Premier League Preview: Arsenal Vs Liverpool

Premier League match time returns to the Emirates with Arsenal set to host Liverpool in match week 33 on Sunday, April 17, in the second of a two-legged contest.

The first, hosted by Liverpool on August 15, 2010, ended in a 1-1 stalemate. With neither side scoring in the first half, the stalemate was broken immediately after the interval, when Ngog gave Liverpool the lead. Arsenal had Reina in the Liverpool goal to thank for their equalizer when the Reds’ keeper gloved an own goal in injury time. Earlier Liverpool were reduced to 10 men, when Cole was sent off, on the stroke of half-time. Arsenal midfielder Koscielny collected two bookings to reduce the Gunners to 10 men, themselves, in stoppage time.

Their keeper Almunia was the weak link in the Arsenal armour, and for some time, arsene Wenger had been negotiating to wean Fulham’s Schwarzer to take his place. Barring Cole’s sending off, Liverpool gave a good account of themselves, and kept Arsenal’s forwards at bay, for the best part of 90 minutes.

Head to head, Arsenal have established an 8-4 lead over Liverpool in the last 20 league games played between the sides, with the remaining 8 matches drawn.

In their last 10 league games, Arsenal have registered 5 wins and 5 draws, while Liverpool have won 6 of their last 10, while losing and drawing 4 each. Of their 16 home games this season, Arsenal have won 10, and lost and drawn 3 games each, while Liverpool have won 4 of their 16 games on the road, while losing 2 and drawing the remaining 10.

In match week 32, Arsenal won 3-1 away at Blackpool, while Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-0 at home.

Sunday’s game assumes great significance for both teams. Arsenal would seek all of their remaining games, to keep their slender title hopes alive. Similarly, Liverpool, who are currently in 6th place, would want to use the remaining games to best advantage, and try to wrest a European qualification. Expect the Reds to fight hard in a game that will give Arsenal the considerable advantage of playing at home.

Arsenal’s starting eleven against Blackpool had the following players: Lehmann, Eboue, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy, Diaby, Fabregas, Wilshere, Nasri, van Persie and Arshavin. Ramsey, Gibbs and Walcott played as substitutes.

Liverpool had the following men in their starting eleven against Manchester City: Reina, Flanagan, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Lucas, Spearing, Meireles, Suarez and Carroll. Ngog was used as a substitute.

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