This game is about as must-win as it gets in terms of our league season. Or at least mustn’t lose. Everton’s late winner means that we are only a point above Liverpool with a game in hand. A win sets us up for third place; a loss makes the gap between the two sides not worth mentioning. I’d take a draw. This is our third trip to Anfield this season and our fourth match up with them overall. So far we’ve scored twelve goals against them, let’s hope we can carry the record on and secure third place.
Fixture History – Wenger Years
Anfield was a piss poor hunting ground before they became our whipping boys this season. We’d lost five times, drawn twice and one twice. Of course those statistics are a tad more favourable after January’s contribution. Overall in all competitions we’ve beaten them eleven times, drawn five times and lost eight times. We didn’t manage to beat them at all under Wenger until August 2000, and of course they beat us in the FA Cup final that season.
In their last six league games, Liverpool have won two, drawn two and lost two. They have the third best home record in the league, winning all but four games, and they hadn’t lost until two weeks ago. Our defeat to Everton was our first league loss of 2007, having not previously lost since December 30th 2006. Just had to come from a cunting set piece, didn’t it?
Thierry Henry, Theo Walcott and presumably Robin van Persie out till next season.
Emmanuel Eboue and Emmanuel Adebayor both return after serving their respective four game suspensions.
The two week break after the Everton game should be enough time for Gael Clichy and Emmanuel Eboue to recover from their injuries to return to the starting lineup.
We don’t seem to have picked up any new injuries during the break, so Wenger should be free to pick the team he wants.
Peter Crouch, Harry Kewell and Luis Garcia miss this match for various reasons.
Wenger should be able to go virtually full strength apart from strikers for this. You’d expect Eboue and Adebayor return to the starting lineup in place of Hoyte and Aliadiere, Clichy to return at left back, Gilberto to move forward into midfield in place of Diaby and Hleb to return on the right.
Almunia, Djourou, Diaby, Ljungberg, Aliadiere.
Not sure exactly what side Benitez will put out. They need to beat us to have a good chance of finishing third, but they play PSV Eindhoven three days later and so may rotate in some of the positions.