The Emirates Stadium plays host to an all-Premier League match in the FA Cup third round as Jürgen Klopp’s league leaders travel to London. We look ahead to this meeting with our Arsenal vs Liverpool prediction and preview.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Stats: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer makes Arsenal favourites for this game, predicting they win this clash 46.3% of the time.
- Since losing the 2001 final in Cardiff, Arsenal have won their last three FA Cup meetings with Liverpool.
- Liverpool have only been eliminated from the FA Cup at this stage in one of the last 12 seasons, going down 2-1 at Wolves in 2018-19.
The pick of the FA Cup third round ties this weekend sees Arsenal and Liverpool do battle at the Emirates Stadium. With 22 FA Cup trophies between them, the pair are two of the most successful clubs in the competition’s history, and have faced off against each other 17 times, including three finals. Such is their history down the years that only Manchester United (10) have eliminated Liverpool from the FA Cup more often than Arsenal (8), and similarly only the Red Devils (8) have knocked the Gunners out of the cup more often than Liverpool (5).
Fresh off the back of their remarkable 4-2 win against Newcastle, it’s Liverpool who come into this contest sitting top of the Premier League pile. Jürgen Klopp’s men enjoyed a fruitful festive season, winning twice and drawing to Sunday’s opponents Arsenal. Seven points from a possible nine saw their chances of winning the league rise from 22.4% to 34.6%, and they are the form team in the English top flight. Aside from an away defeat in their final Europa League group stage match – a game that was essentially a dead rubber – Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions (W7 D4).
They didn’t get through the hectic schedule unscathed though, with Dominik Szoboszlai and Kostas Tsimikas picking up serious-looking injuries, while of course they will be without key players Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo as the pair head off on international duty to the Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup.
Caoimhin Kelleher has been Liverpool’s regular cup keeper in recent seasons, but given the difficulty of this fixture, the fact we’re about to enter the winter break and the assumption that the Irishman will play against Fulham three days after this game in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Fulham means Alisson could well start this one.
Dominik Szoboszlai is surely out of contention – alongside Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic – but Alexis Mac Allister should come in as Klopp’s deepest-lying midfielder, having made his comeback from injury in the win over Newcastle.
If Liverpool had a productive Christmas period, then it was the complete opposite for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, who were arguably the biggest losers across the three matchdays played across 13 hectic days from late December to the new year. The Gunners picked up just one point in this period – a 1-1 with Liverpool in what was their hardest fixture – before poor performances saw them lose against West Ham and Fulham.
This damaging run saw their chances of winning the title drop by 24.2% – a bigger drop than any other team in any specific position in the Premier League.
In Arsenal team news, Mikel Arteta will be without Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Japanese full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu due to their international commitments, while Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber are out with injury. Gabriel Jesus could return to the starting XI after coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 loss to Fulham.
Earlier this week, we mooted whether Arteta would finally rest Bukayo Saka, who has looked jaded in recent months and in desperate need of a break. Knowing the Spaniard, and his demands and expectations of his star winger, there’s little chance of that happening.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Head-to-Head
Arsenal’s 3-2 home win against Liverpool in the Premier League last season is their only victory in their last 11 meetings with the Reds in all competitions (D5 L5).
In the FA Cup, however, it is the Gunners who usually come out on top. There have been 17 meetings in total down the years, and Arsenal have lost just five of those inside 90 minutes.
Since losing the 2001 final in Cardiff, Arsenal have won their last three FA Cup meetings with Liverpool, beating them 1-0 at Highbury in 2001-02, 3-1 at Anfield in 2006-07 and 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in 2013-14.
While Arsenal’s league form has been turbulent of late, their FA Cup pedigree – particularly at home – is exceptional. They’ve lost just three of their last 49 FA Cup home games (W36 D10), going down 1-0 against Blackburn Rovers in 2012-13, 2-1 against Watford in 2015-16 and 3-1 against Man Utd in 2018-19.
Liverpool have only been eliminated from the FA Cup at this stage in one of the last 12 seasons, going down 2-1 at Wolves in 2018-19. Something’s got to give.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off in this match, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Prediction
Despite their recent woes, the Opta supercomputer makes Arsenal the favourites for this fixture, giving them a 46.3% chance of beating Liverpool on Sunday.
It’s a good time to face Arsenal, though, and the Reds will fancy their chances. Our model has them winning 29.2% of the 10,000 data-powered simulations of this tie. The draw comes in at 24.6%.