North London giants Arsenal will make the trip to Anfield on Wednesday night for their clash against Liverpool, with both sides fighting for a top of the table spot. The Gunners are at present leading the points table while the Reds are at present eighth. Neither side will want to drop points in this crucial game and will look to do their best in the match. Jurgen Klopp knows that there is still a lot of room for improvement and hopefully both managers can make the right buys in the January transfer window. Both side have been in decent recent form and will want to win this game at the Merseyside, as they look to claim all three points. It will surely be an intense game as always, with Arsene Wenger’s side looking to remain at the top of the Premier League table.
The French manager’s side are currently on top with 42 points, while the Merseyside outfit are 12 points behind them and will want to reduce the gap with a win in mid-week.
Though football is a team game, here are five key battles that might have a huge impact on the result of the game:
5. Olivier Giroud vs Mamadou Sakho:
It will be a tough battle between the two France internationals, as Olivier Giroud will be leading the Arsenal front-line and Mamadou Sakho will be at the center of the Reds’ defence if he is fit to start. There have been some doubts about the Liverpool man’s fitness and the attacker has been in good form right through the season and will look to add more goals to his current tally against Klopp’s team, who have not been the strongest defensively this season. It will be interesting to see how his compatriot deals with the threats put up by Giroud, as the battle might be a crucial one with regards to the game.
4. Theo Walcott vs Alberto Moreno:
In the ideal scenario, Wenger prefers to play Theo Walcott on the right wing instead of the left, which would mean that he would be up against Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno. The Englishman has been scoring goals more often in a striker’s position, but has always looked a threat on the wings as well, due to his pace and skills. It will be a tough task in hand for the Spanish international to keep him quiet.
3. Aaron Ramsey vs Nathaniel Clyne:
The Welshman came on as a substitute in the game against Sunderland to score the second goal for his side. Ramsey will most probably be playing once again on the wings, instead of playing as a holding midfielder and it will be the responsibilty of Clyne to deal with his threat and creative play. The attacker will look to create chances and link up with his team-mates Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal and it would surely be an intense battle on the left wing, as the Liverpool right-back will look to push forward himself as well.
2. Mesut Ozil vs Lucas Leiva:
The German World Cup winning superstar has been the man to watch out for the Gunners this term and it will be Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva, who will have to keep him quiet at the center of the midfield. Injuries are a concern at the moment for the Reds and with Jordan Henderson an absentee, Klopp should assign Leiva to do the job for him in midfield, with 11 stars out injured at present. It will be no easy task to keep Ozil quiet, though if the German manager’s plan works, Liverpool will surely have the chance to win the match on the night.
1. Laurent Koscielny vs Christian Benteke:
If anyone can score a goal on a big match occasion, it has to be Christian Benteke. Well, as the Kop boss does not have Origi, Coutinho, Sturridge and Ings up front, it will be the Belgian international’s responsibility to find some quick goals for his side, as they will look to dominate the game from the get go. On the other hand, Laurent Koscielny has been Arsenal’s star at the back and the Frenchman will have the duty to keep Benteke quiet and co-ordinate at the back with his center-back partner Per Mertesacker.