Dubai: Arsenal will be hoping to prove their title credentials when they face Liverpool in the Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon at Anfield with the Reds playing catch-up in their bid to qualify for the top four.
In their last match, the Gunners overcame a slow start to beat Leeds 4-1, while Liverpool were unable to score against Chelsea in a goalless draw.
Liverpool’s recent poor form, with three losses and a draw in their last four games, has seen them drop to eighth in the table, ten points worse off than fourth-placed Manchester United. Chelsea were the better team at Stamford Bridge and the Merseysiders were fortunate to come away with a point.
But, coach Jurgen Klopp will feel confident that his collection of medals from his time at the club will protect him from the recent spate of managerial sackings. At home, Liverpool have taken 16 points from their last 18 on offer and kept clean sheets in each of their last four games. If they fail to win against Arsenal then their top-four hopes could be over.
Arsenal, who are already guaranteed to finish with their best points total since the 2016-17 campaign, are out to win their eighth league game on the bounce this weekend - as well as their fourth in a row away from home. They are far and away the best-performing side on their travels, with 34 points taken from a possible 42. They have scored at least three goals in each of their last five league victories, a feat they have never before achieved for six consecutive games.
Arteta’s side defeated Liverpool 3-2 at the Emirates in October, but they have often lacked the firepower to break down the Anfield walls, as Liverpool are unbeaten in nine league home games against the visitors - winning each of their last six by a 22-4 aggregate scoreline.
Arsenal last won a league match at Anfield in 2012 when current manager Mikel Arteta was in the team.
Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in seven goals in five appearances against Arsenal at Anfield, with five goals and two assists and Liverpool will look to the Egytian ace to fire them to three vital points.
Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara has returned to full training after missing ten games with a hip problem, while Virgil van Dijk appears to have fully recovered from the illness that kept him out of the draw with Chelsea.
Arteta are still sweating over the fitness of William Saliba as he endeavours to shrug off a back problem, while all of Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu and Mohamed Elneny (both knee) will watch on from the sidelines.
The way Arsenal are currently playing, they will feel they can turn up at Anfield and cut right through Liverpool’s suspect defence at will.