Pre-Match Report

Preview: Liverpool v Arsenal

Liverpool v Arsenal

The top two in the Premier League go head to head in what could well be a pre-Christmas cracker, as we hope to occupy the number one spot by the time the big day arrives.

To guarantee that, we’ll need to achieve something we’ve not done for 11 years - win at Anfield. Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 13 home games against us in all competitions since September 2012, when Mikel Arteta was in our midfield and Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla got the goals.

We have drawn on three of our last four visits, and after ending one hoodoo last week by finally beating Brighton & Hove Albion at home, Arteta will be hoping the three points he desires most for Christmas are delivered a couple of days early, ahead of the first of three scheduled encounters with the Merseysiders in the space of 43 days.

Reds fortress yet to be breached

Liverpool celebrate scoring against West Ham United

Jurgen Klopp saw his team’s 100 per cent home record end last weekend when Manchester United ground out a 0-0 draw, but the Red Devils couldn’t quite inflict just a second defeat of the season on their bitter rivals.

That solitary loss came in controversial circumstances at Tottenham Hotspur back in September, while draws on the road at Chelsea, Brighton, Luton Town and Manchester City were their only other dropped points before the United stalemate.

Liverpool have been busy juggling the cup competitions in recent weeks, advancing to the last 16 of the Europa League despite defeats to Toulouse and Union Saint-Gilloise in their final three group games, but they crushed West Ham United 5-1 on Wednesday in the League Cup quarter-final, despite Klopp urging an improvement in the Anfield atmosphere when we arrive on Saturday evening.

What the managers say

Arteta: "It's going to be a special atmosphere. [Both] teams are in a really strong position and I'm sure both teams have prepared the game to win it. It's going to be an intense match.

"I'm sure that a lot of [our supporters] are going to show up tomorrow there and they're going to be supporting the team, like always." Read every word of his pre-match press conference.

Jurgen Klopp

Klopp: "We play a super strong team who played an exceptional last season and is even better than last season, bringing in top players to improve the team. They went through in the Champions League pretty easily and are having a great Premier League campaign.

"We have to make it a proper home game and a proper Anfield experience."

Team news

Jorginho's post-West Ham interview

Jorginho missed our game against Brighton & Hove Albion with a foot injury and it remains to be seen if he can recover in time for this game, while Mohamed Elneny returned to training this week after he limped off last week at PSV Eindhoven.

Jurrien Timber, Fabio Vieira, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey are our other injury victims who will miss the trip to Merseyside.

Ryan Gravenbach was forced off against Manchester United but scans showed it was only fatigue and he should be available. Diogo Jota and Alexis Mac Allister are close to returns from hamstring and knee issues but this will be one game too soon for the pair.

Andy Robertson (shoulder), Joel Matip, Ben Doak (both knee), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Thiago (hip) are all out longer term.

Talking tactics

Trent Alexander Arnold

Adrian Clarke: Trent Alexander-Arnold is by far the most interesting player from a tactical perspective within Klopp’s team. His searching passes can stretch the game or unlock the door with a moment of brilliance, so we cannot afford to let him execute those incisive passes beyond our back four.

That strength can also be Liverpool’s weakness, as the right back domain is regularly left unoccupied when opponents create turnovers. Inside the engine room, Liverpool do lack the presence of a proven holding midfielder, so it will be crucial for us to control the middle third and ask as many questions as possible.

One new face that will offer a fresh threat is midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai. The graceful Hungarian has had 26 shots from outside the box (the second most in the division) and as he showed against West Ham in midweek, he is a clean striker of the ball.
However if we manage the game state well, attack Liverpool at pace down the flanks, look after possession sensibly and avoid leaving ourselves exposed to fast breaks, we can certainly pick up a positive result.

Facts and stats

Gabriel Martinelli scores against Liverpool

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 10 home Premier League games against us (W7 D3). The Reds have fallen behind in five of those games without losing, including a 2-2 draw last season from 2-0 down.

This is Liverpool’s 100th home game against us in league competition, just the second side to visit the Reds as many times after Everton (105). Only Manchester United (25) have won on more visits than us (24).

Liverpool haven’t failed to score in consecutive home league games since February/March 2021 (a run of three).

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 17 Premier League games at Anfield against London based sides (W12 D5), winning each of the last six in a row. In fact, the last team from the capital to stop the Reds from winning at Anfield was us in April.

We have won 24 of our 39 Premier League matches in 2023 (D8 L7). We won 25 in 2022 and are looking to win 25+ league games in consecutive calendar years for the first time in their history.

Liverpool have had more shots (314) than any other Premier League side this season, while only Newcastle (35.2) have a higher xG. However, we have faced the fewest shots on target (43) and have the lowest xG against (13) in the competition this term.

Each of our last three Premier League defeats have come in games kicking off at 5.30pm on a Saturday away from home (vs Nottingham Forest in May, Newcastle in November & Aston Villa at the start of this month).

Gabriel Martinelli has scored more goals against Liverpool than he has any other opponent (4). He both scored and assisted in both of the Gunners’ Premier League games against the Reds last season.

In English football, Gabriel Jesus has only been involved in more goals in all competitions against Watford (12) than he has against Liverpool (9 – 6 goals, 3 assists). He’s either scored or assisted on each of his last three visits to Anfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has six Premier League assists against us, more than he does against any other opponent, with five of those coming at Anfield. Indeed, only Steven Gerrard (7) has more assists against us in Premier League history.

Match officials

Chris Kavanagh

Chris Kavanagh has been entrusted with this top-of-the-table clash, and we have remained unbeaten in each of the last five games of ours that he had been appointed to. One of those has been this season, which was our 2-2 comeback draw at Chelsea, when he awarded the Blues a penalty for a William Saliba handball.

It is the fourth time he has overseen the Reds already in 2023/24, which has seen them beat West Ham United and Nottingham Forest at home, and draw at Manchester City last month.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Simon Bennett, Dan Robathan
Fourth official: Craig Pawson
VAR: David Coote
Assistant VAR: Lee Betts

Recent trips to Anfield

Despite holding a special place in Gooners’ hearts thanks to the events of 1989, in recent history the red half of Merseyside hasn't been a happy hunting ground for us. Last season we seemed set to win their first time in the league since September 2012 when Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus netted, but the Reds came back to draw 2-2.

Our previous trip also saw the spoils shared after a goalless draw in a League Cup semi-final, despite us seeing Granit Xhaka sent off after just 24 minutes. However we had fallen to a 4-0 loss earlier in the campaign when Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino netted.

Another 0-0 League Cup draw came in October 2020 as we advanced 5-4 on penalties, helping to avenge a 3-1 defeat just three days earlier.

Take a look at some of our famous away days at Liverpool with five our best victories at Anfield.

Live coverage

Breakdown Live

Log on to and the official app an hour before kick-off on Saturday for all the best build-up any Gooner would want!

Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke are in the My Arsenal Rewards box and we’ll relive an impressive victory last time out over Brighton and Hove Albion, before taking a look at our under-21s side in action against Sunderland.

We'll bring you all of the headlines from Mikel’s pre-match press conference and Clarkey will break down how we could take three points from Anfield, before handing over to Dan Roebuck and Josh James for live commentary.

You can also find out which broadcaster is showing the game live wherever you are in the world.

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Fixtures & Results

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