The Emirates Stadium is the place to be on Sunday when Arsenal collide with rivals Liverpool in an English Premier League title six pointer. Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have a special axe to grind with Jurgen Klopp’s visitors since hardly a month has elapsed since the Kop eliminated them from the FA Cup at the same venue 2-0.
When Liverpool last travelled to north London, Arsenal were in the midst of a slump which had witnessed them win just once in six outings. They’ve since found some good form thanks to the sharpness of striker Gabriel Jesus who was unplayable as the Gunners torpedoed Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.
Conor Bradley’s outstanding performance in Liverpool’s 4-1 demolition of Chelsea has given Klopp a welcome selection dilemma because regular right back and deputy skipper Trent Alexander Arnold has recovered in time for the fixture. Joe Gomez will continue to play as an inverted left back in the continued absence through injury of Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas. Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo are the preferred front three in top scorer Mo Salah’s absence.
Neutral EPL fans will be rooting for Thomas Frank’s Brentford when they host champions Manchester City on Monday night. The Bees are still without the services of Nigerian Henry Onyecka and DR Congo’s Yoane Wissa as both national teams progressed to the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast but Cityzens boss Pep Guardiola won’t take them for granted as last season they registered victories home and away against his treble winners with Ivan Toney’s direct style a constant menace.
Erling Braut Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne are in contention to start after playing bit part roles in the 3-1 victory over Burnley but Swiss defender Manuel Akanji is still sidelined. Academy products Oscar Bobb and Micah Hamilton could make the match day squad as Guardiola juggles resources in readiness for Uefa Champions League football which resumes in a fortnight.
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur,
Brighton v Crystal Palace,
Burnley v Fulham,
Newcastle United v Luton Town,
Sheffield United v Aston Villa
Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest,
Chelsea v Wolves,
Manchester United v West Ham United,
Arsenal v Liverpool
Brentford v Manchester City