 11 as the Capital One cup tie seems like the best option as of now. But Arsenals pacey attack could kill our 3 man defence.
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