|Liverpool win 2-1||15/2||Red Bet|
|Mane Anytime Goalscorer||8/5||Mansion Bet|
|Aubameyang first goal||11/2||Ladbrokes|
Liverpool’s visit to Emirates Stadium is the true test that Arsenal fans have been waiting for (and in many cases, dreading) so no matter what happens, this will be a valuable learning exercise on how far have the Gunners come under Unai Emery.
Personally, I believe significant improvements have been made.
The tactical structure of the side is getting better, the players have acclimatized well to playing out from the back, and some of the football has been majestic and gorgeous to watch.
Yet I still can’t be sure it will be enough to beat on-song Liverpool.
Defensively Arsenal are not yet solid enough, and that is a concern when the team you’re facing has a habit of slicing you open for fun.
Jurgen Klopp’s record against the Gunners is as crazy as he is.
In five Premier League encounters as the Liverpool gaffer, his Reds have scored at least three goals against Arsenal every single time.
Take that in for a moment.
Yes, his Liverpool team has won 3-1, 4-0 and 4-3, with the other two contests against Arsenal ending up as thrilling 3-3 draws.
The two matches that have taken place in North London sees the Merseysiders’ edging it 7-6 on aggregate!
If you believe it will be another manic goal-fest 888 Sport are offering 7/1 on Over 5.5 goals.
It’s well documented that Arsenal are slow starters, but their opponents have been the polar opposite.
Scoring 12 first half goals with just one concession in the first half of matches so far in 2018-19, Liverpool have scored first in eight of their 10 Premier League contests.
From those positions of ascendency Klopp’s improving side also boasts a 100% win record; proving they’re not as flaky as they used to be.
Emery’s men have guts though, and I wouldn’t put it past them to launch a stirring second half fight-back on Saturday evening if this pattern of sluggish starts continues.
They have been 1-0 down in five games, and retrieved seven points, so don’t write them off completely if the hosts fall behind.
Backing Liverpool/Draw on the HT/FT market is priced up at a fairly attractive 13/1 (Bet Hard).
Once the Gunners get up a head of steam, and that’s been evident in some truly purple patches on home turf this season, they can be unstoppable.
Four Premier League victories on the spin at Emirates will give them belief, even if they do fall behind.
If you’re keen to back an Arsenal goalscorer, look no further than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He played under Klopp for Borussia Dortmund between 2013 and 2015 and there must be a part of him that feels slightly miffed that his old boss made no attempts to fight Arsenal for his signature last January.
Aubameyang also has a goal every 99.1 minutes this season, striking at a seriously impressive 46.7% conversion rate.
The Gabon hit man is priced up at 11/2 to score the first goal and 13/8 to notch anytime with Ladbrokes
However, if like me you feel it’s a near certainty that Liverpool will score at least a couple of goals, then I’d lean towards Sadio Mane in this market.
He’s in a rich vein of form (Mane is Liverpool’s leading scorer on six goals) but this is a forward who also likes facing the Gunners.
Mane scored against them for Southampton and was always a massive threat, and since switching to Anfield he has plundered three goals in four starts in the fixture.
He’s 8/5 (Mansion Bet) to strike anytime.
While I think Arsenal are more than good enough to win this match, or more likely grab a draw, my head says Liverpool will outline why they are considered genuine title contenders.
So much more solid at the back than they used to be, with a style of play that’s tailored to cause Emery’s side problems, I am predicting a narrow away win.
This is always an epic affair. Whatever happens, it won’t be boring.