It’s a 209 mile drive from Anfield to the Emirates Stadium or in layman’s terms for away day fans, a four-and-a-half hour stint on the M1 and M6 in a minibus that smells like fags and stale farts. Hardly an ideal trip for Liverpool supporters to make on a Monday evening when your team’s away record to Arsenal is about as attractive as Bill Oddie’s arse crack.
While Reds fans will have fond memories of the 5-1 spanking they gave the Gunners at Anfield 18 months ago, it’s a completely different story away to Arsene Wenger’s men. Bar a 2-0 win in September 2012, Liverpool have failed to win away to Arsenal in the league in 15 years, racking up eight defeats and six draws in the capital.
Arsenal have had the edge over Liverpool at home more often than not, and their most comprehensive win in those 15 years came last season. The Gunners raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time courtesy of Hector Bellerin, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, before Olivier Giroud added a fourth after Jordan Henderson had converted a penalty to secure a 4-1 win. Some minor revenge for the tonking they took the year before.
Arsenal’s home record in 2015 will also fill Gunners with confidence – despite the opening weekend humbling at the hands of West Ham. That defeat and a 1-0 loss to Swansea in May have been Arsenal’s only league defeats at the Emirates Stadium in the calendar year, as the Gunners have racked up eight home wins in 2015.
While Arsenal’s defence against West Ham was as sturdy as soggy paper, they’ll be hoping for a far better outcome on Monday night. The Gunners had the third-best defensive record at home last year (behind Chelsea and Swansea) while Liverpool’s attack in the first two games this season has yielded just 29 per cent of shots on target – ranking them 17th of the 20 top flight sides.
As for a punt, Arsenal may make plenty of appeal to some at odds of 3/4 to brighten up Monday evening and get the week off to a flyer. However for the more adventurous punter Arsenal to win to nil at 11/5 could be worth a cheeky flutter. If you fancy a bit of spice in your life on Monday night, the Gunners are 8/1 to win 2-0. Liverpool lost 12 games last season and four of those were by a two goal margin, while the Gunners will be aiming to keep their first clean sheet of the season with Petr Cech between the sticks.
One thing is for certain however, if it is another Liverpool defeat away to Arsenal, I wouldn’t want to be on that bus back to Merseyside…