ARSENAL VERSUS LIVERPOOL: HOME FORM MUST COUNT

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Anfield ’89 is one of the high points of Arsenal’s history. Every time I watch the highlights of that game and how the gooners snatched the title of the grasp of the Reds, it sends shivers down my spine and I can only imagine the ecstasy of fans inside Anfield that night. I have remembered this game because Arsenal versus Liverpool is always a classic. From the 4-4 super draw to the 6-3 tennis like scoreline , this game never fails to disappoint.

Both teams were not tipped to compete for the title at the beginning of the season, as everybody was tipping the Manchester twins and Chelsea; but both teams have shocked everybody and nobody would have expected the build up to this game to be this tense, only the Manchester derby has generated as much buzz this season.

The Reds are in hot form with Sturridge and Suarez playing football that is out of this world. They have scored 14 league games between them and have started drawing comparison with the famous Shearer and Sutton or the treble winning Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole combination. Brendan Rodgers seems to have installed new belief in his lads and with the 3-5-2 formation, Liverpool have gotten their groove back.

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This week there has been so much analysis about the game and pundits have surprisingly and shockingly made the Reds slight favourites, everybody them is giving them the win or at worst a draw. We have all forgotten that the gooners are top of the league and have the most inform midfielder in Europe: Aaron Ramsey.

ARSENAL’S STRENGHT

Liverpool new found formation has worked wonders for them in the past month, but they have not come up against a top team with that tactics. The gooners have a very fluid and compact team and gave strength creativity and goals in midfield. In Carzola, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky and Arteta, they have one of the most versatile set of midfielders in Europe. Also, a very stable defense: Gibbs, Mertesacker, Koscienly and Sagna have played together a lot and have that consistency and understanding. In addition, the big Frenchman, Olivier Giroud has been in electric form this season and would be a handful for Skrtel and co.

KEY BATTLES

GIROUD AND SKRTEL

Giroud and Skrtel: In Rodgers 3 man defense, Skrtel plays the sweeper role, that means that he would be tasked with marking out Giroud. The Frenchman’s physical play has improved a lot from last season and would surely be a handful for the Slovak.

Ramsey and Gerrard

The midfield would be a key battle arena in this game. With Gerrard and Ramsey always looking to join the attack, it would be fascinating to see how both would cope with themselves when they pla against each other.

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LUCAS-OZIL AND CARZOLA

Another eye catching midfield battle would be the contest between Lucas and Arsenal’s creative pair. Lucas is like the Flamini of the Liverpool team and has made 8 successful out of ten in the game against west Brom, but with Carzola and Ozil coming up against him, it would be a different issue and has to be in top top form. I don’t envy Lucas at all.

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SAS AND MAK

This would be a scintillating battle to watch. Suarez and Sturridge are two of the most inform players in the league and coming up against two of the most consistent defenders in the league would be mouth watering. Simply put, Suarez and Sturridge have to be at thier best to get past MAK( Mertesacker and Koscienly) and the Arsenal duo have to be at their best to stop SAS.

I don’t let the striker breathe, I love one-on-one challenges … my aim is to never let the striker open on his good foot to go towards goal. You have to be very intelligent.”- KOSCIENLYImage 

 

A lot of unnecessary fuss has been made about the gooners loss to Chelsea and many people are already doubting their title credentials. However, Wenger has gone to reiterate his belief in his team.

“I learnt a lot about my team thorough the spring period when we had our backs to the wall and had to win every single game. I know how strong these guys are and how much they want it. It is an important period of course, but I’m quite confident and you can see I’m quite relaxed because I have complete confidence that we will deal with it”- ARSENE WENGER

Well said Wenger, but for the Gooners to win this game,our attitude at home is key. Andrei Arshavin confirmed what I wrote about the Emirates being too quiet. We must make Liverpool know that they are in the Emirates and must feel the heat.

To injury news: Flamini is out, so to is Gnabry.However, Arteta is back after his red card.

Predicted Line up: Even though i feel Vermaelen should start to neutralize the threat of SAS, I believe that this would be the starting Line up:Szczesny; Gibbs. Koscienly, Mertesacker, Sagna; Ramsey, Arteta; Wilshere, Carzola, Ozil; Giroud.

A victory today would send a signal to everybody that the gooners are the real deal #COYG, we can do it.

HAPPY NEW MONTH TO ALL GOONERS OF STEEL (even though I am a day late), have a GOONERIFIC NOVEMBER.

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