As top-of-the-table showdown between Liverpool and Arsenal draws near, pundits are divided over their predictions for Saturday’s match at Anfield.
With Jürgen Klopp’s side just a point adrift of league leaders Arsenal, a victory could see them leapfrog the Gunners.
Despite the recent draw with Manchester United that left some disappointed, Liverpool bounced back with a commanding 5-1 win over West Ham, securing their place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Arsenal, having regained the top spot last weekend, will enter the game brimming with confidence and after a free midweek.
However, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s manager, hasn’t forgotten last season’s draw at Anfield that marked the beginning of a downward spiral. That culminated in just three wins in its remaining nine games and cost Arsenal the Premier League title.
Jamie Carragher, Liverpool icon and guest on the Stick to Football Podcast sponsored by Sky Bet, didn’t miss a chance to remind Gunners legend Ian Wright about last year’s pivotal match on Merseyside: “This is where Arsenal lost the league last year! This is where it all started, that 2-0 lead!”
Wright hit back at Carragher’s taunt and took a shot at Man United legends Roy Keane and Gary Neville as well.
“I think we will beat them,” he confessed.
“As Man United fans, you lot should not be making any jokes about football right now.”
He continued: “I’m going to go Arsenal. I believe what you said there about last season and the wheels starting to shake that has got to count for something for this team. I’m going to go 2-1 for us.”
When it came time to make their predictions as a group, there was discord among Carragher and Neville. The ex-Liverpool defender backed Klopp’s team to secure a point, but Neville thought otherwise.
“Liverpool’s home record is unbelievable. I don’t think Liverpool will lose at Anfield,” Carragher proposed. “I think it will be 1-1.”
Neville, however, had a different perspective:
“I don’t think Liverpool will win. I think Arsenal will win. But Liverpool are just mad, aren’t they? They’re a freak,” he remarked, forecasting a 2-0 victory for Arsenal, which drew accusations of fence-sitting.
Keane was quick to challenge his former teammate’s prediction:
“Liverpool won’t score for two games in a row at home, are you for real?” a visibly irritated Keane questioned. “Someone has spiked his Christmas dinner!”