Premier League betting preview: Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates
The Gunners are narrow odds-on favourites at 3/4 with Coral to beat Liverpool on Monday Night Football, who visit the Emirates with an unblemished record in the Premier League this season.
While the Reds have been humbled by Arsenal’s hospitality over the last three years, failing to record a win there in either the Premier League or the FA Cup, Brendan Rodgers has a secret weapon he will hope can change all that.
New striker signing Christian Benteke, who opened his Liverpool account last time out with a somewhat controversial goal in the club’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth, virtually single-handedly disposed of the Gunners, almost two seasons ago to the day. Then in Aston Villa colours, he bagged a brace and that makes the Belgian’s 15/8 anytime scorer odds tempting.
Arsenal appeared to eradicate any mistakes made in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham United at home on the opening day of this season with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last time out at Selhurst Park. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring, with a superbly improvised effort, while livewire Alexis Sanchez forced an own-goal from Damien Delaney.
The duo are 9/2 and 11/2 respectively to break the deadlock, with both dispatching in this fixture last season, which emphatically ended in a 4-1 win to the Gunners. Hector Bellerin’s sensational solo strike put a further dent in the away side’s floodgates on that occasion, before Mesut Ozil followed up with a second. Both are 12/1 and 11/4 respectively in the anytime market.
However, Rodgers’ recruitment in this transfer window, seems to have solidified previously gaping holes adding steel to Liverpool’s soft centre. Unsung hero James Milner, working in tandem with Jordan Henderson, has made a huge difference, which showed in the 1-0 win away at Stoke City, though they will face their biggest test, containing Sanchez and co.
It was Henderson’s converted penalty which made it 3-1 last season to give the Reds a glimmer of hope, and the midfielder is 6/1 to net again anytime.
In Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool have a player who can worry the hosts. His stunning strike at the Britannia is already being billed as an early contender for goal of the season, and the Brazilian is well-priced at 10/3 in the anytime market. He also scored in the 2-2 draw at Anfield between the two sides last term.
Coutinho’s compatriot and new signing Roberto Firmino is again expected to start from the bench with the exciting attacker, sill not 100 per cent match fit, however, interestingly, the 23-year-old who arrived from Hoffenheim in the summer has fond memories of the Emirates.
Towards the end of last season, the stadium played host to an exhibition match between Brazil and Chile, which resulted in Firmino coming on midway through the second half to score a sublime winner. His 2/1 anytime scorer price might just be worth a punt.
Coral’s top tip: Firmino anytime scorer @ 2/1