Arsenal v Liverpool: Early Christmas Cracker on the Cards at Emirates Stadium

The fight for Champions League spots opens another chapter with Arsenal hosting Liverpool as festive Friday Night Football takes centre stage at the Emirates Stadium with a 19:45 kick-off.

League leaders Manchester City are setting a pace at the top of the Premier League summit, that no other team look capable of challenging for, so this fixture could ultimately be crucial in helping both clubs qualify for next season’s Champions League places.

The Gunners currently sit one place, and one point behind Liverpool in fifth spot in the Premier League table. Arsene Wenger will not openly admit publicly, but he will be hoping his team will avenge their 4-0 drubbing at Anfield earlier in the season. Meanwhile, Liverpool are unbeaten in nine league games, and will offer another stern examination of Arsenal’s back-line.

Match Odds

Home advantage is the key to this game according to the bookmakers, who make Wenger’s men the favourites to win this contest. The Gunners can be backed at the best industry price of 151/100 with Marathon Bet to take the three points. Liverpool are available, again with Marathon Bet at 48/25, while the draw should be punted with Stan James at the industry best of 14/5.

Not only are Liverpool in better recent form than their upcoming opponents, but have also won the last three league meetings between the two sides. Reds boss, Jurgen Klopp has yet to taste defeat against Arsenal in his Anfield tenure, with three wins and one draw from his four battles against his French counterpart.

The Gunners need to show more defensive stability in this game if they are to claim victory in my view. Liverpool are a very fluid attacking force, and if Arsenal do not stifle the Merseyside outfit, it could be a difficult night for the Gunners and their supporters. A scoring draw could well be the play however.

Individual Goal Scorers

Goals look on the agenda in this game – especially with the high level of attacking talent on show. The Arsenal trio of Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, and Alexis Sanchez head the First Goalscorer betting. Arsenal’s top scorer, Lacazette can be backed at 9/2 with Paddy Power and Boylesports, while Giroud is a 5/1 poke, also, with Boylesports but looks to be out of this through injury. Sanchez is narrowly behind at 51/10 with 888sport and Unibet.

There is an element to suggest that Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah should be the bookmakers’ favourite in this market considering the Egyptian’s 14-goal haul already this season. The 25-year-old is likely to be very popular at the tempting price of 11/2 with Boylesports to nab the first goal. A more tempting bet is the 13/8 on offer with SkyBet and Marathon Bet for Salah to score at any time.

Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino is a 13/2 chance with Boylesports, while fellow countryman, Phillipe Coutinho is a 7/1 shot with 888sport and Boylesports. Sadio Mane has been relatively quiet on the scoring front for Liverpool recently, but the generally available 15/2 with most firms could turn into excellent value.

Other Side Bets

An astonishing 21 goals have been scored in the last four meetings between the teams, and my view is that this contest should prove no exception to the rule. Both Teams to Score is a very short price of 1/2 with Sun Bets, with most layers offering even more prohibitive odds.

Over 2.5 goals is also very short at a generally available 8/15, but the bet that takes my eye is Over 3.5 goals at the more backable odds of 39/29 with 10Bet. Both of these teams’ attacking talent is their strengths, which will make for an entertaining goal-fest hopefully.

A Correct Score bet is always worth an interest at juicy odds, and my preference for this game is for the game to end in a 2-2 draw. William Hill offer 11/1 for this bet in a contest that could turn into a classic.

Best Bets

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