In this fixture last season Liverpool were 4-0 up after less than 20 minutes against Arsenal and Anfield was rocking. The home side had racked up a whopping nine attempts, scoring four, hitting the woodwork and forcing Szczesny into two solid saves. In comparison the Gunners had barely made it into Liverpool’s half.
And while Arsene Wenger sat in a state of shock on the visitors bench, Liverpool’s early dominance shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise if Le Professeur had taken a peek into the Premier League history books. In almost two-thirds of all Premier League games between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield, the House of Scouse have taken the lead, although in this case the early bird doesn’t always catch the worm.
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- Major hat tip to Alison Sheridan for this snazzyily-designed infographic
Liverpool have scored the first goal 64 per cent of the time, but like an unexperienced and lazy dog walker, they just can’t keep hold of the lead. The home side’s win rate against Arsenal is down at 45 per cent, while the Gunners have still come away from Anfield with something to show after conceding the first goal 23 per cent of the time. In fact Liverpool have taken the lead in four of the last five home league games against Arsene Wenger’s side, but won just the once.
Martin Skrtel opened the scoring last year as Liverpool went on to win 5-1, however before that Dirk Kuyt (09/10), David Ngog (10/11) and a Laurent Koscielny own goal (11/12) had given Liverpool the lead only for Arsenal to pick up two 2-1 victories and a 1-1 draw on Merseyside.
‘But Liverpool are useless up top’, I presumably hear you cry. ‘Daniel Sturridge’s legs are made of weetabix and Rickie Lambert looks like he’s only at Liverpool because he collected 50 cereal box tokens and won a competition’. And you’d be right. But Arsenal are hardly watertight at the back and no side in the top six has conceded more than the Gunners (19). It doesn’t help that Arsene Wenger’s first choice centre-backs have knees made from soggy cardboard either.
- This season Liverpool have scored in 11 of their Premier League games, and in eight of them they have opened the scoring – including against Southampton, Tottenham, Everton and Chelsea.
- Arsenal have conceded the first goal in seven of their 16 league games this year, however have lost just three of them. Despite going behind to Crystal Palace, Everton, Man City, and Tottenham, the Gunners have managed to come back and pick up three draws and a win.
So where does that leave our punting on Super Sunday? Well it’s a tempting Even money shot that Liverpool will open the scoring. Considering that the trends show they take the lead at home to the Gunners 64 per cent of the time, you don’t need the abacus to tell you that you’re getting a small slice of value.
However it’s on the skinny side and we’re far more interested in Arsenal to come from behind and draw at 11/2, plus Arsenal to come from behind and win at 10/1.
The history books suggest that Liverpool should be first on the scoresheet and in five of Liverpool’s six victories this season there has been over 2.5 goals in those games.
But the Kop might not be cheering come the final whistle.
It’s tough reading for Liverpool fans who have won just two of their last eight league games. Another defeat and it might be a P45 landing on Brendan Rodgers’ desk rather than a Christmas card next week.
- Will there be more misery on the Mersey for Brendan Rodgers this weekend? Get the latest odds here: Desktop | Mobile