Liverpool will be intent on moving back up into the top half of the Premier League as they take on Arsenal in a crucial encounter at Anfield on Sunday.
In attacking terms, the Red’s performance away to Manchester United was fairly good, but a combination of wasteful finishing and excellent goalkeeping saw them on the end of a heavy defeat, leaving them some 10 points off the Champions League places coming into this game.
They bounced back on Wednesday with a comfortable victory over Championship leaders Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup, a display which will at least build confidence ahead of what must be a fruitful festive period for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
And the Northern Irishman continues to make bold team selections, with the absence of a recognised striker in each of the last two games added to by the decision to replace Simon Mignolet in goal with Brad Jones.
The visitors come here with a determination to avoid anything like a repeat of last season’s 5-1 thrashing in this fixture, and so will be relieved that the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez will not be lining up against them on this occasion.
The win over Newcastle United last time out was arguably their best in the Premier League this season, as Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud both hit braces. The Frenchman was particularly impressive, and he suddenly seems an even better player since his ankle injury.
He will look to torment a leaky Liverpool backline, as will Alexis Sanchez, but the likes of Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy must hold firm at the other end, as the Gunners’ defensive frailties have also been exposed regularly this season.
Sturridge remains out for Liverpool along with Glen Johnson. Defender Dejan Lovren is a doubt after being substituted at Bournemouth, while Mario Balotelli serves a one-match ban.
Arsenal have Calum Chambers back from suspension, but Aaron Ramsey is one of several absentees. Nacho Monreal, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott will all be assessed.
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