The magic of Google Maps reliably informs me that it is around 200 miles from Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium. A journey that will take Brendan Rodgers’ team and the travelling fans, a little over four hours by car, or three-and-a-half if you’re taking the train. Either way there is plenty of time to mull over Saturday’s impending game, but unfortunately for Liverpool fans it hasn’t been a happy hunting ground of late.
A top four spot is hanging in the balance, and the journey back will feel even longer for Reds fans if they come back from Arsenal pointless yet again. It’s bordering on a ‘must win’ for Rodgers’ side, who could be eight points behind fourth on Saturday night, but it’s a potential must-win at a ground where they very rarely have.
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In the last 20 trips to Arsenal, Liverpool have won just two of them. Most recently in August 2011 when Emmanuel Frimpong received his marching orders and an Aaron Ramsey own goal followed by a Luis Suarez strike sealed a 2-0 victory for the Reds. Before that you have to go back to February 2000 when a Titi Camera goal after 18 minutes was enough to decide the tie in Steven Gerrard’s first away game against the Gunners.
While just two wins from 20 give Liverpool a fairly shabby win record of 10 per cent, they have managed to pick up seven draws. If you look at the last 10 away games to Arsenal, the Reds have picked up at least a point in six of them which may tempt punters in to the Liverpool or Draw bet at 10/11. However, even considering Liverpool’s good form – undefeated in 13 league games before the loss to Manchester United – the bet would appear to be Arsenal.
No top flight side has a better record in 2015 league games than Arsenal. The Gunners have won nine of their 11 games since the turn of the year – with defeats away to Southampton and Tottenham the only blots on their copy book. That’s an average of 2.45 points per game, and while Liverpool’s record is only marginally worse, it’s another tick in the box for punters favouring the Gunners at 17/20. For punters after a little more value, four of Arsenal’s last six league wins have been by a 2-1 scoreline and they are 7/1 to inflict the same defeat to Liverpool.
- The number crunchers in Power Tower tell us that if you stuck £5 on Arsenal to win 2-1 every week this season, you’d currently have £153 in profit in your back pocket. Not too shabby.
Up top, the Gunners will no doubt be relying on another strong performance from top scorer and incredibly handsome Frenchman, Olivier Giroud. Not only has he got eight goals in his last nine league games, the forward also has six goals in his last six matches played in London, showing his perfectly at home in the big smoke. The scorecast of Giroud to score first and Arsenal to win 2-1 is 25/1, so a cheeky £10 bet would return £260. More than enough to cover the petrol for Liverpool fans. The trends suggest your top four hopes might take a dent, but at least your wallet doesn’t have too as well.
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