PREMIER LEAGUE expert Daniel McCulloch (@DMcCulloch1984) previews Saturday's blockbuster showdown between Liverpool and Arsenal.
Liverpool v Arsenal | Sunday 16th December 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
Having tipped Liverpool to win the league at the start of the campaign and also backed the Merseyside club at 4/1 it may surprise you that I actually think Manchester City are an excellent bet to win the league at 19/10 with Black Type as I expect a regression in Liverpool's results.
They've been excellent this campaign but 51 points from 19 games does flatter them and they really should have conceded more than the seven goals they have. Expected Goals suggest that they should have allowed around 15 to find the net and certainly that would be more in keeping with certain league averages.
For example, as a general rule around 32% of shots on-target result in goals yet just seven of the 49 shots that have been on Liverpool's goal have found the net. That's just 14% and simply unsustainable.
Having said all this, I believe there will be plenty of opportunity to oppose Jurgen Klopp's men this season but that will generally be on the road and not at the fortress that is Anfield, where they are currently unbeaten in 30 home league games.
Additionally, Klopp has had the measure of his North London foes since he arrived in Tte UK and is yet to lose in six encounters. Arsenal may have gone on a 22-game unbeaten run between August and December but it has always felt like they've relied on the exceptional finishing of their front men to win them games they have not deserved to.
In Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette they have two of the best strikers in Europe. Behind them, however, I see gaping holes. Their defence has been suspect for a while but given they are missing Henrik Mykitaryan through injury and Mesut Ozil seems unlikely to start, I struggle to see how they can keep pace with a side that create the volume of chances Liverpool do.
I really cannot put you off backing Liverpool to win by two goals or more but I am going to take the relative safe option of backing a home win and both sides to find the net. That is available at 7/4 with Bet365.
I will also look at the 2-1/3-1 scorelines on the exchange come kick off as while I expect Arsenal's front line to cause their hosts problems, I don't believe they will do enough damage to ensure that they take any points back to the capital.
Liverpool v Arsenal – Liverpool to win and Both Teams To Score (7/4 Bet365)