THE weekend gets off to a flyer as Arsenal host Liverpool in the Saturday lunchtime match. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) looked at the odds for us.
Arsenal v Liverpool | Saturday 12:45 | BT Sport 1
It’s April. It’s light outside till 7pm. There’s chocolate everywhere. The home straight in the Premier League season is here. And because of that, this match takes on vital importance.
Liverpool’s long run of good form came to an end before the international break when they were convincingly beaten 2-1 by Manchester United at Anfield. That loss meant they slipped five points away from the Top 4 and their hopes of playing Champions League football receded.
A defeat here for Liverpool would surely be the knockout blow to their hopes, with Manchester United at home to Aston Villa later they’d likely go eight points behind with just seven games left.
So let’s be clear, there’s a massive onus on Brendan Rodgers’ side on Saturday. Considering they went off almost odds on two weeks ago against Manchester United, you’d have to say 7/2 is pretty big on them triumphing here. I can’t have it though.
Liverpool were in such a strong rat-a-tat-tat rhythm that I worry the international break may have disrupted that. And then there’s the bruising defeat to Manchester United. Will confidence be dented? Oh, and then there’s the small matter of one of your star players going to the media with regard to his new contract talks. Or lack of them. The picture’s a bit negative eh?
Onto Arsenal, and a chance to gush. Six Premier League wins in a row, nine in ten, Arsenal are displaying that traditional end of season dominance that has always seen them finish in the Top 4. For all their mental fragility, this is a facet of theirs that deserves huge respect.
Arsene Wenger’s side have lost just one league game at the Emirates Stadium over the last 19 months and I can’t see that figure doubling on Saturday.
True, they’ve had issues against the bigger sides, but you’d like to think their win over Man City in January was a big step forward. Plus, Liverpool have won just one game in their last 18 away to Arsenal.
I’m fairly sure that Arsenal will put up a strong performance here but I’m not sure how to call the visitors. Due to that uncertainty it’s not a game to be playing at short prices. Therefore I’m not touching odds-on Arsenal.
It’s a very hard game to call in all honesty, but I’m settling on a small stake on Over 3.5 Goals. That punt is reliant on Liverpool turning up to the party and there’s no certainty of that happening. If they do though, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see that threshold surpassed.
Arsenal v Liverpool – Over 3.5 Goals (15/8 BetVictor)
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How does 7/1 on the home side to win sound?