This is a huge clash at Anfield on Saturday evening. Liverpool have managed to power their way to a six-point lead at the top of the table over Christmas. Now the task is to maintain their advantage. This is a tough game for them as they welcome the Gunners to Anfield. Arsenal are pushing for a top-four spot and could have the attacking threat to rattle the Reds.
Still, it is Liverpool who are the favourites. The Odds on Liverpool to beat Arsenal are 1/2* (betting odds taken on December 29th, 2018 at 2:49 pm)
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on August 29th, 2018 at 6:35 p.m.)
What a season it has been for Liverpool. They collected a 4-0 home win over Newcastle on Boxing Day and that moved them on to an eight-match winning streak in the Premier League. They are showing no sign of slowing up at all. With the form of Manchester City falling away through December, Liverpool now hold a six-point lead at the top of the Premier League heading into the final weekend of 2018.
But it’s a lead not over the reigning champions Man City, it is over Spurs. So will the Reds be able to continue their positive momentum as they play host to Arsenal on Saturday evening? The Reds earned a point from a 1-1 draw when they took a trip to North London to face Arsenal earlier this season. They have fantastic home from going against the Gunners though.
Liverpool have remained undefeated in their last five home games against Arsenal now, winning four of those. They have scored at least two goals in each of those five games in that sequence. In total Liverpool have come up with seventeen goals in their last five Premier League home fixtures against Arsenal. With the Reds averaging almost 2.5 goals per home this season in the top flight, will that be too much for Arsenal to handle?
It may not even be so much about stacking up the two powerful attacks against each other. There is a clear difference in the defensive strength of Liverpool over that of Arsenal. Liverpool have conceded just two home goals this season in the EPL having taken a clean sheet in 78% of fixtures at Anfield. Arsenal meanwhile are still looking for their first away clean sheet this season in the top flight. There should be chances for the Reds.
It’s not as if Arsenal are a bad side. But their form on the road just isn’t there lately. They have failed to win any of their last three on the road (D2 L1) after playing out a draw at Brighton on Boxing Day. They have the goals in them without question, having scored at least two goals in every road fixture. But their defence has remained vulnerable and that could be the advantage that Liverpool needs.
Liverpool have the edge at the moment. They are confident, they have tremendous momentum behind them and they are on home soil. Arsenal have the scoring power to threaten the defence of the Reds, but of the two defences, Liverpool’s is clearly superior. That could be very telling and Liverpool are strong enough to expose Arsenal’s weaknesses at the back. The Odds on Liverpool to beat Arsenal are 1/2* (betting odds taken on December 29th, 2018 at 2:49 pm) and that looks a strong proposition.
Can Everton end their dismal run of form against their Merseyside rivals? The Toffees have only scored one goal in their last four visits to Anfield and have conceded four goals exactly in two of their last three trips across the city. But the Toffees have been running in some great form in the Premier League and will carry a big threat in this game. But it doesn’t seem to matter what they throw at Liverpool, the Reds have a knack for avoiding defeat against them. Going into Saturday’s Premier League Merseyside derby, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 13 games against the Toffees. Will they be able to extend that?
Liverpool 8/13, Draw 14/5, Everton 9/2
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Everton’s form in the Premier League has been pretty good of late, suffering just the one defeat in their last twelve games played. The Toffees have won four of their last six in the top flight and they have had no problem sticking the ball in the back of the net either. Largely thanks to Romelu Lukaku, Everton have scored 17 goals in their last six league outings. However, when it comes to beating Liverpool, that is something that Everton haven’t done for a long while. They are winless in their last twelve games against the Reds in the league.
So it is Liverpool who go into this Merseyside derby as favourites having banked a 1-0 win at Goodison Park earlier in the season. Only once before have they gone on a longer undefeated run against their neighbours (13 games between 1972 and 1978). Currently, in their twelve match unbeaten streak against them, Liverpool have posted a W5 D7 record against the Toffees. Liverpool’s home form this season has been brilliant with tens wins from their fourteen league home games (D3 L1). Of note, they have beaten both Spurs and Arsenal in league contests at Anfield.
Two of Liverpool’s last three games at Anfield against Everton have seen them win 4-0 which is a massive 28/1 price at Sky Bet to happen again. A sedate repeat of their 1-0 win earlier in the season against Everton is a 15/2 Correct Score option. Over 2.5 goals at Sky Bet is an 8/11 option on the game and that will probably be heavily backed. Liverpool’s form against the top sides this season is fantastic and they are unbeaten in 14 Premier League games in this season’s current top 10 (W8 D6 L0) and have won more league points against top ten opponents than they have against teams from the bottom half of the table. Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all around the 4/5 mark in the anytime goalscorer market.
The big question though is will their defence be able to keep Romelu Lukaku quiet? The Belgian has scored 11 goals in 10 league appearances in 2017 and has taken his tally to 21 for the entire season. Regardless of how well they are playing at a given moment, their luck against Liverpool never really seems to chance. Because of the presence of Lukaku both teams to score at Sky Bet is a 3/4 shot. But even with that in mind, they have scored just one goal in their last four visits to Anfield and have failed to score in five of their last eight home and away against the Reds. Everton’s last league win at Anfield was in September 1999 (W0 D8 L8 since) and this fixture has seen 21 red cards shown, more than any other Premier League fixture.
It may be worth backing the game to produce a goal at both ends because Everton’s output is high at the moment, but still, Liverpool, based on their immense home form and recent wins over Spurs and Arsenal, may still have enough of an edge over their rivals to claim maximum points.
What a brilliant end of year cracker of a match up we have over at Anfield on Saturday. This is a game of big importance in the Premier League chase to try and haul in Chelsea at the top of the table. Second placed Liverpool take on Manchester City who are just a point and place behind them ahead of the final round of Premier League matches for the calendar year. The spoils in this one are huge and both will have to go for it because a draw really suits neither in this one if they have ambitions of catching runaway leaders Chelsea. It is game on and it could be a thoroughly entertaining open affair on Merseyside.
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A brilliant spectacle is on the cards in this one and Liverpool are running with the head to head form for the game as well. They have won their last three Premier League against the Citizens now and put seven goals past City in the two league meetings last season, carding a 3-0 home win and a 4-1 away win. So they have the dominance in this fixture and actually it is a dominance which goes even deeper and further back than just last season’s coming together. The Reds are firmly on top in home Premier League home games against the Citizens.
Liverpool have only lost one of their previous nineteen Premier League home games against the Citizens, with that lone defeat happening back in May 2013 when Nicolas Anelka netted a brace in a 2-1 win for the Citizens on Merseyside. Other than that, it has been total control from Liverpool really. Liverpool too have scored in each of those 19 Premier League home games that they have played against Manchester City and with the scoring record that the Reds have laid down this term, you would expect them to strike again.
The Reds have averaged 3.13 goals per game on home soil this season but what makes this even more interesting is looking at their defensive home record. Liverpool have been hauled over the coals about poor defensive displays this term and yet they have only conceded seven goals at Anfield this season. So all in all, they do looks strong to go out and put the win on the board in his one and Liverpool ended both 2014 (4-1 v Swansea City) and 2015 (1-0 v Sunderland) with a league win so could extend that streak as well.
The Reds just have so many scoring options and Daniel Sturridge at 11/8 is shortest priced for them in the anytime goalscorer market after scoring his first league goal of the season in a midweek 4-1 win over Stoke. Divock Origi is a 6/4 options with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino both coming in as 13/8 options in the William Hill anytime goalscorer market. Sergio Aguero is the outright favourite at a price of 21/20 however, the City hit man has never scored a Premier League goal at Anfield though, despite having netted four career league goals against them.
So will Liverpool be able to continue their dominance over the Citizens on the weekend? City have posted a very solid W7 D0 L2 record away from home this season, however, they have managed just the two clean sheets all season on their travel sand just one in their last seven out on the road. Defensively, they are pretty vulnerable, much like Liverpool can be and punters will have concerns about their ability to deal with the speed that the Reds will be able to attack them with. The Citizens have scored a total of 58 goals in their last 26 league games (only failing to score in one of those games) but will that be enough to get the past an in-form, free-scoring Liverpool?
Liverpool 13/10, Draw 12/5, Man City 2/1
In summary Liverpool just look to have the edge thanks to their extra scoring power. They are able to switch things up easier if things aren’t working going forward and they have more to call on from the bench than City do. City have done alright out onto the road this season, but the lack of clean sheets is likely to come back and haunt them. Look for both teams to score in a home victory for Liverpool whose defensive record on home soil at least, isn’t all that bad really.