Arsenal vs Liverpool
| Wednesday, March 16th |
Premier League | Anfield
8:15PM BST / 3:15PM EST
In the final Premier League game before the international break, Liverpool are in with a chance to put serious pressure on the league leaders, as they travel to an in-form Arsenal side looking for a first top four finish since 2016.
Things have been looking up for the Gunners this season. After a rough start that including 5-0 and 4-0 tonkings from Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively, Mikel Arteta’s men have put together an impressive run of results, and are now in pole position to qualify for next year’s Champions League, although despite having faced the Reds thrice this season, Arsenal have yet to score against Liverpool in 2021/22.
Key to their form have been the additions centre-back Ben White and attacking midfielder Martin Ødegaard, alongside the continued emergence of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith-Rowe, all of whom should be available for selection tomorrow night, with the latter returning from a bout of Covid-19. Takehiro Tomiyasu’s struggles with calf injuries will see the Japanese international miss out, however.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Mané, Jota, Salah
Expect Jürgen Klopp to go with his best available XI tomorrow, as only a single match — an FA Cup trip to Nottingham Forest — remains before the international break. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will man the fullback spots — Kostas Tsimikas misses out with illness — while Joël Matip or a returning Ibrahima Konaté partners Virgil van Dijk at the heart of defence.
In midfield, another outing for the Fabinho/Thiago partnership could be on the cards, with the former expected to duel Ødegaard throughout, while the more advanced central midfield spot will fall to either the captainly Jordan Henderson or the dynamic Harvey Elliott.
Up top, Mohamed Salah is reportedly back in training following a minor foot injury at Brighton in Saturday, and Klopp can call on his full contingent of attackers. The Egyptian being joined by Sadio Mané and Diogo Jota seems most likely, but with the latter looking somewhat affected by his ankle of late, a start for Roberto Firmino can not be ruled out.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “It’s a tough one tomorrow night but we are still looking forward to it. I’m really looking forward to it. Mikel is doing an incredible job there, you can really see week by week, month by month the development they are doing together. It’s really impressive. We have to be ready but I sense we will be ready.”
Mikel Arteta: “We are facing arguably the best team in England and have to be at our best to beat them. You face a team that dominates every single aspect of the game. So when that happens, you have to be at your very best.“
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistant referees: Simon Long, Scott Ledger
Fourth official: Andy Madley
VAR: John Brooks, Marc Perry
Kickoff is set for 8:15PM GMT/3:15PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.