On Saturday, Arsenal host Liverpool in their opener at the Emirates coming off a 0-0 draw at St. James Park on Saturday. Liverpool will be heading in with just one point as well after their 1-1 draw against Sunderland in which plenty of chances were passed up to collect all three points. A few key points need to be addressed before we look at the stats leading up to Sunday’s showdown between potential top 4 squads. First off, Arsenal will be without suspended Gervinho, who is facing a ban due to his altercation with Newcastle bad boy Joey Barton. Liverpool are still without captain Steven Gerrard who is out until September with an injury. Now on to the stats:
Both teams enjoy possession, LFC with 60% and Arsenal with 63% against their respective opponents. Shot wise, Liverpool obviously got the most shots off, but their on target shot ratio was 3:13 (23%) compared to Arsenal’s 2:8 (25%). The difference, not much, especially when Arsenal will be missing Gervinho this Saturday leaving newly appointed captain RvP the responsibility to net the goals. Passing wise, Arsenal had the advantage in passes and passing percentage completed (81% – 76%) but some will argue that’s just the Arsenal way to play, and it is. Looking at chance creation, Liverpool had the advantage in both open play and off of set pieces, but only converted 1 of 11 chances (9%), which still beats AFC’s chance conversion of 0% in their goalless draw at the weekend. Looking at possession duels, Arsenal and LFC both oddly had 106 possession duels in their game and LFC edged Arsenal by winning just 1 more possession duel. In aerial duels however, LFC won 74% of their aerial duels compared to Arsenal’s 50%. Liverpool can thank big Andy Carroll for that. Statistically, the two teams are fairly similar. However, the two teams are in completely different situations inside the club, which could definitely have an impact on the Saturday’s match.
Although it is a home match for the gunners, the sale of Cesc Fabregas and soon sale of Samir Nasri accompanying the Jack Wilshere injury knock three major members of Arsenal’s midfield out. Alex Song’s three-match ban due to the stamp of Joey Barton will also hurt the gunners. Gervinho also has a three-match ban for the slap of the face of Joey Barton so he will be missing the home opener as well. All of these sales, injuries, and suspensions will give Liverpool a massive chance at a much needed 3 points in an away game that could set the tone of away games for the Reds this season.
The game is on Saturday at 12:30 PM BST and at 7:30 EST on ESPN2 in the United States. Liverpool FC will certainly look to take advantage of a potentially helpful 3-point opportunity.
Follow me on twitter at: