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|Match Result and Both Teams to Score||Odds|
|Liverpool and Yes||+170
|Arsenal and Yes||+825
|Liverpool and No||+170
|Arsenal and No||+1050
Arsenal have improved of late but a trip to Anfield is the toughest task they have faced for months. They may well find the back of the net, but Liverpool are the most likely winners.
Back Liverpool to win and both teams to score (+170)
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Liverpool had gone 25 games unbeaten in all competitions ahead of their meeting with West Ham United before the international break. They were the only team in the Premier League yet to lose a game this season, and victory at the London Stadium would have moved them one point adrift of Chelsea in top spot. However, the Reds succumbed to a 3-2 defeat by West Ham, and although Jurgen Klopp was unhappy with several refereeing decisions on the day, it was probably a fair result on the balance of play.
The disappointment of that result in London two weeks ago has gradually subsided, and Klopp will be reasonably happy with where Liverpool find themselves after 11 games.
It is worth remembering that many dismissed their title chances in the summer, largely because the Reds were much less active in the transfer market than the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City. Even prominent pundits suggested all was not well at Anfield. To sit four points off the top having played some scintillating soccer up to now indicates that was a misreading of the situation.
Dig a little deeper and the underlying numbers provide cause for cheer too. Liverpool have scored the most goals in the division. They also have the highest cumulative xG (expected goals), which shows they are creating good quality chances.
While Chelsea and Manchester City have conceded fewer goals, Liverpool are generally restricting their opponents to very few chances. Their xGA (expected goals against) is the third-best in the league, behind only West Ham and Manchester City. Klopp’s side might not be unbeaten anymore, but they are in a good place right now.
The mood around the Emirates Stadium is similarly positive at present. That was not the case a few months ago. Arsenal were bottom of the Premier League with zero points after three games. A 5-0 thrashing by Manchester City in late August left Mikel Arteta with plenty of work to do. Some Arsenal fans even called for a change of manager having lost faith in their former captain’s ability to turn the situation around.
Since that thrashing by City, the Gunners have not lost a game. They have collected more points (20) than any other team in the Premier League in the last eight rounds of fixtures. Having been propping up the table less than three months ago, Arsenal are now flying high in fifth place. A win at Anfield would see them enter the Champions League qualification spots for the first time since October 2020.
Arteta deserves credit for overseeing the turnaround. Almost two years into his tenure, the Spaniard has finally got the team he wanted. Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have brought youthful vim and vigor to the side. Takehiro Tomiyasu, Thomas Partey, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Aaron Ramsdale are Arteta signings who have made the team better in different ways. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, two experienced strikers brought to the club by Arsene Wenger, look revitalized. Arsenal are playing so well that Martin Odegaard, Real Madrid’s former boy wonder, cannot get in the team.
This Arsenal side have achieved nothing yet and Arteta will not be getting carried away in November. But the supporters are now fully on board with the Spaniard’s project and for the first time in a while, Arsenal will believe they can triumph at Anfield this weekend.
Actually doing so will be difficult, though, even for a rejuvenated Arsenal team. The Gunners have not beaten Liverpool on their own patch since September 2012, when Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla found the net and the aforementioned Saka had not yet turned 11. And for all that Arsenal are in excellent form, the fixture list since the start of September has been relatively kind to them. A home game against an out-of-sorts Tottenham Hotspur was their toughest test on paper.
Liverpool remain a formidable force at Anfield, where they tend to suffocate their visitors with their highly effective counter-pressing strategy. The Reds have not lost a Premier League home game with fans inside the stadium since Sam Allardyce’s Crystal Palace won there in April 2017. No one should underestimate the size of the task confronting Arsenal.
Arteta’s side have scored in seven of their last eight matches, and they could well have some joy on the counter-attack on Saturday. Yet for all of their recent improvement, avoiding defeat at Anfield will probably be beyond them. Back a Liverpool win and both teams to score.
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|Liverpool vs Arsenal Information|
|Teams||Liverpool vs Arsenal|
|Location||Anfield, Liverpool, England|
|Time||Saturday, 20 November 2021, 12.30 PM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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