With Manchester City surprisingly dropping nine-points from their last four games and Jurgen Klopp’s team continuing their unbeaten run, Liverpool head into their final game of 2018 with a six-point lead at the top of the table. However that lead could soon disappear if they don’t consolidate against Arsenal and then Manchester City in their first game of the new year. Form Labs bring you their betting preview and tips and check out our comprehensive selection of enhanced odds for the clash and other big Premier League fixtures.
Liverpool Steaming Ahead
It’s now 16 victories from 19 unbeaten matches for Jurgen Klopp and his charges and they’re really steaming ahead with eight wins on the bounce, as they’ve netted at least three times in four of their last five.
In fact, so emphatic have they been of late that they’ve won by at least two clear goals in seven of their last eight, while by contrast, the Gunners are enduring a tough spell under Unai Emery for the first time since the opening couple of weeks to the season.
Arsenal Dropping Points
Indeed, Arsenal have only won four of their last 10, but they only suffered defeat in one of these – including a stalemate with Liverpool themselves – and so the Reds are simply too short to back at the prices despite their recent breath-taking performances.
To put things into perspective, three of the Gunners’ other four draws over this spell were against Man Utd, a Wolves side that have taken points off the Manchester duo and Chelsea this term, as well as a Brighton team that are notoriously tough to beat on their own patch.
Liverpool v Arsenal Head-To-Head
Head-to-head meetings between these two sides when Arsene Wenger was still at the helm were ridiculously high-scoring affairs, at least when up against Klopp, with all five such encounters featuring a minimum of four goals as they averaged a whopping 5.4 per game.
However, Liverpool are far more solid at the back these days, while Unai Emery has been steadily improving Arsenal’s ability to compete with their fellow ‘Big Six’ outfits.
In fact, since these two played out a 1-1 draw at the Emirates back in early November, Arsenal have beaten north London rivals Spurs and taken a point from Old Trafford, so Emery would be bitterly disappointed if his team displayed any inferiority complex on the day.
Plenty Of Goals Expected?
Although a bucket load of goals are by no means a certainty, the Gunners’ 1-1 stalemate at the Amex last time out was the first time they’ve seen fewer than three on the road this season. On the flip side, Liverpool have witnessed just two goals or less in three of five encounters with ‘Big Six’ teams this season, but given their output at present, we’d rather avoid the goals market. Instead, it’s the handicap that interests us.
Excluding Arsenal under Wenger – who were truly dreadful in the big games – four of Liverpool’s six wins over ‘Big Six’ rivals since 2016/17 have been by a one-goal margin, while a two-goal margin is the widest they’ve managed.
Look At The Asian Handicap
We’re not expecting Liverpool to dominate quite in the same manner as their recent 3-1 win over a dismal United – which proved the final nail in the coffin for Jose Mourinho – but at the same time it would be no surprise if they walked away with the points in the bag.
However, the Asian handicap gives us the opportunity to get the Gunners on side even should they suffer a narrow defeat, especially as Klopp surprisingly elected not to rotate against Newcastle.
That could lead to either tired legs here or even possibly a spot of mild rotation with Man City up next for Liverpool in the New Year.
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*odds subject to change.