Arsenal vs Liverpool

Emirates Stadium sets the stage for a mouth-watering FA Cup tie between familiar foes Arsenal and Liverpool.

Mikel Arteta must be glad 2023 is finally behind us after Arsenal’s dreadful three-game winless run (D1, L2) significantly diminished their chances of winning their first Premier League title in two decades. Back-to-back defeats to fellow London rivals Fulham and West Ham were hardly a decent warm-up for Arsenal’s bid to win a fourth consecutive FA Cup tie against Liverpool. The record-time FA Cup winners have set their sights on a 15th title, with a three-match unbeaten H2H run (W1, D2), suggesting they’re well-placed to overcome the first hurdle. Adding to this sentiment, the ‘Gunners’ have only lost three of their last 49 FA Cup matches on home soil (W36, D10). Arsenal can draw further confidence from toppling Liverpool 3-2 in their most recent H2H in London after drawing a blank in three consecutive such contests beforehand.

In contrast to Arsenal’s abysmal run of form toward the end of 2023, Liverpool’s return to prominence has fired them to the top of the Premier League standings. Jurgen Klopp’s side ended the last calendar year with a 2-0 win at relegation-battling Burnley before delivering a breathtaking performance in a 4-2 home victory against Newcastle United at the start of 2024. The ‘Reds’ generated an insane 7.2 xG in that fixture. But conversion could be a problem for Liverpool now that Mohamed Salah has left the continent to join the Egypt squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. That said, the Merseyside giants have netted precisely two goals on their last three domestic travels. All that strengthens Liverpool’s bid to progress beyond this stage of the FA Cup for the 12th time in 13 campaigns.

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