Arsenal travel to Anfield amid controversy at their last hope for a trophy this season

Arsenal travel to Anfield amid controversy at their last hope for a trophy this season

Liverpool finally play Arsenal at Anfield after having their game rescheduled due to false positive COVID-19 tests. 

Both clubs are looking to gain the upper hand this Friday for progression to the EFL Cup final to face off against the winner of the Chelsea and Tottenham match. 

Controversy brewed after Jurgen Klopp admitted that the COVID cases faced by Liverpool were false positives, understandably ticking off Arsenal supporters, as well as those of the other English top flight clubs. Liverpool could supposedly face an investigation into their batch of false positives – with such a high number considered almost impossible – but a mixture of youth and experience did their talking on the pitch as Shrewsbury Town fell to a 4-1 defeat in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Amid the controversy, Liverpool should have Alisson Becker back from his COVID-19 infection this week, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is now the only confirmed positive case in Klopp’s ranks. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are all away at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Klopp is also set to be without Harvey Elliott, Divock Origi, Thiago Alcantara and Nat Phillips due to injury.

As for Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey and Nicolas Pepe remain absent, but Gabriel Magalhaes makes a timely return from suspension. Granit Xhaka and Folarin Balogun are expected to miss out owing to positive COVID-19 tests, and it remains to be seen if Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu will shake off their injury concerns.

Earlier in the season, Liverpool basically gave Arsenal a tutorial on how to football by trashing them 4-0 at Anfield, and could very well happen again if Mikel Arteta’s men are at anything but their best this Friday.

In their 5 previous meetings, 𝗟𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗽𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗲𝗱𝗴𝗲, winning 3 and losing 2. However, recent form paints a slightly different picture, with Arsenal arguably having better games and being more consistent. After considering the players available to play, Arsenal does come out on top.

Our verdict is a 1-0 victory in favour of Liverpool. While Arsenal undoubtedly have been playing excellent football of late, the return of key Liverpool players could just be the edge that The Kop need to get one over The Gunners.