Arsenal entertain Liverpool in Friday’s much-anticipated league showdown at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners come into the game with a point behind their Merseyside counterparts, and a victory for either side would see them cement the fourth position for the gameweek at the least.
Formation: 4-3-3 (Attacking)
Goalkeeper: Comparing both sides, Petr Cech has undoubtedly been the most consistent shot-stopper with a clean sheet in every other game. The 35-year-old has lost some of his reflexes over the past year, but he is still capable of making point-blank saves, one of which came against Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah earlier this season.
Defenders: Laurent Koscielny has been the Gunners’ main man in central defence, and we see him partnering Dejan Lovren. Lovren, in particular, has received stick for his average performances in the big games, but his attitude on the playing field has never been doubted.
Joe Gomez has had a fine season with Liverpool after recovering from a long injury set-back, and he gets out pick at right-back over Hector Bellerin, who has lost his way over the past year. In the opposite direction, Sead Kolasinac gets the vote with his workrate and physique making him one of the league’s best Bosman recruits.
Midfielders: With a three-man midfield, Jordan Henderson gets our pick in the holding midfield role with Philippe Coutinho and Mesut Ozil featuring ahead of him in an attacking formation. Henderson has not got the credit he deserves for intercepting play, and he is a better vein of form than Granit Xhaka, who has had a poor season by his standards.
Coutinho and Ozil literally pick themselves in the starting lineup after having contributed a goal in their club’s respective wins last weekend. The duo face uncertain futures beyond the summer, but there is not doubt over their commitment on the playing field.
Forwards: Upfront, we go with Mohamed Salah on the right wing with Sadio Mane on the left, whilst Alexandre Lacazette gets our nod to lead the line. Salah has eclipsed his early expectations with 20 goals already across all competitions, and he is likely to fancy his chances versus a vulnerable Gunners backline.
Sadio Mane has been in the shadows of Salah of late with his form taking a slight dip. Klopp has kept him on the bench on a couple of occasions this campaign, but we are backing him to feature versus the Gunners, against whom he has netted four goals – all of which have come in the Reds shirt.
Alexis Sanchez has had an average season by his standards with Arsenal, and as a result, we are going with Alexandre Lacazette, who has impressed on more occasions than not. The Frenchman has netted in each of the three outings against top-six opposition, and his performance could be key towards the eventual outcome.
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