Liverpool v Arsenal: PREVIEW
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Arsenal head to Liverpool on Saturday. Read on for Layth Yousif’s preview of the big match at Anfield.
Unai Emery is short of defensive options, with Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding ruled out. Shkodran Mustafi is nearing a return from a hamstring injury, but is not expected to start at Anfield against the Premier League leaders.
Club captain Laurent Koscielny is fit despite picking up a niggle in his foot during the disappointing 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could recall Fabinho and Naby Keita while James Milner will be assessed after missing the victory against Newcastle due to a tight hamstring.
The in-form Reds have won every Premier League game they’ve played since drawing 1-1 at the Emirates in early November to top the table by six points from Spurs and seven ahead of their main contenders Manchester City.
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The Gunners sit in fifth place on 38 points, two behind Chelsea in the race for the crucial fourth spot which would secure Champions League football for next season.
Emery’s response to being asked if Liverpool can end the season unbeaten in the league: “They can do that because they are doing it at the moment.
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“We played against Liverpool three years ago with Sevilla in the final of the Europa League and I look at this progress and they are a very good example.
“This progress is also one example for us, now, in our moment. But we need to be very, very demanding of ourselves to do this step quickly in our way.
“But we need also time and sometimes the patience is very important for us.”
Arsenal have failed to win in their last five league games at Anfield (D2, L3), conceding at least two goals in each of those matches (17 in total) while the Reds are unbeaten in their last seven matches against the Gunners (W3, D4).
Alarmingly Arsenal are winless in 19 Premier League away fixtures against ‘top six’ sides (D7, L12), with their previous victory a 2-0 triumph at Manchester City on 18 January 2015.
However, one bright spot is the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has been involved in 30 goals in his 32 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, scoring 23 and assisting seven, including grabbing the Gunners only goal at the Amex on Boxing Day against the Seagulls.