Arsenal and Liverpool look for top four boost in Anfield battle
Liverpool, 9/5 with Coral for a much-needed victory, host Arsenal in what could already be a crucial clash for both teams’ hopes of a Champions League spot.
The visitors have, however, lost just one of their last seven trips to Anfield, making them 6/4 favourites to triumph again.
With surprise packages Southampton and West Ham United both showing frailties of late, the challenge for a top four place is becoming increasingly open.
Despite a slow start to the season, the Gunners now sit sixth in the Premier League, with a win at Anfield potentially propelling them into fourth.
Brendan Rodgers’ Reds are currently much further off the pace than their upcoming visitors, however, and really need to start picking up points if they are to close a widening gap. Stealing competitors Arsenal’s scalp in front of home fans would certainly be a promising start, with last season’s battle here also a turning point for both teams.
Arsene Wengers’ men arrive in Merseyside having won two on the trot, scoring a sensational eight goals as they defeated both Galatasaray and Newcastle United 4-1.
Santi Cazorla was the star of the show last time out, bagging a delightful brace at the Magpies’ expense. The scintillating Spaniard is 5/1 to be a menace again and net anytime.
Whilst Liverpool have often huffed and puffed in attack, the Gunners have an array of dangerous weapons in their armoury and could easily punish a Reds defence that has conceded 22 goals in 16 league games.
Electric Alexis Sanchez (6/1 to strike first) and in-form frontman Olivier Giroud (10/1 to score two or more after his brilliant brace against Newcastle) will be relishing the opportunity to run riot against Liverpool’s rearguard.
The north Londoners’ defence has been far from sturdy itself at times this term, but Mathieu Debuchy’s recent return and Francis Coquelin’s potential availability should see them through.
Arsenal may have a relatively good record at Anfield, but must still be having nightmares after their 5-1 thrashing there last campaign, a result that appeared to derail their title challenge.
Liverpool are certainly not the same swashbuckling side that smashed Wenger’s men, but starlet Raheem Sterling’s pace and guile could still cause problems on the counter.
The England international was on target twice in that now famous rout, and also grabbed two goals against Bournemouth recently, making him great value at 15/8 in the anytime market.
Rodgers is still looking for permanent solutions up top and in goal, with Sterling set to continue as a false nine and reserve stopper Brad Jones expected to keep his spot ahead of Simon Mignolet.
As these rivals need to make a statement of intent regarding their top four credentials, back goals galore, with both teams to score in both halves available at a tempting 10/1.