Preview: Arsenal vs Liverpool
By Randy Osae
“We have to win the title. We play to win everything and we will try to do it. We have been getting better and better. We will try to be wiser. We will show everyone we are still the Gunners and that we can win the title.”
When an equally responsible Bacary Sagna spoke those words, it was with the feeling of being spared by Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Aston Villa did refuse to cease their plea for fourth spot, but it seems like every time the Gunners fail to solidify their title credentials, the pace setters never intend to kill them off either.
Arsenal have gotten chance after chance in this year’s challenge for the crown, and Sunday will be another one.
Despite carrying the volcano-hot pressure of contending for the Premier League title from scratch, Wenger’s men found a draw at the Riverside affordable. Title chances are still fancied because the eight-point deficit bargained by the storming of Stamford Bridge stayed untouched after rivals strangely collected identical points last weekend.
With Manchester United striving in Japan, Arsenal WILL return into the top four with maximum points tomorrow. Aston Villa have made Friday’s boxing day meeting a keen showdown for the last Champions League spot after victory over West Ham put them four points in front of the Gunners.
Finishing fourth at least has become an additional stress for Arsenal since a streak of collapses. And Sunday’s opponents will come ruthless as far as expectations in north London are concerned.
Arsene Wenger’s men have proved triumphant in meetings with other members of the ‘big four’, but so has Liverpool.
Both sides are aiming to complete a hat-trick of victories over fellow title hopefuls after dismantling United at home and causing Chelsea to succumb at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal and Liverpool have both been eventful performers this season, but the reds have shown much superiority over feeble oppositions and thus, visit the Emirates as league leaders.
While Liverpool deal with the vacancy of an influencial ace in Fernando Torres on Sunday, Arsenal will have one return. Samir Nasri has been deemed fit to play, but Nicklas Bendtner will be ommitted from the 18-man squad with a persisting knee problem.