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Arsenal – Liverpool: A pair of outside contenders for the Premier League’s top-four are set for battle at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 3 pm ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
Following the conclusion of the international break, Arsenal and Liverpool have nine games to erase nine- and five-point gaps between themselves and 4th-place Chelsea in order to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. Of course, Liverpool could win this season’s UCL to qualify for next season and Arsenal could win the Europa League to get themselves in as well.
The Gunners find themselves in the midst of a relatively positive and calm moment, during a season that can only be described as anything but positive or calm. It wasn’t until January, four full months into the 2020-21 season, that Arsenal achieved their first streak of three games without a defeat as they went on to reach seven games before the end of the month. Then came three more losses in four games to start February, followed by the Gunners’ current four-game run of alternating wins and draws.
As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp’s side finds itself perpetually stuck in a free fall that feels like it started years ago, but in truth began just before the start of the new year. Since battering Crystal Palace 7-0 on Dec. 19, Liverpool have won just four of 15 Premier League games (4W-3D-8L). Despite losing center backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip for the rest of the season, the Reds’ defense has hardly been the issue in recent weeks. Back-to-back 1-0 defeats, to Chelsea and Fulham, saw Liverpool fail to create and/or convert scoring chances in a way you wouldn’t expect them to do. Arsenal will hardly be generous in their own defensive third, which could make for another frustrating day for Klopp and Co.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Here is everything you need to know ahead of Arsenal – Liverpool with team news, live analysis odds, stream link and more.
Live analysis from the Emirates Stadium – Joe Prince-Wright in north London
Starting lineups intriguing for both clubs. Xhaka, Saka and Smith Rowe miss out for Arsenal, while Firmino is back for Liverpool. Also: Calum Chambers is now Arsenal’s starting lineup with Cedric and Bellerin on the bench. Who saw that coming!?
Hello and welcome to a slightly chilly Spring evening here at the Emirates Stadium!
Team news: Arsenal – Liverpool (INJURY REPORT)
OUT: Bukayo Saka (thigh), Emile Smith Rowe (quad), Granit Xhaka (undisclosed), David Luiz (knee)
OUT: Virgil van Dijk (knee – out for season), Joel Matip (ankle – out for season), Joe Gomez (knee – out for season), Jordan Henderson (adductor), Divock Origi (undisclosed), Caoimhin Kelleher (abdomen)
Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Roberto Firmino will return from injury, while captain Jordan Henderson is close to stepping up his comeback and the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are still focused on just their club commitments.
“Bobby [Firmino] is back,” Klopp said. “All the others not and I have no idea about the Euros. They are all in the place they should be at the moment. I don’t have bad news or brilliant news. Jordan is not here at the moment, he cannot train. He will train in the next days or weeks, for sure.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Arsenal (+210) | Liverpool (+120) | Draw (+245)
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A low-scoring affair with Arsenal narrowly taking the points. It won’t be pretty, but it will be effective — and that’s the new Arsenal. Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool.
How to watch Arsenal – Liverpool: stream and start time
Kickoff: 3 pm ET Saturday
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Premier League transfer news
Transfer news: Belotti to Chelsea, Haaland agent in England, Wood to MLS Pep Guardiola on signing a new striker: ‘We cannot afford it’ Transfer news: Aguero to Chelsea; Haaland to Manchester United update
Arsenal – Liverpool, stream live! How to watch, analysis, odds originally appeared on NBCSports.com