When you look at the current league table you can see this is a crucial game for both teams in the hunt for 4th spot, Arsenal having a healthy lead at the moment, having played one game more however.
In recent years, when these two teams meet they are usually highly entertaining and never short of goals and drama, most notably the 4-4 game where Arshavin played a blinder and had a quad-trick. More interestingly is that there have been 6 90th minute or later goals scored in the last six matches between these two teams, so not a game to leave the ground or switch the telly off early if it’s not looking good for you by any means.
In terms of last games Liverpool won the carling cup in that thrilling shooting and Arsenal pulled a comeback and ended up giving Tottenham a bit of a beating, so both sets should be coming into this with a bit of confidence, added with the importance of the fixture and we’ve got a potential game of the season on our hands here.
The danger here is that Arsenal have their shooting boots and then some, whereas us (at Anfield) are getting way too many draws which if they were wins we would be coasting that 4th spot at the moment. If you looked at the stats alone, it probably has a draw or Arsenal win all over it.
We need to come into this game to score goals, and not just one, we need at least 2 I think to stop this from being another draw or a loss. Considering all the bad home results we could be in a much worse position but anything other than a win today is goodbye 4th spot, even goodbye 5th as Newcastle are looking pretty good at the moment, and Chelsea are in a good position and travelling to West Brom this weekend.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE
Pos Team P Pts
1 Manchester City 26 63
2 Manchester United 26 61
3 Tottenham Hotspur 26 53
4 Arsenal 26 46
5 Chelsea 26 46
6 Newcastle United 26 43
7 Liverpool 25 39
Even with all the negativity so far in this blog, it is fair to say that despite our goal shy forwards, we aren’t leaking goals either with one of the best defences in the league, and if they have a good game and keep van Persie quiet we could get a clean sheet. A lot of people are saying Arsenal are a one man team this season, and I agree and disagree, Persie may be scoring the majority of goals but it’s still the team that creates chances and defends. He is undeniably the key player though.
Right, my team against Arsenal-
The best defence combination we’ve had all season, they’ve worked well all season, no brainer picking these I think. However, Agger has recently been sidelined for a few weeks, but we have a world class sub in Carragher so be should be able to step in quite comfortably.
I usually go for 4 midfielders, and usually have Henderson and Adam in there but it think Downing had a cracker against Cardiff and played well against Brighton before that, Gerrard is a big game skipper and Kuyt as a winger with his work rate and experience make them the best choice, plus he deserves a start after getting us into the shoot out.
It’s a risk but this is a very attacking side, and if it works like it does in my head we can bombard their defences, and if the press are correct about Vermaelen they could weakened and we need to take advantage of that. pace, Suarez skill and Carroll holding/aerial ability it’s a strike force with almost everything you need if they play like they know they can play, anyway.
I reckon the best defence wins here, if we can quieten Persie, and watch the wings carefully we can stop them from giving Reina a long day. If their defence can withstand our attacks then that’s a long day for us, either way I’m hoping for an exciting game to watch, but nothing to horrible like the Carling cup final.