Arsenal vs. Liverpool Preview – Prediction and Betting Pick
Published on November 02, 2018
I can’t hide my excitement, as I feel the clash between Arsenal and Liverpool is one of the most important English Premier League games since the start of the season.
Both teams are doing well so far, but this match could elevate them to the next level.
Unai Emery’s new Arsenal is just behind the leaders, despite starting the campaign with two defeats. The Gunners had a strong winning streak in the league, but it came mostly against modest opponents.
After losing against Chelsea and Manchester City at the beginning, the new manager desperately needs a big win, and the game against Liverpool represents such an opportunity.
It won’t be easy, though, as the team from Merseyside looks even better than last year. Jurgen Klopp has managed to fix the defense, and Liverpool looks like the team that might be able to put Manchester City under pressure.
It should be a cracking game, and I will be watching it for sure. On top of that, I will be betting, so let’s take a look at what top Premier League betting sites have to offer and see if there is a pick that has some value.
Before I move on to the actual Arsenal vs. Liverpool betting preview, let’s take a look at the main markets.
The bookmakers have Liverpool as the slight favorite here, and I can see why. Jurgen Klopp’s men have a strong defense but also kept their attacking power from last year. On top of that, the German has a solid record against the top teams in the English Premier League.
At the same time, Arsenal is struggling at the back and lost both of its games against direct rivals. This might have been a couple of months ago, but the Gunners are still the underdog because Liverpool is a year or two ahead in its development.
I can see the logic behind the over/under goals market as well.
The Arsenal defense is leaking chances at a worrying rate. Liverpool has all the means to punish every mistake that the Gunners make at the back. Meanwhile, the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette are in top form, so the home side certainly will have chances of its own.
On the surface, I don’t see any solid picks for this match, but let’s dig a bit deeper and see if that’s truly the case.
A lot of Arsenal supporters were disappointed by the fact that the team had to face Manchester City and Chelsea in the first two games of the season, but I feel the fixture list was a blessing in disguise.
There was no pressure on Unai Emery to win. He only had to avoid embarrassment, which is exactly what happened.
I always thought that the important part was to take advantage of the good run of games after that, and Arsenal did it brilliantly.
Taking 22 from the possible 24 in the last eight games was huge, and it puts the team in a great position for the top four battle. On top of that, the run helped Emery ease the pressure and build some confidence in the side.
Despite some problems at the back, Arsenal has shown flashes of brilliance. The next step would be to go out against a strong opponent like Liverpool and get a good result.
It will be tough, and my main concern is the defense of the team. What works in Arsenal’s favor is that the squad finally includes a defensive midfielder who can do the dirty work. Lucas Torreira is vital for the Gunners, and Arsenal legend .
The man protects the defense well, but that hasn’t been enough. As it stands, Arsenal has two major issues at the back. The first one is related to the injury list. The lack of a fit left-back has forced Emery to improvise and try Stephan Lichtsteiner and Granit Xhaka in this position.
Neither worked well enough, and it will be even worse against Liverpool’s mighty attacking trio. According to the latest news, both Monreal and Kolasinac could be back to face the Reds. However, Hector Bellerin is doubtful.
Ideally, Arsenal will have him and one of their designated left-backs on the other wing. In the worst case scenario, we will see Granit Xhaka and the aging Lichtsteiner. If the latter happens, it will be a complete disaster for the Gunners.
The other problem is that the center-backs are simply not that good. Rob Holding is a hot prospect that is solid despite his age, and the experienced Sokratis Papastathopoulos is all right. Those two could form a respectable partnership, but that’s not up to the standards of the other top clubs out there.
Mustafi is a liability, and you could easily see that against Palace. The man is reckless and prone to all kinds of mistakes that cost the side. I hope that skipper Laurent Koscielny will provide a quick fix, but he is still injured and at least a couple of weeks away from playing.
As you can see, Unai Emery has a bunch of problems with his defense.
On the bright side, the Arsenal manager can be happy with his attacking players. The Gunners are tied for second for the most goals scored.
The likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette are unstoppable right now, so I feel they will be able to find the net against Liverpool as well. The question is if that will be enough.
Liverpool was one of the most fascinating teams in Europe last season. The side was scoring for fun, but the leaky defense and the lack of a top goalkeeper prevented it from winning a major trophy at the end.
Jurgen Klopp addressed the main issues from last season in the summer, and the results are obvious.
The side has conceded only four goals so far in the English Premier League and looks like one of the most mature teams in the competition. Unlike the last campaign, Liverpool is often winning thanks to the strong defense.
This is the perfect foundation for a title challenge, and if anyone can stop Manchester City this year, it’s Klopp’s side. I don’t think they will, to be honest, but they do have a shot.
It hasn’t been all perfect, though. I feel that Liverpool has been lucky in some games so far, and the inability of the opponents to take their chances has masked some of the issues in the side.
I don’t think Arsenal will make the same mistake, as they have an exceptional conversion rate so far, especially when it comes to Aubameyang.
If I have to somehow sum up the situation, I feel that Liverpool has been too confident a couple of times this season and actually too passive in their approach. Their defense is not THAT strong yet, and it’s about time for some team to punish them.
The Reds have to be more aggressive, as they have all the means to play a more attacking soccer. I think that Klopp has become a bit obsessed with controlling the tempo and not conceding, which is not the most natural state of this team.
I believe that the outcome of this game depends mainly on the starting defensive line of Arsenal. If I see Mustafi, Lichtsteiner, or Xhaka as part of it, I feel that the Gunners won’t be able to cope with Liverpool. If two of those are playing, Arsenal is doomed.
The only hope for the Gunners is to see their attack go berserk, which is not impossible, but it’s not very likely, either. They certainly will have chances, but Liverpool should be able to outscore them because of the better defense they have.
My natural instinct at first was to look for the over goals market, but the line is too high, and the price is too low for my taste. This is why I will back Liverpool to win this match, as the Gunners need too many things to go their way to get something from the game.
Emery has to have Bellerin and a solid left back fit, they have to score first, and they have to avoid having , as Liverpool is not Fulham or Cardiff City.
The price of 2.07 offered by BetOnline for the visitors is good enough for me, and this is my final pick. I would say that Liverpool will win with a scoreline like 2-1 or 3-1 at the end.
I honestly believe that this game has the potential to be one of the most exciting this season.
Arsenal will certainly concede and will have to push for goals. Considering the firepower available to both managers, we could see a ton of chances and a classic English Premier League spectacle.
What do you think about this game? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.