Sunday, March 30, 2008

Champions League: Arsenal vs Liverpool

It's Beauty & the Beast as Arsenal take on Liverpool in the Champions League

Wednesday is the first of three Arsenal vs Liverpool games, with the two-legged Champions League tie, being sandwiched by a Premier League game at the Emirates.

Both teams are in mixed form, though it has to be said, Liverpool are playing better than Arsenal at the moment, and of course they are the Champions League specialists. Liverpool will be relieved Javier Mascherano is available to play, and he will even be rested, after being suspended for the game against Everton.

Liverpool will go for the same team they've been playing in the last ten games or so, with Benitez following his pattern of tinkering with the team early in the season, until his rivals are out of sight, then stumbling on a winning formula for a late charge and some glory nights in Europe! They could have achieved so much more!

Arsenal meanwhile, are in a bit of a crisis. Make no mistake, they were lucky to get the win at Bolton, and were woeful for the first hour. Adebayor has stopped scoring, Fabregas has gone missing as has Hleb, while Van Persie may have returned, he is not firing on all cylinders after a long time out.

Liverpool will take on Arsenal with the hope of keeping it tight, and play on the counter attack, with the likes of Torres, Babel and Gerrard, expected to do the damage and swing this Champions League tie their way. Arsenal, meanwhile will be happy as long as they don't concede at home.

Wenger believes that in the Champions League, teams that don't score away, find themselves under huge pressure in the home leg. However he does concede that the support for Liverpool at Anfield does have an impact, particularly in the Champions League.

Arsenal vs Liverpool in the Champions League is soooooooo difficult to call, but overall we think Liverpool will edge Arsenal out, and take the semi-final place.


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