It’s been a long while since I decided an English Premier League wager was worth writing about – but the holiday season brings a ton of good betting opportunities in the top domestic league in the world. That’s the case with Friday afternoon’s big showdown between Arsenal and Liverpool in north London.
I’ve been relatively decent with my soccer picks so far this year – hovering around the .500 mark, but clearly there is a lot of room for improvement. Sometimes with the Premier League it takes a while to sift through the first few weeks – letting the market establish the contenders from pretenders. With the mid-way point officially upon us, Matchweek 19 offers up some great betting opportunities – none better than Friday afternoon’s excellent showdown between Arsenal and Liverpool.
With Manchester City just dominating the league and all but running away with the title before Christmas, spots are heating up for 2nd through 4th and those coveted Champions League positions. Arsenal enters Friday afternoon sitting fifth place, just one spot behind Liverpool in 4th. With that being said, this has all the makings of an explosive match. Read on below for full game analysis, tactical preview, and a betting prediction to get your holiday weekend started off on the right note.
Arsenal vs, Liverpool Betting Odds:
Over 3 (-120)
Under 3 (+100)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Arsenal vs. Liverpool Pick:
Whenever these two squads square off it always produces fireworks. Both squads are very attack-oriented and have no difficulty finding the back of the net. Friday afternoon’s clash should be no different, especially when you look up and down the lineup card for both squads.
Back in August, these teams faced off and Arsenal are likely still reeling from the drubbing they took at the hands of Liverpool last time. The Gunners of Arsenal were sluggish and slow, and as a result were trounced by a 4-nil scoreline. Since that game, pacy winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has since left Arsenal and is now playing a key role at Liverpool. He’ll surely be keen for this contest and should be raring to go to prove a point to his old team and manager.
For Arsenal, they enter in some mediocre form. And even though they are playing much better than they were back in August and early in the year – many supporters are still uneasy about their prospects for the rest of the season. There have been reports of discontent from both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, and as a result this team seems in flux. What isn’t in doubt however, is their impressive home form. They’ve only dropped points once at the Emirates Stadium and that building has proven to be quite the fortress.
Tactically this should be an impressive game from both sides. For those that say “soccer is boring,” I’d recommend tuning into this contest to see the pace and attacking flair from both sides. Both coaches love to get the ball downfield and really play. All passes will be purposeful and a lot will be going forward. This could pose some problems for the Gunners and their relatively suspect back-line. Liverpool is explosive on the counter and the way they spring forward in recent weeks has created a ton of problems for their opposition. Mo Salah, the Egyptian midfielder is in fine form at the moment – and his attacking prowess should be good for a ton of quality chances in this one.
Even though the Gunners have been virtually unbeatable on home soil this year, it’s hard to ignore the attacking flair of Liverpool going forward. Along with Salah, he’s got the likes of Firmino, Phillippe Countinho, and Sadio Mane – all of whom will pose big problems for the Arsenal defense corps. The pace crushed Arsenal back when these teams first met, and Arsene Wenger hasn’t done much to adjust in terms of personnel. He will likely trot out four at the back, but will it be enough to stifle the Reds on the break?
I foresee an exciting match. It’s virtually impossible to keep Liverpool from finding the back of the net. With their current form, it’s impressive and they’ll definitely score at the Emirates. I expect this to open things up heavily, and this should force Arsenal out of their shell. And though Liverpool gets much of the positive press – it’s not as if the Gunners can’t score either. The attacking duo of Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette remains as lethal a pair in the EPL, and though they’re entering not in their best form – they should be able to exploit some of Liverpool’s much-maligned defensive frailties.
Both teams should score, and there should be goals. Picking a winner here seems too tough – and I’d likely lean to Liverpool not to lose, or a draw. What seems to be a better wager however is backing goals, and lots of them. For those reasons, let’s start the soccer weekend with an Over 3 goals bet – thinking a push is the worst we do here. Enjoy the holiday soccer and this cracker of a match!
PICK = Over 3 (-120) in Arsenal/Liverpool