Kick off 12:45
This game against Liverpool is the first of a run of fixtures that could define Arsenal’s season. With Manchester United next in the league, and Liverpool and Bayern Munich in the FA Cup and Champions League respectively, Arsenal will want to start this run confidently. They host Liverpool who will want to get back to winning ways, having dropped 4 points in their last 3 games.
Martin Skrtel will have been frustrated by the result against West Brom as he produced an impressive defensive performance to help keep the Baggies at bay. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he cleared the ball a total of 17 times, with only Ben Turner (19) and Brede Hangeland (20) making more.
Following Theo Walcott’s season-ending injury, Raheem Sterling will be hoping to be a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s squad this Summer. Sterling showed his excellent dribbiling ability in the last round of Premier League fixtures, completing a total of 9 dribbles – the second most in the league. Sterling is 17/5 with 888sport.com to score at any point this weekend.
Daniel Sturridge scored again last weekend, from his only shot of the game against West Brom. He has now scored 5 in his last 4 games, and 14 for the season. He is the top English goal scorer this season, and also has 4 assists. According to EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Wayne Rooney is the only English striker to provide more of an attacking contribution (100) than Sturridge (81) this season.
Daniel Sturridge scored again against West Brom, taking his tally to five in his last four games. He has been an incredible offensive force all campaign, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has made the second most offensive contributions (based on passes in the opposition half, crosses, dribbles and shots on target) of any English striker with 81.
Arsenal’s win over Palace on Sunday means they have gone back top of the table. However, like Liverpool they have key players out injured with Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and new on-loan signing Kim Kallstrom on the sidelines.
Arsenal may have dominated proceedings against Crystal Palace, but they still had to be wary of any counter-attacks which has been their un-doing in seasons gone by. Sitting at the base of the midfield, Mikel Arteta played an essential role in snuffing out Palace’s forages forward as he won an impressive 85% of his challenges on Sunday. Arteta is 13/2 with 888sport.com to score at any point this weekend.
Arsenal are known for their passing flowing football, something that was evident over the win over Palace. Arsenal players made up 4 of the top 5 places in terms of passes completed in the opposition half, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Manchester City’s Yaya Toure joined Arteta (79), Ozil (77), Cazorla (69) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (45) to make up the top 5.
Arsenal have been criticized in recent weeks for failing to buy a striker in the January transfer window, but Arsene Wenger has constantly stressed that he’s happy with the resources at his disposal. Despite limited minutes and starts this season, Nicklas Bendtner has the second best goals per minute ratio in the league, averaging a goal every 78 minutes.