When it comes to this fixture, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal never really recovered from a remarkable match in February 2014. Liverpool were four goals up inside 20 minutes, and the visitors were fortunate to ‘only’ lose 5-1.
The Gunners have picked up just two points from their four visits to Anfield since, conceding a total of 12 goals across those games. But since Unai Emery took charge, Arsenal have generally shown far greater levels of fortitude. Liverpool vs Arsenal certainly won’t be a walkover for the home side as it has been in the past two seasons.
The expected goal data from this season points towards this being close. While it has the home side as strong favourites, the most likely margin of victory is one goal, the most likely individual score line is 2-0. That puts a tremendous amount of faith in Liverpool’s back line considering Arsenal have scored at least twice in eight of their nine away league games this season.
Of course, a prediction based on underlying stats rarely matches the reality of actual results. That’s certainly true in the Gunners’ case. Unai Emery’s side have scored 21 away goals from chances worth 12.4, while conceding 16 against an xG tally of 11.7 on the road. Chaos reigns at both ends, it seems. Here are their top five performing players away from home this season.
Social media was ablaze with Liverpool fans enjoying the fact Torreira got booked at Brighton so would be suspended for this match. However, it later transpired Sead Kolasinac had picked up the yellow card instead. Arsenal fans don’t need our algorithm to know how important the Uruguayan has been for them, though Torreira’s dashboard illustrates the point well nonetheless.
For Liverpool at home, things have been rather more straight forward. Despite scoring 22 league goals at Anfield this term, they’ve actually under performed slightly against their expected total of 23. The real difference has been at the back, though, where opposition chances worth around six goals have only resulted in two being conceded.
Key to their miserly record has obviously been Virgil van Dijk. He’s unlikely to make as many ball recoveries so high up the pitch against Arsenal as he has been against other sides at Anfield recently though.
Not with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the form he is in. The Gabon international has already scored six league goals on the road in 2018/19, which is one more than he mustered in his combined efforts for Dortmund and Arsenal last season.
However, while Auba may be able to ensure Arsenal get on the scoresheet – as they have in 11 of their last 12 league visits to the red half of Merseyside – the home side should be too strong. Mohamed Salah averages a goal or assist every 64 minutes at Anfield, so don’t be surprised if he powers Liverpool to yet another home win in this one.