Arsenal v Liverpool Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 29/12/18

Arsenal v Liverpool Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Liverpool v Arsenal and provides us with his best bets for Saturday evening’s Premier League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

Liverpool v Arsenal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 29/12/18
  • Time: 17:30
  • Venue: Anfield
  • Channel: BT Sport 1

Liverpool will be looking to bolster their title chances with a win against Unai Emery’s Arsenal on Saturday evening.

These two sides have already faced off at the start of November and is coincidentally the last time Liverpool dropped points in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates. Since then Liverpool have just got stronger and stronger, they are now 6 points clear at the top of the table and still haven’t lost a league game.

That game at the Emirates was a real ‘prove it’ scenario for Emery as going into the game they were on a 13 match unbeaten run but hadn’t had a real test. Arsenal were impressive in that fixture but their form has been more inconsistent as of late. In December, Arsenal have picked up draws away at Mourinho’s United and Brighton on Boxing Day and were also defeated at St. Mary’s by Southampton. Not to mention their exit from the Carabao Cup to the hands of Spurs.

With Arsenal’s form not being so ‘We’ve got our Arsenal back’-like, Emery’s decision-making has been put under the spotlight. He’s consistently played Granit Xhaka at centre-back despite him being a crucial part of Arsenal’s midfield during their unbeaten run, Mesut Ozil has been left out of the squad or left on the bench on numerous occasions and he’s also restricted Alexandre Lacazette’s game time massively. Decisions which I think have cost Arsenal points.

Aaron Ramsey is likely to leave in January or in the summer and Emery hasn’t been too keen to play the Welshman this season either. When players like Ozil, Ramsey and Lacazette aren’t on the pitch, Arsenal struggle to break teams down centrally, there’s a lack of creativity from midfield and Emery is almost relying on wing-backs and players like Alex Iwobi to create his chances.

Liverpool will be a real challenge for an injury-hit backline that has kept only three clean sheets this season.

Although Liverpool are flying, I don’t think they’ve been as free-flowing and exciting to watch compared to last season. Sadio Mane has been out of form as of late, scoring once in 8, Roberto Firmino only has 4 league goals but on the other hand, Mohamed Salah has continued his PFA POTY form with 12 goals and 6 assists this season.

Klopp has created an efficient Liverpool side with a balanced and dynamic midfield as well as a vastly improved backline, mainly down to POTY candidate Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutchman has been superb this season and is undoubtedly one of the best in the world in his position, his composure and ability in the air is second to none, he’s very much the complete defender. He along with summer signing Alisson are probably the greatest factors into the Reds’ dominance so far this season. In fact, Liverpool are on pace to concede 24 goals less than they did last season.

Other summer signings are also starting to have a greater impact on this Liverpool side. Fabinho, the strong, physical, box-to-box midfielder has become a more frequent member of the starting 11 as of late whilst Xherdan Shaqiri may well be the bargain of the summer. For £13m, the Swiss international has contributed to 8 G+A’s this season in just 14 appearances which includes just 8 starts.

Team News

James Milner, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out for the home side but Alberto Moreno is likely to return to the squad.

As for Arsenal; Rob Holding (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Hector Bellerin (calf), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (ankle) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) are all out for Unai Emery’s side. Nacho Monreal is also a doubt; the Spaniard limped off against Burnley on Boxing Day and missed the trip to Brighton.

Shkodran Mustafi does have a chance of returning to the squad but it’s likely that this game is too soon for his return.

Potential Liverpool Starting XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri, Mane, Firmino, Salah.

Potential Arsenal Starting XI: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Ozil, Iwobi, Ramsey, Aubameyang.

Head To Head

  • All time: Liverpool-86, Draw-61, Arsenal-78.
  • Liverpool unbeaten in last 6- 3 wins, 3 draws.
  • Arsenal haven’t won at Anfield since September 2012.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the leading PL goal-scorer with 12, Mo Salah is joint 2nd with 11.
  • Xherdan Shaqiri has scored 4 in his last 4 appearances.
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in the league- 16 wins, 3 draws.
  • Over 3.5 goals in 5 of last 6 meetings.
  • BTTS to score in 5 of last 6 meetings.
  • Arsenal greatly overachieves in front of goal away from home- xG: 11.91, GS: 21.
  • Arsenal have scored the 2nd most away goals this season.
  • Liverpool have conceded only twice at Anfield this season.

Betting Odds

  • Liverpool 1/2
  • Draw 15/4
  • Arsenal 6/1

The Verdict

This game is very tough to predict, I’m confident that Liverpool will get the win, I’m just not sure how.

The stats almost contradict each other with Liverpool having an incredible defensive record at home, just conceding twice, whilst Arsenal have an impressive goal-scoring record away from home, scoring 21 in 9. However, Liverpool have conceded in all games against the top six this season, apart from the 0-0 with Man City and have also conceded 7 in 6 Champions League games. This record is enough to convince me that Arsenal will score on Saturday, especially if Ozil and Ramsey play, but I really don’t think they have much of a chance on Saturday with the defenders they have available to them.

This Arsenal side has also failed to keep a clean sheet away from home this season and conceded 7 to this similar looking Liverpool attack over 2 games last season.

The recent history of this fixture which involves 5 of the last 6 having over 3.5 goals and has had score-lines of 3-3, 4-0 and 4-3 since Klopp took over means I’m going to once again back goals and a lot of them. The over 3.5 market looks pretty good at 29/20.

I’m also going to back a man out of form in Sadio Mane. The winger has only scored once in 8 games but has still scored 7 league goals so far, he’s likely to be matched up against Stephan Lichtsteiner, who hasn’t filled me with much confidence since joining Arsenal and the 34-year old will be in for a very tough afternoon with the pace of Mane. The Senegalese star also has a pretty good record against Arsenal, scoring 3 in 5 since joining Liverpool.

Recommended Bets

  • Liverpool and BTTS @ 9/5 (Betway)
  • Over 3.5 goals @ 29/20 (Betfair)
  • Sadio Mane to score anytime @ 7/5 (Ladbrokes)