Focus Fixture: Can Jota to get on the scoresheet at the Emirates
By Scott ThorntonLatest Football Odds
2 February 2024
Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates on Sunday in the highlight of the Premier League weekend. Liverpool won at this ground in an FA Cup tie last month. Another win for Jurgen Klopp’s side would leave Arteta’s men well behind in the race for the title.
Arsenal were in Liverpool’s position at this stage last season. They had set the pace and were gunning for the title but burnout in the final months meant Manchester City caught them with relative ease. Arteta’s men are now five points behind Liverpool so defeat here would make becoming champions an uphill struggle.
The Gunners may be taking on the division’s form side but they will have confidence of their own. They beat Liverpool 3-2 in this fixture last season. They’ve bounced back from a four-game winless run with consecutive victories and look capable of beating anyone on their day. They will have to pay very well to secure all three points on Sunday.
Liverpool were at their brilliant best midweek as they coasted past Chelsea and secured a 4-1 victory. There were no signs that Klopp’s bombshell announcement has had a negative impact on the team. They are the front runners in the title race but there is still plenty of football to be played so Jurgen will be hoping his departure fuels a strong end to the season with the club chasing four pieces of silverware.
Klopp has galvanised the club and the city since taking over at Anfield. He has won every competition on offer except the Europa League. The Reds have been competing with a dominant Manchester City and snatched trophies along the way. This would be just their second Premier League title and a fitting way to bid farewell to their legendary boss.
Liverpool aren’t quite as formidable when playing on the road as they are at Anfield but they will still take some beating. They have lost just one of their eleven away games this season but have drawn four. The Reds have Pep Guardiola’s side breathing down their necks so they should go all out for the win on Sunday.
Arsenal have most of their players available for this crunch clash. Jurien Timber has been out since the start of the season and remains injured for this one. Thomas Partey is working towards full fitness but he is unlikely to play any part on Sunday.
Mohamed Salah returned early from the African Cup of Nations carrying an injury. It was said that the prolific forward would be out for at least a month so we don’t expect him to play any part at the Emirates. The likes of Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez have been carrying the goal-scoring burden in the Egyptian's absence. Kostas Tsimikas and Joel Matip are missing in defence. Thiago is also unavailable.
Klopp’s decision to step down at the end of the season has been the hot topic in the press. Arteta feels the German has aided the growth of the Premier League; saying “First of all, the person. The character, the charisma, the ideas and his passion for the game are something special. I think he’s had a big contribution for the growth of this league.”
Klopp’s decision could have a positive impact on Liverpool as they chase another league title. Ian Wright speculated on The Overlap that this could aid inspire Liverpool by making his farewell special. Wright said “he genuinely wants the guys to focus and this could be a special season for them.”
Matches between Arsenal and Liverpool usually bring no shortage of entertainment and this one should be no different.
The Gunners lost the FA Cup meeting between these sides last month 2-0 but they squandered several good chances in the first half before the game got away from them. Arsenal had 13 shots; five of which were on target in the first of the match and missed four big chances. Arteta will be keen to see that remedied here as they seek out a huge three points. Both teams have scored in six of those eleven matches thanks to their solid defence. However, this Liverpool attack represents a very different challenge.
Arsenal’s home matches in the league this season have seen an average of 3.36 goals per game. The 2-0 defeat against West Ham is the only time they have drawn a blank.
Klopp’s side are averaging 2.51 goals per game across all competitions this season. They have only failed to score in one of those matches. That was a 0-0 draw which saw them lay siege to the Manchester United goal. Both teams have scored in eight of Liverpool’s eleven Premier League away matches this season.
Recommended Bet: Both teams to score & over 2.5 goals @ 1.94
For our longer odds bet builder, we will use the same angle as the main bet but add some legs to the bet.
The first added leg is under 4.5 cards in the match. Arsenal’s home matches in the league this season have seen an average of just 3.82 cards per game. That’s the joint fewest in the division. There were just three cards when these sides met in the league last season.
Our final pick is Diogo Jota to score in the match. The Portuguese forward has been in scintillating form and was part of our successful bet builder in Liverpool’s midweek win over Chelsea. He scored from the right-wing position in that game and could find space to do the same again with Zinchenko inverting into midfield.
Recommended Bet: Both teams to score & over 2.5 goals, under 4.5 cards in the match & Diogo Jota to score @ 10.5