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Nic Ladds 9th Feb 2010 - 11:10

Arsenal to end their big four bad form

Arsenal are set to play the last in what has turned out to be a gruelling set of matches, after playing two out of three of their biggest rivals in a row they are yet to pick up a point. Liverpool are next up and should they get the win they can move just two points behind Arsenal in third spot after finally hitting some form which has seen them unbeaten in the league since mid-December.

Arsenal (Evens) will be glad when this run of games is over, since beating Bolton on the 20th of January they have drawn to Aston Villa, been knocked out of the FA Cup by Stoke and look to be out of the running for the league once again after losing to Man Utd and Chelsea.

Liverpool (11/4) seem a decent price considering Arsenal's record against the rest of the teams around them and other than a blip in the FA Cup against Reading they have got themselves right back in the mix for a spot in the top four. History doesn't really favour them away at Arsenal though with no wins in twelve attempts.

Considering there have been three draws in Liverpool's four previous visits to Arsenal this could be a fair bet at 23/10.

Personally I think Arsenal might just edge this game, they have a lot to prove after poor performances in their last two matches and their home record is still pretty impressive bar Man Utd and Chelsea this season, and those two are a class above both these teams.

Arsenal are missing two big names upfront in Eduardo and Van Persie and youngsters Vela, Gibbs and Merida are all sidelined .

Liverpool's Kyrgiakos is serving a three match ban after being sent off in the Merseyside derby, Glen Johnson and Yossi Benayoun are still injured but the major loss is still Fernando Torres who still misses out with his knee injury.

This season's reverse fixture saw an Arsenal claim and impressive 2-1 away victory which is 13/2 for Arsenal to get another slender win.

The main goal scoring threats have to be Andrei Arshavin for the home team; he scored in the reverse fixture and has five goals from his two previous appearances against Liverpool and is 11/2 to get the first goal. An outsider could be William Gallas as he has three goals against Liverpool, his joint highest amount against any club and is 20/1 first or 7/1 anytime.

For Liverpool it is Dirk Kuyt who has really stepped his game up since Torres has been injured. Although always hard working, he usually lacks in goals but has four in his last five games and is 6/1 to get the first here; the same price is available on Steven Gerrard who is always a threat in these big games.

Matches between these two usually equates to goals as there have been no clean sheets in their last eleven meetings in all competitions with a massive 46 goals scored. Both teams to score is priced at 3/4 but the better price for me is over three match goals at 5/2.

This match, realistically, has no bearing on the race for the title any more as it will be fought out by the top two but it means a lot for the fans and could have a big bearing on the Champions League qualification spots.  Neither side will want to lose but I think Arsenal's home advantage and eagerness to prove their critics wrong will help them to just edge the match.



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