Liverpool head into this match top of the Premier League (PL) and brimming with confidence after going six points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day. They boast a near perfect record this season and remain the only unbeaten side left in the PL (W16, D3).
It’s not hard to see why the ‘Reds’ are currently a level above their rivals. They are undefeated at home (W8, D1), are the division’s second highest scorers (43 goals), and have conceded the PL’s fewest number of goals (seven). A key to their success has been their blistering match starts – Liverpool have scored the opener in 84% of their league games this season.
Tasked with trying to halt the leaders are Arsenal, who travel to Anfield looking to close the gap on the PL top four and build on their record of just one defeat in 17 league matches (W11, D5, L1). Whether they are up to the challenge is yet to be seen, but one thing that can be expected is entertainment. All of the ‘Gunners’ nine away league matches have seen both teams score, with eight of those featuring over 2.5 match goals.
However, Arsenal are currently in the midst of a seven-game winless run against their Merseyside opponents (D4, L3). Notably, five of those seven produced over 3.5 match goals.
Players to watch: Roberto Firmino has four goals in his previous three appearances for Liverpool against Arsenal at Anfield – all four came in the opening 20 minutes.
Arsenal talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has 13 league goals this season, including three in his last two league appearances.
Stat attack: Liverpool have conceded just two goals in nine home league matches.
Arsenal have scored 71% of their league goals in the second half.
In the previous five H2H encounters, 69% of the match goals were scored after the break.
Will not play
Referee: Oliver M. (Eng),
Venue: Anfield (Liverpool)