Liverpool’s journey to Arsenal is the standout sport of the weekend, in what could possibly be such an enormous day within the Premier League title race.
The Reds know the way essential Sunday’s conflict on the Emirates is, not solely when it comes to maintaining the Gunners at bay, but in addition staying forward of Man Metropolis.
Jurgen Klopp‘s males received 2-0 in north London within the FA Cup final month, however this could possibly be an even bigger check, given the magnitude of the event.
Wednesday’s very good 4-1 win over Chelsea bodes effectively, and Liverpool are of their greatest type of the season at present.
With kickoff getting shut, This Is Anfield’s Henry Jackson spoke to Arsenal fan and author Matt Dawson (@mattddawson) to speak in regards to the title race, Klopp’s exit and rather more.
How glad are you with Arsenal’s progress this season?
From a defensive viewpoint, I’m fairly happy with Arsenal this season.
Our numbers have seen an enormous enchancment on the again this time period, however we nonetheless have the behavior of gifting easy targets away.
In an attacking sense, nonetheless, it has been vastly disappointing to see our drop-off.
We’ve bought some absolute game-changers within the closing third, particularly Bukayo Saka, however the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus have each struggled.
Arsenal wanted a No. 9 in January, however didn’t get one, and we should wait till the summer time now to doubtlessly see a mega-money transfer.
Does Arteta nonetheless have the total help of the followers?
Effectively and really, sure.
Studies in Spain final week instructed he was going to depart the membership in the summertime for Barcelona (not fairly as massive as Klopp leaving), however the way in which he got here out defiantly the following day was somewhat unimaginable.
Visibly indignant on the rumours, it cemented to Arsenal supporters that he’s totally dedicated to this challenge.
It’s nice to see and there’s no doubting that he’s the appropriate man for the job.
Who has stood out and struggled probably the most this season?
William Saliba and Gabriel have been colossal on the again. We noticed within the reverse fixture at Anfield over the festive interval simply how good they are often when on kind.
In the meantime, Declan Rice has been titanic, after which within the assault, Saka is by far and away our most prolific contributor of targets and assists.
I believe probably the most disappointing figures has been Martinelli. He has regarded electrical at occasions, however the left-hand aspect of our assault has been problematic in 2023/24.
Hopefully, his two targets in opposition to Crystal Palace will spur him into life.
What are your ideas on Klopp’s shock departure?
I couldn’t consider it after I noticed the information.
There was a wry smile, primarily as a result of it would imply Liverpool fall off a bit when he departs, but in addition I couldn’t assist however really feel apprehensive.
If this doesn’t spur the Reds in direction of the title then nothing will.
I needed Jurgen Klopp at Arsenal when Arsene Wenger was below hearth, so I can’t sit right here and say I’m not a fan.
He has been a beautiful determine within the Premier League and it will likely be unhappy to see him stroll away from Anfield on the finish of the season.
How do you assess Liverpool’s title probabilities now?
Final time we spoke forward of the reverse fixture, I stated Man Metropolis had been favourites. I believe I nonetheless keep that viewpoint, though Liverpool have risen in my estimations.
This weekend is large. If Liverpool can beat Arsenal then it’s going to put us out of the title race and solely elevate their very own probabilities.
It will seemingly boil all the way down to being a two-horse race, nonetheless a lot I need the Gunners to be there on the finish.
As for Sunday, the place will the important thing battles happen?
Diogo Jota in opposition to Arsenal‘s defence.
He all the time appears to attain in opposition to us, so discovering a option to preserve him quiet will likely be key.
Past that, how both Conor Bradley or Trent Alexander-Arnold take care of Arsenal‘s left-hand aspect will likely be fascinating to look at.
Alexander-Arnold is a person who has discovered Martinelli an absolute nuisance in years passed by.
In the event you might solely have one Liverpool participant at Arsenal, who wouldn’t it be?
Ha, nice query!
Mohamed Salah in all probability seems like the plain selection, however I’d in all probability go for Trent.
In fact he could be suspect defensively, however there aren’t many footballers in world soccer who can do what he does, and would swimsuit the inverted full-back system Arsenal use completely.
Lastly, what’s your prediction?
I’m extremely nervous forward of this one. The pessimist in me can’t see Arsenal successful.
I’d take a draw to only about preserve us within the race, however I reckon Liverpool may snatch it.
I’ll go for 2-1 to Klopp’s aspect.