Who: Arsenal vs Liverpool
When: Wednesday, July 15th @ 11:30am ET
Line: Arsenal +285 | Draw +290 | Liverpool -114
Standing in their way are Arsenal, Chelsea, and Newcastle.
If this was January, the Reds would’ve trounced the Gunners. But Liverpool have lost their mojo post-restart. And they’re without their captain, Jordan Henderson.
Fortunately, Arsenal still have David Luiz. So all good.
Arsenal vs Liverpool preview
First, let’s get to the aforementioned Henderson problem.
Liverpool are a 90% win rate when Hendo plays this season and 60% when he doesn’t.
The dips in intensity and focus that plague Liverpool in the poor stretches just don’t happen when their captain is in the line-up.
Last matchday against Burnley, Liverpool were overall the better squad. Their 2.18 xG easily outpaced Burnley’s .45. Liverpool weren’t clinical enough in front of the net in the first half (plus Nick Pope was on fire), and it cost them in the second. A drop of intensity and focus led to a set piece equalizer by Burnley.
Good news for the Reds is Arsenal has the king of concentration gaffes in David Luiz. The 33 year-old Spaniard’s best days are behind him. Last time Liverpool played Arsenal, Mo Salah did this to him:
That’s possibly an even more exploitable match-up this go around, and Salah is one of the few Liverpool players in good form post restart. Arsenal simply give up too many quality chances. Liverpool are creating chances fine right now. They could have 20 shots on goal this match.
On the other side of the pitch, there’s not much Liverpool have to worry about past Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Liverpool will boss the midfield and limit quality chances. It’s a personnel mismatch.
Arsenal are very much a mid-table side. They’re 9th in the table and 9th in xPTs. Liverpool will bombard the Gunners with shots. If their finishing luck improves this match, you could be looking at a route.
Liverpool have to get back looking like themselves sooner or later, right? This feels like the time. Reds win 4-1.