Will Maxwell’s tips for Sunday’s main event in the FA Cup third round include a fast start at the Emirates and Liverpool to progress.
The Gunners ended 2023 with two consecutive defeats and this run could be extended against Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have lost just once in the league all season.
Arsenal v Liverpool Best bets
Rampant Reds to gun down Arsenal
Liverpool have been in dominant form of late, and are unbeaten in their last 13 league games.
Their away form has been notably impressive as Jurgen Klopp’s men are unbeaten in each of the last six games on the road.
They have also had a lot of joy at Arsenal in recent years, losing just two of their last eight visits to the Emirates in the league.
Arsenal started the season looking to go one step further than their second-placed finish in the previous campaign, but crushing results in the festive fixtures have thrown their title challenge off course.
Defeats to West Ham and Fulham to culminate the year have left the Gunners five points behind leaders Liverpool and in desperate need of a resurgence.
Defensive errors are nullifying the good attacking work being put in by the likes of Bukayo Saka, who has 12 goal contributions in the league this season, and this will likely open the door for Liverpool to capitalise.
Gakpo to continue fine form
In order to make use of Arsenal’s defensive frailties, Liverpool will require their strike force to pick up where AFCON-bound Mo Salah left off.
The Egyptian’s 22 goal contributions this season is double that of anyone else in the Reds’ squad.
A front-line stacked with talent should not have too many issues in creating chances against Arsenal, given the Reds have scored in every away game this season in all competitions.
Dutch striker Cody Gakpo has registered three goal contributions in his last four games, and so he may be the most likely candidate to score on Sunday based on recent form.
Quick start expected at the Emirates
Whilst The Gunners have a recent reputation for late winners, with late victories claimed over Manchester United, Manchester City and Luton this season, this fixture has had a tendency of providing early drama.
Each of the last three meetings between these two rivals has seen a goal in the opening 15 minutes, with Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes opening the scoring at Anfield in the fourth minute in the Premier League encounter just before Christmas.
Liverpool have usually been on the receiving end of these fast starts, with the Reds on the receiving end of early goals in the three previous meetings.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored in the opening quarter of an hour just once all season, so early defensive woes may be expected, with Liverpool looking to turn the game around in the second half.