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Premier League

  • 3 March 2012
  • • 18:15
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 44922

Liverpool - Arsenal Preview: Champions League contenders eager to capitalise on morale-boosting wins last weekend

Liverpool - Arsenal Preview: Champions League contenders eager to capitalise on morale-boosting wins last weekend

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The Gunners came back from two goals down to beat Tottenham 5-2 at home last Sunday and they travel to the newly-crowned League Cup victors, who conquered Cardiff City on penalties



Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique
 Gerrard, Spearing
Henderson, Suarez, Downing

Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs
Arteta, Song
Walcott, Rosicky, Benayoun
Van Persie

Liverpool's Glen Johnson (hamstring) and Steven Gerrard (hamstring) are doubts having picked up knocks in training and England’s 3-2 loss to Netherlands respectively. If Johnson is not fit enough to play then Martin Kelly is an obvious replacement and Red boss Kenny Dalglish will be eager for his talismanic captain to feature on Saturday although Charlie Adam could deputise.

Daniel Agger, who injured his rib in Liverpool’s enthralling penalty shoot-out triumph over Cardiff City in the League Cup final, will definitely not play against Arsenal. Dalglish confirmed the Danish defender will be absent for a few weeks so Jamie Carragher will likely be ushered into the starting line-up. Brazil international Lucas remains the only long-term absentee at Anfield.

Considering the manner in which Arsenal came back from two goals down to beat Tottenham 5-2 last weekend, manager Arsene Wenger is unlikely to tinker too much with the starting line-up. Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) and Tomas Rosicky (back) were reported to have picked up problems in the north London derby victory, but should have shaken them off in the international break.

The Gunners have a plethora of other injured players: Brazilian full-back Andre Santos (ankle), Aaron Ramsey (ankle), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Per Mertesacker (ankle) and Sebastien Squillaci are all ruled out of the Anfield clash. Andrey Arshavin will play no further part at the Emirates Stadium this season after being loaned out to former club Zenit St Petersburg.

  • Liverpool beat Arsenal in the second Premier League match of the season – a 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium courtesy an Aaron Ramsey own goal and Luis Suarez’s late finish. The north London club were in freefall at that point, however, and have salvaged their season since a woeful start to their campaign.
  • The Gunners have won more games away from home this season (five) than the Reds have won at Anfield (four). With only 20 points won at Anfield, the Reds actually have their joint worst points total at home at this stage of the season since the Premier League began.
  • Robin van Persie (pictured right) is still flying high as the Premier League's top goalscorer on 23 goals. His nearest challenger is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney who has scored 17 so far this season.
  • 8.6% - that is the percentage of chances the Reds have converted in the league this campaign, the worst in the division.
  • Seven points lie between the two clubs, with Arsenal sat in fourth on 46 and Liverpool in seventh on 39. Kenny Dalglish's men do have a game in hand though, although that is a Merseyside derby match against Everton - far from an easy three points.
  • In the last nine top flight matches between these clubs, six matches have ended in a draw.
  • Should the Gunners avoid defeat against Liverpool on Saturday it will be the first time ever that the club have gone unbeaten at Anfield in five consecutive league clashes.
  • Although Arsenal have a home Champions League tie coming up in midweek it is unlikely that players will be rested for the AC Milan match. Arsene Wenger's side lost 4-0 in the away leg to make qualification for the quarter-finals an unlikely scenario. Sunday's opponents, of course, have experience of overturning a large deficit against the Italian club - the Reds came back from 3-0 down at half-time in the 2005 final of the elite European competition to win on penalties.

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