By Gary Fulcher, Daniel Rhodes, Krishen Bhautoo and Mihail Vladimirov.
After what feels like a missed opportunity to put some distance between us and our rivals for 4th place following the 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Sunday, the Reds play host to Arsenal on Saturday – 12.45pm kick off UK time – and with the Gunners having won eight of their 12 previous away games in the Premier League, the current league leaders should prove to be our toughest challenge at Anfield to date.
Despite the disappointment of that draw with the Baggies, it’s worth remembering that only once in the past 21 seasons have we had more than our current total of 47 points from 24 matches. That was of course 2008/09 when we had 51pts from 24 matches and ended up finishing 2nd. That’s no guarantee that we’ll even finish in the top four but it does clearly show the progress we’ve made since last season.
Liverpool are ranked 3rd based on our home record (consisting of ten wins, one draw and one defeat giving us an 83% win ratio) this season while the Gunners are ranked 1st away from home having won eight, drawn two and lost two (67% win ratio). Only Manchester City (42) have scored more goals at home than our tally of 33 and only Arsenal (six) have conceded fewer goals at home than our total of eight. Only Man City have scored more goals away from home than Arsenal’s 25 (the same amount that we’ve scored away from Anfield this season), so this fixture is unlikely to end in a 0-0 stalemate (you have to go back to Jan 9 1999 to find the last time a league meeting between these two sides ended in that scoreline).
The corresponding fixture last season saw Arsenal leave Anfield with a 2-0 victory courtesy of goals from Podolski and Cazorla, while the Reds slumped to a 0-2 defeat at the Emirates back in November with goals from Cazorla and Ramsey sealing all three points for the Gunners. Eight points currently separate the Reds in 4th from the current table toppers and the Reds’ recent record against Arsene Wenger’s side doesn’t make pleasant reading.
Since the Peter Crouch inspired 4-1 victory back in March 2007, we’ve won just one of the last 13 league games – home and away – against the Gunners, a record that reads:
- P: 13 W:1 D: 7 L: 5 F: 15 A: 20 Pts: 10 (from a possible 39)
Our home record during that period reads:
- P: 6 W:0 D: 3 L: 3 F: 8 A: 12 Pts: 3 (from a possible 18)
That solitary victory came during the 2011/12 campaign when an own goal from Aaron Ramsey on 78′ and a 90′ Luis Suarez strike sealed a 2-0 victory at the Emirates. The Gunners may be our current ‘bogey team’ but we’re badly due a win and Saturday’s meeting would be the perfect time to do just that.
Our biggest league victory against the Gunners at Anfield is 5-0 from the 1963/64 campaign, while Arsenal’s biggest win is 5-1 from the 1952/53 season.
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