Joint English Premier League leaders Liverpool have a good chance of coming away with all three points when they travel to fellow top-four dwellers Arsenal on Saturday (1:30pm ET).
Liverpool are tied with Manchester City at the top of the table, with Arsenal only four points off the pace in fourth after a very good start to the season themselves. They do, though, have their deficiencies, and Liverpool can be expected to take advantage of them on Saturday.
Some were evident in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw away to Crystal Palace last weekend. Two clumsily conceded penalties either side of goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gained Palace a point. The outcome could easily have been worse for Arsenal given that their hosts twice struck the woodwork in a match in which Arsenal mustered just seven shots.
It was another occasion this season when the final result didn’t really match the performance. While the Gunners had put together a seven-match winning streak in the league (11 in all competitions) in the build up to that match, the underlying statistics told and continue to tell a very different story as to the strength of Unai Emery’s side.
At the very simplest level, Arsenal have been outshot by their opponents across their first 10 matches of the campaign. While they look to be creating better quality chances than they are conceding, the balance is not particularly impressive. If and when their hot streak in front of goal peters out, their defence doesn’t look sufficiently strong to pick up the slack.
Emery did, of course, inherit a side who only finished sixth last season, a full 12 points off the top four. He will feel that with further time to transmit his ideas, performances and underlying numbers will improve. The points his side have picked up to date have given them a strong chance of challenging for a top-four finish, which would likely have been one of the key aims for the club coming into the season.
It is, though, difficult to see his side being able to contain a Liverpool team who look like genuine challengers to Manchester City this season. While the reigning champions City are still the clear favorites with the U.S. online sports betting companies to eventually come away with the Premier League trophy, Liverpool have improved enough to significantly reduce their margin for error this time around.
Ten matches into last season, Liverpool were already 12 points off the ultimate pace. This season, they are right there alongside Man City, with an attack that looks just as strong as it did last year and with defensive numbers that have continued the improvement demonstrated as the last campaign wore on. Jurgen Klopp’s side make for intimidating opponents.
Cardiff City were their latest victims, swept aside 4-1 at Anfield last weekend. Mohamed Salah opened the scoring before two second-half goals from Sadio Mane and another from Xherdan Shaqiri saw Liverpool to a comfortable victory. It was their eighth in the Premier League this season. The only points they have dropped so far were in draws with City and Chelsea.
Our Preview’s Arsenal vs Liverpool Picks & Predictions Verdict
Liverpool are undefeated in their five matches against Arsenal since Klopp took charge in October 2015, recording three wins and two draws in a series of high-scoring encounters typical of this fixture. Last season’s matches yielded 10 goals, seven of the last eight have seen four or more and there has only been one goalless draw in the last 44 meetings. Last season’s 3-3 draw at the Emirates was preceded by a 4-3 Liverpool victory the year before.
Goals are again likely to be seen on Saturday, although in all likelihood they will be more heavily weighted towards the away end. Arsenal have been a bit fortunate to get some of results they have secured so far this season. Liverpool have the necessary quality to take full advantage of a side who will struggle to contain one of the league’s best attacks. An away victory looks the most probable outcome.