Arsenal v Liverpool: Reds can win Christmas goal-fest

Klopp's Liverpool have scored freely against Arsenal
Klopp's Liverpool have scored freely against Arsenal
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Liverpool's rampant attackers can overpower Arsenal in Friday night's showdown at the Emirates, says Dave Tindall...

"It has the makings of a thriller. Wenger will be Wenger and get his side to play their football. Klopp will sense a kill on the counter-attack."

1pt Liverpool win and Both teams to Score at 10/3

Arsenal v Liverpool
Friday, 19:45 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Premier League

Gunners seeking revenge

Arsenal's home form has propped them up this season. They've notched eight wins out of nine and, percentage-wise, they've won 73% of their points at the Emirates.

Their away-day miseries include a chastening 4-0 hammering at Anfield in August so Arsene Wenger will surely use that as motivation as the Gunners aim to revel in home comforts again.

A weakened line-up secured a last-four place in the EFL Cup on Wednesday although the late loss of Olivier Giroud to injury is set to deny Wenger a crucial 'Plan B' against Liverpool.

Arsenal's impressive tally of home wins include a 2-0 victory over Spurs but they did get undone by a counter-attacking Manchester United side earlier this month, losing their unbeaten home record in a 3-1 loss.

Reds rampant on the road

Whereas there's a clear home and away split in Arsenal's form, Liverpool have taken exactly the same amount of points (17) on the road than they have at Anfield.

In fact, a latest thermometer check shows that Jurgen Klopp's men are red-hot on their travels.

Since their miserable 4-1 Wembley loss to Spurs, Liverpool have won their last four away Premier League games 4-1 (West Ham), 3-0 (Stoke), 5-1 (Brighton) and 4-0 (Bournemouth).

That's an aggregate of 16-2 and makes the Merseysiders the first Premier League side to have won four consecutive away games by a margin of at least three goals.

Give credit to Klopp. He's tinkered with the system to make them more solid at the back (less rampaging full-backs) whilst losing nothing going forward.

With Klopp rotating his starting line-up more than any other top-flight boss, there's no reason why they shouldn't have the legs and energy to cause Arsenal huge problems on Friday night.

Arsenal favoured

Arsenal head the market at 2.526/4 but there's been an early move for Liverpool, who are 2.962/1. The Draw is 3.711/4.

The Gunners thumped Liverpool 4-1 in this fixture in April, 2015 and Wenger has had plenty of success against the Reds but it's been a different story since Klopp took charge.

In four games against Wenger, Klopp has guided Liverpool to three wins and a draw. What really stands out is the number of goals they've scored: 14 in four games!

That run includes a memorable 4-3 win at the Emirates on opening day last season when Liverpool went from 1-0 down to 4-1 up with an exhilarating burst of football, scoring four times in 18 minutes.

Arsenal couldn't contain Liverpool's attackers that day and now, of course, the visitors boast the hottest goalscorer in the division in Mo Salah.

It has the makings of a thriller. Wenger will be Wenger and get his side to play their football. Klopp will sense a kill on the counter-attack.

Perhaps the early exchanges of the Arsenal v Man Utd game hold the key. That day, United hit Arsenal on the break repeatedly in the opening stages and were 2-0 up inside 11 minutes. The Gunners fought back bravely but could never recover the situation.

My best guess for Friday night? Klopp's men to outscore Arsenal in an open contest so Liverpool win and Both teams to Score at 10/3 looks the way to go.

Go for goals

The four Wenger v Klopp meetings have produced goal counts of 6, 7, 4 and 4.

Liverpool are in rampant scoring form on the road so skip the Over 2.5 at 1.574/7 and jump to Over 3.5 at 2.3211/8.

It's well within reason given recent history to look at bigger plays too, with Over 4.5 3.9 and Over 5.5 7.87/1.

Arsenal's back-to-back 1-0 home wins over Newcastle and West Ham in the last week add just a little element of caution.

High risk

Liverpool won this fixture 4-3 last season and have scored a five and two fours in their most recent quartet of away games in the PL.

Scope then to back Any Other Away win at 1110/1.

I'll throw a dart at a 3-2 Liverpool win though as four may just be a tad ambitious.

Liverpool scored exactly three at Watford, Leicester, Sevilla and Stoke but conceded eight goals across those games too.

But for David de Gea, Arsenal's 3-1 loss to Man Utd could easily have been 3-2 so they have plenty of firepower too.

The visitors winning by the odd goal in five has merit if you want to try and land a big'un.

Stick with Salah

I see absolutely no reason not to get involved with Mo Salah again given his To Score price of 2.68/5 The Egyptian has 20 goals for the season already, 14 in the Premier League (two more than anyone else) and he's already netted against Arsenal this season.

Looking at the numbers, 10 of his 20 goals have come on the road and he's bagged eight in his last seven away games. That includes three braces (at Maribor, West Ham and Stoke) so the 9/1 for 2 or more is also well worthy of consideration.

Sadio Mane loves playing against Arsenal and has scored three in three v the Gunners since moving to Liverpool. Klopp left him out at Bournemouth so could be ready to unleash the Senegalese on Friday night. It's 3.55/2 for a Mane goal.

Philippe Coutinho also jumps out. He scored twice in Liverpool's 4-3 win at the Emirates last season and he's wheeled away in celebration in four of his last five Premier League away games for the Reds.

For Arsenal, top scorer Alexander Lacazette has fired in six of his eight Gunners goals at home.

On five occasions he's been the first Arsenal player to find the net so I like him in the Sportsbook's First to Score for their Team market at 11/4. He's a natural goalscorer and very capable of taking an early chance.

Ref watch

Martin Atkinson gets the gig at the Emirates.

Steve Gerrard said in his book, "I can't stand him", but Simon Mignolet will have a different opinion after Atkinson somehow chose not to send him off in Liverpool's recent 3-0 win at Stoke.

Interestingly, since being criticised for not giving Mignolet his marching orders, Atkinson has shown a red card in three straight Premier League matches since.

He did show yellows to five Liverpool players in their win at Stoke while the Yorkshire ref issued four bookings (two to Arsenal players) on his last visit to the Emirates, a 3-0 home win against West Ham.

Dave Tindall's P/L, 2017/18

Staked: 56.5pts
Returned: 38.85pts
P/L: -17.65pts

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