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Premier League

  • February 8, 2014
  • • 7:45 AM
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 44701
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Premier League Preview: Liverpool - Arsenal

Premier League Preview: Liverpool - Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger could welcome Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta back from injury, but will be without January loan signing Kim Kallstrom, Aaron Ramsey and Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsenal’s title credentials are in for a major test against Liverpool on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger has masterminded three victories in his side’s last four Premier League trips to Anfield, including a 2-0 win last season.

Not since Peter Crouch scored a hat trick in a 4-1 victory in March 2007 has the Merseyside club secured a home win against Arsenal in the top flight.

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Liverpool did also beat Wenger's side 4-2 the following April in a Champions League quarterfinal thriller to progress 5-3 on aggregate and set up a semifinal against Chelsea.

However, in the 12 meetings between the two sides since then, Liverpool has only managed one victory - 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in Aug. 2011.

Wenger's side holds a two-point lead at the top of the table after it beat Crystal Palace 2-0 last weekend, while second-placed Manchester City was beaten 1-0 by Chelsea - which is now level on points with Manuel Pellegrini's side.

Liverpool was beaten 2-0 at Arsenal back in November, but Wenger believes Brendan Rodgers' side is a different proposition now.

He said: "We need to dominate the game in order to keep [Luis] Suarez and [Daniel] Sturridge quiet. We must control possession.

"We had some good wins at Anfield. I have a lot of respect for the fans there, they know their football. I think Liverpool are strong offensively with Sturridge, Suarez, [Philippe] Coutinho, [Raheem] Sterling and [Steven] Gerrard.

"Liverpool are in a better position than to when we last played them. They have momentum with them."

Arsenal, which has won eight and drawn two of its last 10 games, could welcome back Jack Wilshere (ankle), while fellow midfielder Mikel Arteta (calf) should also feature.

Aaron Ramsey (thigh), Thomas Vermaelen (knee), Kim Kallstrom (back) will play no part, and Mathieu Flamini is suspended.

Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby (both knee) are long-term absentees.

A mistake from Kolo Toure proved costly as Liverpool was held to a 1-1 draw at West Brom last Sunday.

Toure, who will be hoping to line up against his former club this weekend, gifted Victor Anichebe an equalizer after Sturridge had opened the scoring at The Hawthorns.

Fourth-placed Liverpool is just two points ahead of city rival Everton and eight adrift of Arsenal.

The Merseyside club treated its fans to a 4-0 hammering of Everton in the last game at Anfield and has only failed to win twice at home in the league this season.

Rodgers will once again be unable to call on defenders Daniel Agger (calf), Glen Johnson (ankle/groin) and Mamadou Sakho (hamstring).

Midfielder Lucas Leiva and defender Jose Enrique (both knee) are also unavailable.

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Available Squads
22Simon MignoletGoalkeeper
4Kolo ToureDefender
20Aly CissokhoDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
38Jon FlanaganDefender
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
10CoutinhoMidfielder
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
31Raheem SterlingMidfielder
7Luis SuárezStriker
15Daniel SturridgeStriker
1Bradley JonesGoalkeeper
34Martin KellyDefender
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24Joe AllenMidfielder
33Jordon IbeMidfielder
42Luis AlbertoStriker
-Iago AspasStriker
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
17MonrealDefender
8Mikel ArtetaMidfielder
10Jack WilshereMidfielder
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
19Santi CazorlaMidfielder
12Olivier GiroudStriker
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
9Lukas PodolskiStriker
17Nicklas BendtnerStriker
44Serge GnabryStriker

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