Arsenal will be hosting Liverpool for the second leg of the semi-final of the EFL Cup. The fixture will take place at 1:15 am IST on 21st January at the Emirates Stadium. Since the first leg ended in a 0-0 draw at Anfield both teams have an equal amount of pressure to change the aggregate score.
Arsenal reached the semi-finals by beating Sunderland 5-1 in the quarter-finals. The Gunners were also successful in holding the Liverpool attack with 10-men. They will now have the home advantage and a good shot to win a silverware this season. Arsenal can indeed take advantage of African Liverpool absentees who are playing AFCON.
Arsenal form in all competitions: W W L L D
Liverpool entered the FA Cup semi-finals by defeating Leicester City on penalties in the quarter-finals. They were unable to find the net against Arsenal in the first leg. The absentees of Salah and Mane was clearly visible as Liverpool lacked the finishing they usually have. However, Arsenal will be without some of their key players, and Liverpool will love to take advantage of it.
Liverpool form in all competitions: L D W D W
Arsenal vs Liverpool: The Gunners team news
Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey, and Mohamed Elneny are all competing at the Africa Cup of Nations. However, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned to England following cardiac lesions caused by COVID-19 and will undergo testing to determine his condition.
Following his first-leg dismissal, Xhaka will serve a one-match suspension. In addition, Martin Odegaard is also doubtful after only recently completing his self-isolation period following a bout with COVID-19. Moreover, Sead Kolasinac has left Arsenal to join Marseille on a permanent deal.
Due to injury or fatigue, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares, and Calum Chambers are all minor doubts. Arteta may have to play Ben White just in front of his defense as the only recognized midfielder he has now is Sambi Lokonga. Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes may partner at the backline of the Arsenal defense.
Arsenal possible starting lineup
Aaron Ramsdale; Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Bukayo Saka, Ben White, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Gabriel Martinelli; Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah
Liverpool vs Arsenal: The Reds team news
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita are all away at the African Cup of Nations, while former Arsenal player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out after twisting his ankle against Brentford.
Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, and Kostas Tsimikas are all available options for Klopp if he decides to rest some of his players. Moreover, Curtis Jones or James Milner are expected to start with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in central midfield. Klopp might start Minamino alongside Firmino and Diogo Jota in a three-man attack.
Thiago Alcantara (hip), Harvey Elliott (ankle), and Nat Phillips (cheekbone fracture) will not be participating in this fixture because of their injuries. However, Divock Origi has returned to training from his knee injury. Nevertheless, he won’t be to play against Arsenal as he won’t be fully recovered.
Liverpool possible starting lineup
Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Curtis Jones; Takumi Minamino, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota
Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool
Although Arsenal held onto a 0-0 draw at Anfield, it will be tough to do it again but with several absentees. Moreover, Liverpool will look forward to improving on their performances from the first leg and have a better depth in the squad than Arsenal. Consequently, that gives an advantage to Liverpool, however, Arsenal must not be underestimated as they are capable of causing an upset.
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