Liverpool vs ArsenalEFL Cup, KO: 19:30 Oct 30, 2019, Anfield
ARSENAL will pitch up at Anfield for the second time this season when they lock horns with Liverpool on Wednesday night in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.
The Gunners were put to the sword by the Reds back in August when Jurgen Klopp's side ran out comfortable 3-1 winners – one of the six Anfield successes that form part of Liverpool's 100 per-cent home record this season.
Arsenal's north London rivals Spurs were the latest side to be sent packing and pointless from Merseyside on Sunday, however, in the midst of a congested calendar, Klopp is expected to rotate his squad for this latest showdown with Arsenal – much like the German did in the previous round of this competition when his side disposed of MK Dons.
Unai Emery's men also made light work of lower-league opposition in the last round when thumping Nottingham Forest 5-0, however, the capital clubs last two Premier League setbacks have tipped them into crisis and piled the pressure on manager Emery.
A two-goal lead was blown at home to Crystal Palace at the weekend – a result that came only six days after being bullied and beaten by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The bookies believe things could be about to get worse for Emery on Wednesday night with Arsenal an unfancied 16/5 (Bet 365) to prevail in normal time, whereas a share of the spoils that would set up a penalty shoot-out pays 3/1 (William Hill) and Liverpool are 17/20 (UniBet) to pick up their seventh consecutive home win of the season.
Although the Reds start this cup clash as favourites, Klopp did field a much weaker team than that of Emery in the last round, however, the likes of Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita are all expected to be given a chance to impress from the start against Arsenal after failing to appear from the substitutes bench on Sunday.
Arsenal may well field a side similar to the one that featured in the Europa League last midweek and should Shkodran Mustafi start at Anfield then I like the look of the 3/1 (William Hill) on offer for Gunners centre-half to be carded.
The German defender was cautioned against Vitoria in his last Arsenal appearance on a night he where he put in a performance that came in for much criticism, and as a regular recipient of cards, Mustafi looks overpriced to have his name taken on Merseyside.
One of the few shining lights in what has been a troubled start to the season for Arsenal is the emergence of exciting teenage striker Gabriel Martinelli.
The Brazilian wonderkid bagged a brace against Nottingham Forest in round three of the Carabao Cup and he has already notched up three Europa League goals in two starts.
Following a number of eye-catching displays the talented teen is 7/2 (UniBet) to score anytime and those odds appeal when you consider that Liverpool have conceded in all six of their home matches this season, not to mention Klopp is likely to give star-defender Virgil van Dijk the night off.
This cup clash is a tough one to call as both bosses are expected to give fringe players a chance to impress and that can often be a bit of leveler in this competition.
Indeed, the Carabao Cup is not the most sought after silverware in England, however, even if each respective manager rings the changes, I still suspect we could see two attack-minded teams play out an entertaining encounter.
11 of the last 13 tussles between these two sides have seen both teams score and a repeat here pays 8/15 (William Hill) which looks slightly short, however, combing both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is a lot more attractive at odds of 5/6 (Betfred) – a combination that would have generated profit in all six of Liverpool's home games this season to date.
This EFL Cup match between Liverpool and Arsenal will be played on Oct 30, 2019 and kick off at 19:30