Sunday’s Premier League action is headlined by a huge tussle between two title rivals. Who will come out on top? We look ahead to the game with our Arsenal vs Liverpool prediction and preview.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Stats: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer simply cannot split Arsenal and Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s match, giving both sides a 35.9% chance of victory at the Emirates Stadium.
- Liverpool won 2-0 at the Emirates in the FA Cup last month. There have been five previous instances of a team winning two away games against Arsenal in a single season, with Jürgen Klopp’s men doing so in 2021-22.
- Diogo Jota has scored five goals in his five previous appearances at the Emirates for Liverpool in all competitions. Since Jota joined the club in 2020, Mohamed Salah is the only Premier League player with more goals at a single away ground (seven at Old Trafford).
Sunday’s Premier League action is headlined by a titanic clash of title rivals at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal desperate to strike back at leaders Liverpool, who take a five-point lead to north London. With Manchester City also in ominous form, any slip-ups could prove pivotal.
We look to have a three-horse race on our hands after the Premier League’s midweek fixtures, with Liverpool, City and Arsenal all winning while Aston Villa suffered a dire 3-1 defeat to Newcastle United.
In the latest edition of the Opta supercomputer’s season predictions, City are still title favourites, finishing top of the pile in 54.4% of scenarios, but Jürgen Klopp’s hopes of a farewell success are up to 42.1%, rising by 5.5% after Liverpool’s 4-1 rout of Chelsea. Arsenal are given just a 3.3% chance of finishing as champions, though a victory on Sunday would provide a major boost to their hopes.
Arsenal made it back-to-back victories with their 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, with Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka on target, the latter reaching double figures for both goals and assists in all competitions in 2023-24. He has now achieved that feat in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first Arsenal player to do so since Alexis Sánchez (three straight between 2014-15 and 2016-17).
Mikel Arteta’s men have responded well to a poor run that saw them go three league games without a win across the festive period, a sequence that began with a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Anfield on 23 December.
Gabriel Magalhães put Arsenal ahead four minutes into that contest, only for Mohamed Salah to score Liverpool’s equaliser, and the Gunners were also extremely fortunate not to concede a penalty when skipper Martin Ødegaard appeared to handle the ball inside his own area.
Arsenal have made a habit of starting well against Liverpool, opening the scoring in the first 10 minutes of their last three league meetings with the Reds, though they have only won one of those matches (two draws). They last scored first in four straight league games against Liverpool between August 1967 and November 1970 (a run of six).
Gabriel Martinelli was responsible for the opening goal in two of those games, and he has more goal contributions versus Liverpool (six – four goals, two assists) than against any other team since arriving at Arsenal in 2019.
Arteta has no new injury concerns ahead of the game, and he could even have Fábio Vieira and Mohamed Elneny available, with the latter unable to prevent Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations exit last Sunday. The Gunners boss does have a decision to make in midfield, having selected Emile Smith Rowe ahead of Kai Havertz and Jorginho in midweek.
If anyone thought the news of Klopp’s impending exit would prove a distraction for Liverpool, they banished that notion with Wednesday’s crushing win over Chelsea as Diogo Jota, Conor Bradley, Dominik Szoboszlai and Luis Díaz all scored for the rampant Reds.
The scoreline could have been even more comprehensive had Darwin Núñez not become the first player on record (since 2003-04) to hit the woodwork four times in a single Premier League match.
Wednesday’s game was also a notable one for 20-year-old right-back Bradley, who scored his first Liverpool goal as well as recording two assists. He will likely be replaced by the fit-again Trent Alexander-Arnold on Sunday, however, with the England international having assisted six goals in his last seven league games against Arsenal. Throughout Premier League history, only Steven Gerrard has matched Alexander-Arnold’s overall tally of seven assists against the Gunners.
He’s not the only Liverpool player with a particular appetite for facing Arsenal. Jota has five goals and two assists in his five appearances for the Reds at the Emirates across all competitions, averaging a goal involvement every 41 minutes in those matches. Since Jota joined Liverpool in 2020, teammate Salah is the only Premier League player with more goals at a single away ground, netting seven times against Manchester United at Old Trafford during that time.
Salah will again be absent on Sunday after sustaining a hamstring injury at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Wataru Endō is still at the Asian Cup with Japan. Alexis Mac Allister should be able to shake off the knock he suffered against Chelsea, while Andy Robertson is pushing for a start after being eased back into action from the bench recently.
Arsenal vs Liverpool Head-to-Head
Sunday’s game comes less than a month after the most recent meeting between the teams, with Liverpool having beaten Arsenal 2-0 in the FA Cup on 7 January. The Gunners missed several early chances in that game, but a Jakub Kiwior own goal and a powerful Díaz finish condemned them to a third-round exit.
There have been five previous instances of a team winning two away games against Arsenal in the same season, with Liverpool doing so in 2021-22. The other sides to do so are Nottingham Forest (1987-88), Aston Villa (1993-94), Man City (2020-21) and Brighton and Hove Albion (2022-23).
In the Premier League, however, Arsenal have taken five points from their last three games against Liverpool (one win, two draws), as many as in their previous 12 (one win, two draws, nine losses).
They are looking to remain unbeaten in four straight league matches against the Reds for the first time since Arsène Wenger’s team did so between December 2014 and January 2016 (one win, three draws).
However, Liverpool have scored in 16 successive league games against Arsenal, last being shut out by the Gunners in a goalless draw in August 2015. Overall, they have scored 108 Premier League goals versus the Gunners, making them the only side to reach a century against them in the competition.
Sunday’s match will be a landmark occasion, marking the 200th league meeting between the two giants. It will become just the fifth fixture to be played 200 times in English league history, with Liverpool currently boasting 79 wins to Arsenal’s 66 (54 draws).
Liverpool have won their last four away games in the Premier League, beating Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Bournemouth, scoring 10 goals and only conceding one.
Klopp’s men only won five of their previous 15 games on the road prior to this run, drawing seven and losing three.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have won six of their last seven league matches at the Emirates, the exception being a 2-0 defeat to West Ham on 28 December. Only Liverpool (29) and Aston Villa (28) have bettered the Gunners’ return of 26 points at home in the Premier League this season.
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 this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Arsenal vs Liverpool Prediction
The Opta supercomputer simply can’t pick a winner ahead of Sunday’s game. Across 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, both Arsenal and Liverpool came out on top in 35.9% of scenarios!
The points are shared in 28.2% of our simulations, and a draw would surely represent a better result for Liverpool than for Arsenal. It would, however, hand the initiative to City ahead of their trip to Brentford on Monday.