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Liverpool Team News: Injuries, suspensions & line-up vs Arsenal

14:06 GMT 03/03/2017
HD Dejan Lovren
Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Anfield on Saturday afternoon

Liverpool will be battling against the risk of their season dissolving into nothingness as they look to puff out their chests against Arsenal

Having been humiliated 3-1 at Leicester City on Monday - their fourth league defeat in 2016-17 against a side who were in the relegation zone prior to kick off - Jurgen Klopp’s charges have to once again summon their big-game mettle to mask their latest failings.

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With the contest for a place among the top four intensifying, the hosts cannot afford another defeat on Saturday. 

Liverpool have just one victory in the division since the turn of the year and two in 12 fixtures across all competitions. It is unacceptable form and needs to be remedied fast - a 50th league win over Arsenal at Anfield would be sizeable step in the right direction.


LIVERPOOL INJURIES


Saturday's showdown comes too soon for captain Jordan Henderson, who is struggling with a foot injury. 

Dejan Lovren will be assessed late on following his return to training from a knee problem. 

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Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, recovered from his illness only to pick up a hip strain during a rehab session.


LIVERPOOL SUSPENSIONS


There are no suspension concerns for either side. 


LIVERPOOL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


If Lovren shows no ill effects during training and is given the all-clear by the medical team, he could partner Joel Matip in defence. 

Failing that, Ragnar Klavan should step in following Lucas' dismal showing against Leicester. The Brazilian kept his place in the XI at the King Power Stadium on account of his stellar display in the 2-0 victory over Tottenham and by that token, should be behind the Estonia captain in the pecking order for this encounter.


ARSENAL TEAM NEWS


With 13 points, the Gunners have more than doubled Liverpool's tally from the seven Premier League games each have faced this year.

While the expansive approach of Arsene Wenger's side will suit the Reds, the Frenchman will look to exploit the chinks in the opposition's offensive protection without Henderson.

The visiting boss is strengthened by the return of Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, while Danny Welbeck is in contention to start following his knee problem.

Mohamed Elneny will miss out through an ankle issue, with Santi Cazorla a long-term absentee after undergoing foot surgery.

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"We'll see, I don't know. He should be OK," was Wenger's assessment on Mesut Ozil, who missed training on Thursday after feeling unwell.

This fixture has seen 16 goals scored in the 90th minute or later in the Premier League; more than any other meeting in the history of the competition and the Gunners boss is expecting another thrilling test.

"It’s always high intensity, very competitive," he said.

"Anfield is a special place where the fans are behind their team, where their team plays at a good pace. For us, after a little break, it’s important to switch on quickly. We have seen that’s not easy - Liverpool showed that against Leicester.

"After a break, it’s important that you are ready from the start again. You lose a little bit the rhythm of the competition and for us it’s vital to start strongly at Liverpool.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last three home Premier League games against Arsenal (W1 D2 L0).

  • There have been 16 goals scored in those three games at Anfield at an average of 5.3 per game, with the most recent game there ending in 3-3 draw last season.

  • Jurgen Klopp is aiming to become the first Liverpool manager since Gerard Houllier in 1999/2000 to do a Premier League home/away double over Arsene Wenger in a single season.


TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


Kick off is at 17:30 and the game will be televised live on BT Sport.