Arsenal welcome one of the Premier League’s most in-form teams on Wednesday night with both teams having a lot at stake.
The Gunners are in the form of their life after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Leicester at Emirates Stadium. But, despite on a five-game winning streak which has cemented their claim for fourth place, Arsenal face a real examination of their top-four credentials on Wednesday as they welcome a buoyant Liverpool side, who has won their last eight matches.
Crystal Palace held Manchester City to goalless draw at Selhurst Park.
The tie took another twist on Monday night after Manchester City drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park which has now left the door open wide enough for Liverpool to slither in.
Liverpool come to the clash ever motivated than before with their fate in their own hands and should the Reds beat Arsenal — and that is by no means a given — then the gap will only be a single point with nine games remaining including a mouth-watering visit to Etihad Stadium.
From Bad to Worse as Mohamed Salah returns.
Things can’t get bad enough as Liverpool’s coach Jurgen Klopp declares Liverpool forward ready to train ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Arsenal, live on Sky Sports.
Doubts over his fitness were heightened when he missed training on Monday ahead of the midweek visit to the Emirates, but Liverpool manager Klopp confirmed the Egypt international has recovered well.
“It looks like Mo is a tough cookie. We were quite lucky with it,” Klopp told reporters in his pre-match press conference.
“It was swollen and painful but yesterday a little less swollen, less painful. I got a message before the press conference that he is ready to train and we will see how it looks.”
Takehiro Tomiyasu likely to feature after returning to training.
Mikel Arteta has not yet ruled Takehiro Tomiyasu out of our crunch Premier League game at the Emirates on Wednesday.
The Japanese defender has missed the last six games with a calf injury, and in his pre-match press conference, the boss said they are proceeding cautiously with his recovery and how he trains ‘today’ will determine whether he would feature tomorrow.
“Tomi is the only one that’s still there in contention [to miss the game]” the boss stated.
“We have been trying to push him, but with the handbrake a little bit because we need to be careful as we don’t want to get another injury with him. We don’t know [if tomorrow is too soon]. Let’s see how he trains today.”
In his absence, Cedric Soares has delivered a series of solid performances at right-back and the Portuguese defender could be in line for another start if the tie comes too soon for the Japanese international.
Arteta drops cryptic message about ‘surprise tactics’.
All eyes will now be on Wednesday night when Liverpool travel to north London to take on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp’s men come into the clash on the back of eight straight league wins. Arsenal might be able to boast five straight wins of their own, but each came against sides placed seventh or below in the table. And their record against teams near the top this season is pretty poor.
Although most matches came earlier in the season, they have played five times against the current top five in the division and lost on each occasion.
They’ve also faced Liverpool three times already in this campaign – once in the league and twice in the Carabao Cup semi-finals – and failed to win any (D1, L2).
When asked whether he(Arteta) is planning any surprises tactically tomorrow night?
“We will see tomorrow.” He said.
It remains to be seen whether Arteta is planning to unleash Takehiro Tomiyasu against Liverpool. But, to come out victorious against Liverpool, Arteta needs to tactically outsmart the Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
The Gunners restored their place in the top four after Sunday’s comfortable 2-0 win over Leicester at the Emirates and still have three games in hand on fifth-placed Manchester United and will be desperate to keep the winning momentum going when they face Liverpool on Wednesday.