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20th Dec 2017

Four reasons why Liverpool will beat Arsenal on Friday

"Liverpool have got more dimensions to their attack than Arsenal"


“Liverpool have got more dimensions to their attack than Arsenal.”

Arsenal host Liverpool on Friday night, and with Manchester City running away with the race for the Premier League title, the focus for the chasing pack will inevitably switch to securing a place in the top four.

Heading into the game at the Emirates, Jurgen Klopp’s side are in fourth place with 34 points, one point and one place ahead of the Arsenal. Victory for the Gunners will take them above Liverpool, and would be a massive result as they seek a return to the Champions League.

Defending In Numbers is a new Deezer Originals football podcast. Listen to the latest episode and subscribe to the podcast on Deezer and iTunes.

However, the Defending in Numbers podcast reckon the statistics point towards an away victory on Friday. Lee Warner, Ali Maxwell and host Rob Armstrong presented several reasons to suggest Liverpool will record a win over Arsene Wenger’s side, as they did at Anfield when the teams met in August.

“Liverpool have got more dimensions to their attack than Arsenal,” Warner said.

“I don’t think Arsenal are very good on the counter-attack. They’ve got just three goals on the counter this season, whereas Liverpool have the most in the league with seven. Both teams are in the top four for possession stats per game as well, so both are comfortable with the ball. It’s always interesting in games where both teams are good with the ball, to see who ends up with it, and how the other team adapts to that. I think Liverpool can adapt to either game situation, but I’m not sure if Arsenal can.”

The other reason is, of course, Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian has been in sensational form for Liverpool since joining from Roma. In just 26 games for Klopp’s team, Salah has an incredible 20 goals. He’s the first player to reach that figure since Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez back in the 2013/14 season, and the guests on this week’s episode of Defending in Numbers don’t expect the goals to dry up anytime soon.

“I think he’s got that surprise first season element to him,” Warner said.

“He could go on and on and keep scoring, and there’s nothing really stopping him. A bit like when Kane first broke on the scene at Spurs, and everyone was saying, ‘it’ll slow down’, but it just never did. With the way Liverpool play, and with the players around him, you fancy him to get a shot on target seven or eight times out of 10. I would be surprised if he didn’t break 30 goals this season.”

“I would agree with Lee, I can see him scoring between 35 and 40 goals this season,” Maxwell said.

Another reason the podcast tipped an away win is Liverpool’s strong defensive record, which may come as a surprise. Klopp’s team have been criticised for their poor defending. But, as guest Ali highlighted, Liverpool have only conceded two goals from open play in their last nine league games. While Arsenal are having trouble unlocking defences, and have only scored three goals in their last three league games.

Finally, there’s the record of forward Roberto Firmino. If the Brazilian finds the net on Friday, he will have scored more goals against Wenger’s Arsenal than any other Liverpool player.

Considering the goal scorers Liverpool have had over the last 20 years, that’s quite an impressive feat by Firmino, who clearly has a knack for netting against the Gunners.