04 April 2008

BPL : ARSENAL vs LFC 7.45pm 5 APRIL 2008


Arsenal striker Robin van Persie is a major doubt for Liverpool's visit to the Emirates due to a thigh problem.
Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to feature despite an ankle injury, but midfielder Abou Diaby is suspended.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez could make changes for the second of three clashes between the sides in a week.
Javier Mascherano is definitely out suspended but it is possible that Benitez could rest Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.
Arsenal (from): Almunia, Toure, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Eboue, Flamini, Fabregas, Hleb, van Persie, Adebayor, Lehmann, Walcott, Song, Gilberto, J Hoyte, Bendtner, Denilson.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Finnan, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Aurelio, Benayoun, Lucas, Alonso, Riise, Voronin, Crouch, Pennant, Babel, Hyypia, Gerrard, Torres, Carragher, Kuyt, Itandje.
It's Part Two of the trilogy between Arsenal and Liverpool. On Wednesday the clubs drew 1-1 in the Champions League quarter-final first leg. Now they reconvene at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League, three days before the European return at Anfield.
The Gunners got back into the Premier League title race with a first victory in six at Bolton last Saturday. They won 2-3 with 10 men, after producing the first comeback to win from 2-0 down this season in the highest league.
The Gunners are six points behind leaders Manchester United with six to play, including the Red Devils next weekend. Victory from this lunchtime kick-off will see Arsene Wenger's men returning to second spot, at least until Chelsea play at Manchester City in a 1500 hours fixture.
Liverpool's victory over Everton last Sunday put them in the driving seat for a fourth placed finish. They're hoping to pick up a seventh win in eight league outings.
The Gunners need to score once to total 100 goals in all competitions this season; Liverpool have already netted 101.
Arsenal are chasing a fifth successive home league victory over Liverpool. The Reds have not taken away maximum points from the north London club for eight years, nor have they beaten a fellow 'Big Four' club away from home, under Rafa Benitez.
The Gunners have been beaten more often by Liverpool in the Premier League, than by any other club (14 times).
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 2nd Lowest could fall: 3rd
All statistics and sequences refer to the Premier League only, unless otherwise stated.
1. Won two of 10 in all competitions, and lost one of nine.
2. Avoided defeat in 15 of 16. Also, lost fewer matches this season than any other club (two), and failed to score in fewer (two).
3. Scored 62 goals; only Manchester United have been more prolific (68). Also, netted 24 in the last 15 minutes; more than any other club.
4. Won one, drawn two and lost one of their four fixtures against fellow 'Big Four' clubs this term.
5. Unbeaten in 13 against North-West clubs; won nine and drawn four since the 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on 31 March 2007.
6. Beaten Fulham (h), Tottenham (a), Aston Villa (a), Everton (a) and Bolton (a) from losing positions; picked up an unmatched 20 points from games in which they were trailing.
7. The dismissal of Vassiriki Diaby last Saturday, was their 73rd red card since Arsene Wenger has been manager.
8. One of two clubs still holding an unbeaten home record, alongside Chelsea. Completed 20 league games at the Emirates without defeat; won 12 and drawn four this season, and won 15 and drawn five since the 0-1 reverse to West Ham on 7 April.
9. Lost one of the 52 competitive matches ever staged at the Emirates Stadium (all competitions).
10. The league run-in is:-
Manchester United (a) Reading (h) Derby (a) Everton (h) Sunderland (a)

Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 4th Lowest could fall: 4th
All statistics and sequences refer to the Premier League only, unless otherwise stated.
1. Lost one of 10 (all competitions).
2. Picked up 22 points from a last available 27.
3. Lost four times; only Arsenal (twice) and Chelsea (three times) have been beaten less frequently.
4. Drawn 11; only Fulham have recorded more stalemates (12).
5. Conceded 24 goals; only Manchester United (15) and Chelsea (23) have shipped fewer. Also, allowed the opposition to score first in eight games; only Manchester United can better that (five times).
6. Registered five goalless draws. Only Portsmouth have also been involved in as many as that.
7. Yet to beat a fellow 'Big Four' club this season; drawn three and lost two of five.
8. Not scored in the last three visits to London, when one point of the nine has been picked up.
9. Need to score twice to total 400 away from home all-time in this league.
10. The league run-in is:-
Blackburn (h) Fulham (a) Birmingham (a) Manchester City (h) Tottenham (a)
Emmanuel ADEBAYOR is Arsenal's top scorer with 24 goals, and leading marksman in the Premier League with 19.
If on the field from the outset:-
Emmanuel EBOUE will be making a 50th Premier League start for Arsenal.
Justin HOYTE will be making his 50th start for the Gunners.
Vassiriki DIABY (three matches)
Fernando TORRES is Liverpool's top scorer with 28 goals, and their leading marksman in the Premier League with 21.
TORRES and GERRARD have scored a total of 31 league goals between them.
Goalkeeper Jose REINA is the only remaining player to have been on the field for every minute of every one of Liverpool's Premier League matches this season.
REINA leads the race for the Barclays Golden Glove, with 15 clean sheets.
If selected:-
Sami HYYPIA will be making his 300th Premier League appearance in a Liverpool shirt.
Alvaro ARBELOA will be making his 50th appearance for the Reds.
Jermaine PENNANT will be facing a former club. The 25 year old midfielder made 26 appearances (12 in the league) and scored three league goals for Arsenal between January 1999 and July 2005.
Arsenal pulled a point out of the fire in the reverse fixture with an equaliser from Cesc Fabregas, 10 minutes from time. It was Liverpool's 1,000th draw in league football.
The Merseysiders are hunting their first league win in eight attempts at Arsenal. Their only victory in nine visits was on 13 February 2000 when Titi Camara was on target.
There has not been an away win in a fixture between Arsenal and Liverpool, either in London or at Anfield, in eight meetings.
Home and away League (inc PL):
Arsenal 58 wins, Liverpool 68, Draws 41Prem: Arsenal 9 wins, Liverpool 14, Draws 8
at Arsenal only League (inc PL):
Arsenal 37 wins, Liverpool 20, Draws 26Prem: Arsenal 6 wins, Liverpool 5, Draws 4

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