A depleted Arsenal squad has a mountain to climb because the Gunners face Liverpool within the first leg of the EFL Cup semifinal at Anfield.
Cedric was injured and Granit Xhaka noticed crimson within the opening half-hour, leaving an already skinny Arsenal squad with a patchwork 10-man formation to navigate over a half in a hostile atmosphere.
The Gunners have, nevertheless, managed to succeed in halftime unscathed, as Liverpool could not handle a single shot heading in the right direction regardless of the possessional and tactical benefit. The Reds seemed devoid of concepts as Arsenal sat again and absorbed strain, and the Reds will look to show issues round within the second half.
MORE: Chelsea books place in EFL Cup remaining
A spot at Wembley is on the road over the course of 180 minutes, as each side look to take a bonus again with them to London for subsequent week’s finale. Chelsea is already confirmed as the primary finalist, so the victor from this two-legged matchup will transfer on to face the Blues.
**Sporting Information might be following the occasion stay and offering rating updates, commentary and highlights as they occur.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal stay rating
(All occasions Jap)
forty seventh minute: Oh wow, uncertain he meant to do this, however a Takumi Minamino despatched in a cross for Diogo Jota and it practically dipped into the far nook. Ramsdale did not get a contact on it, which might have meant hassle had it been heading in the right direction, which it practically was. Arsenal was practically caught out getting a bit completely satisfied down the opposite finish, cannot get too excited whereas decreased to 10 males.
forty sixth minute: Again underneath means for the second half. No substitutions on the halftime break for both facet, surprisingly. We’ll see what Liverpool comes up with to interrupt down the 10-man Gunners.
The opening seconds see Liverpool hilariously put the ball out close to the midfield line whereas attempting to construct from the again underneath no strain. Arsenal will take that.
Halftime: Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal
The large second of the primary half was the Granit Xhaka crimson card, however Liverpool was poor in opposition to 10 males, and Arsenal had the higher final 5 minutes earlier than the break. This has been a pathetic show in opposition to 10 males, with no pictures heading in the right direction, and Jurgen Klopp might want to make modifications at halftime.
After a gap half-hour that was as calamitous as might be, Arsenal seemed structured and unbreakable after taking place a person, underneath siege for lengthy durations of time however by no means uncomfortable. However there is a lengthy option to go earlier than this one’s shored up.
5 – Since his debut season with Arsenal in 2016-17, no Premier League participant has been despatched off extra occasions in all competitions than Granit Xhaka (5). Orders. pic.twitter.com/MLVP5gaGVH
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 13, 2022
Granit Xhaka is simply Jonjo Shelvey with a greater branding staff
— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) January 13, 2022
forty first minute: Arsenal has a nip down the opposite finish, as Bukayo Saka does effectively to retain possession on the flank and drive ahead. His supply forces Matip to loop it out for a nook dangerously.
Matip practically Toblerones one into his personal internet. Nook for Arsenal…
— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) January 13, 2022
thirty sixth minute: Microcosm of this match – Chambers fouls Minamino on the touchline giving Liverpool a harmful free-kick, which Henderson tries to get cheeky with and takes it fast, looping it straight to an Arsenal defender who has no crimson shirt inside 5 yards.
thirty fourth minute: For all the difficulty Arsenal’s put itself by way of, no pictures heading in the right direction for both facet thus far. Liverpool certain is biding its time pouncing on the wounded animal. The absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane rearing its head.
thirty first minute: Half-hour gone, and the Gunners are left with a razor skinny margin for error. Extra low-hanging fruit on social media…
Loads of false positives for Arsenal already and we haven’t even performed half-hour.
twenty eighth minute: Arteta makes a change in response to the crimson card, it is Rob Holding on and Eddie Nketiah off. Harsh on the striker however that is how this goes. Arteta is aware of it is nonetheless 0-0, and if he can lead Arsenal by way of this primary leg with minimal injury, the semifinal will not be fully misplaced.
twenty fourth minute: RED! Granit Xhaka despatched off! Oh my, what a BONKERS deal with. Milner picks out Diogo Jota on the break who acquired by Xhaka, and the Swiss worldwide simply throws his boot straight into Jota’s chest, despatched off for a last-man foul. The foul itself wasn’t terribly fairly both. It is fully nonsensical from the Arsenal midfielder.
It is the second time Xhaka has been despatched off this season…final time it occurred, Arsenal crumpled to a 5-0 defeat vs. Man Metropolis. He is out of the North London Derby in addition to the second leg of this assembly. Expensive determination to say the least.
Granit Xhaka off. Who’d have predicted that? Really performed effectively at occasions this season however he has these ill-judged rash moments too typically. So irritating for #afc and Arteta. 29, skilled however sadly can’t be relied on. #LIVARS
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) January 13, 2022
twentieth minute: Milner down after taking an errant arm from Bukayo Saka in an aerial duel, a couple of minutes after Jordan Henderson took an elbow as effectively.
It could be great if Arsenal gamers stopped attempting to place Liverpool gamers within the hospital.
— Mark Kastner (@mkstnr) January 13, 2022
18th minute: Arsenal lastly has a sniff within the Liverpool half, however Kieran Tierney’s cross is headed clear and the transfer ends. Gunners feeding on scraps right here.
Lacazette has a go from distance after Henderson offers it straight to him. It was a shot from acres away and brought in a short time, did not come shut.
thirteenth minute: Will the Gunners get a grip? Goodness gracious, Ben White practically places the ball into his personal internet now, sliding to cease a cross and seeing the ball clip off his foot and skitter simply vast of the far submit. Calamitous stuff on the again proper now for Arsenal, and someway the Gunners have not been punished. But.
In the meantime, Liverpool is controlling each little bit of attacking possession, and the Reds have come shut on a number of events. 75% possession thus far.
twelfth minute: Oh my phrase, one other obtrusive mistake from Arsenal on the again. This time it is Ramsdale who took too lengthy in addition a ball into midfield, and Jordan Henderson charged him down, the boot in the end banging off Henderson’s chest. One other bizarre nook given away, because the Gunners keep away from something worse.
tenth minute: Actual hassle for Arsenal right here. Cedric, in for Tomayasu who’s out injured, is down with an harm, and the look of frustration on his face is a transparent signal that he cannot proceed. Arsenal has to dig even deeper, with Calum Chambers coming off the bench.
Ian can not help himself…
Cedric is down once more. Appears like he is a bit Soares. In all probability going to have to return off.
— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) January 13, 2022
sixth minute: Likelihood for Liverpool! First likelihood of the match comes off a fortunate bounce to Henderson who sends it vast to Andy Robertson. The complete-back whips in a cross that’s inches away from an unmarked Roberto Firmino trying to get his head to it. Warning signal for the Arsenal again line.
fifth minute: Goodness gracious…Gabriel with one of many worst back-passes you may ever see, however it’s harmlessly out for a nook fairly than something extra poisonious. The nook involves nothing for Liverpool. Yikes.
Gabriel belts the ball previous Ramsdale from 40 yards however it’s vast. Nook for #LFC …
— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) January 13, 2022
third minute: Liverpool controlling early possession because the midfields start what is bound to be a full of life 90-minute battle. First nook of the sport to the Reds, however it’s headed away emphatically by the Gunners.
1st minute: We’re underneath means! Arsenal carrying its attention-grabbing third package that encompasses a blue & purple zig-zag with white numerals and lettering. A bit a lot. I am a fan of the flamboyant numeric font, although.
2:10 p.m.: Arsenal would possibly need to attempt capturing extra this time round in opposition to Liverpool. Additionally limiting pictures helps. This has been your skilled evaluation of the day.
Arsenal v Liverpool latest conferences – complete pictures
1:45 p.m.: Fancy a (lower than scientific) rating predictor? We acquired 3-3, which might produce a superb 90 minutes for the neutrals.
1:35 p.m.: Lineup are in, and it is even stronger than anticipated for Liverpool as Trent Alexander-Arnold returns unexpectely from his COVID-19 isolation. Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are each included within the lineup, suggesting a attainable 4-4-2 from Jurgen Klopp, until one among them is enjoying out vast.
In the meantime, Arsenal will see one among Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette, or Gabriel Martinelli deputize as #10 within the 4-2-3-1 with each Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe lacking out. The Gunners’ bench makes for ugly studying, it is a actually skinny squad in the mean time.
Subs tonight: Leno, Holding, Mari, Chambers, Tavares, Patino, Salah-Eddine, Hutchinson, Biereth.
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) January 13, 2022
1:29 p.m.: One more reason to take the over tonight: Jurgen Klopp loves going through Arsenal. Full betting tip beneath.
43 – Underneath Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool have scored extra objectives in opposition to Arsenal in all competitions (43) than they’ve versus every other opponent. Anticipation. pic.twitter.com/Vg36lnQkV3
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 13, 2022
1:23 p.m.: They’re handing out flags for dwelling followers. The Kop ought to be rocking.
A semi-final underneath the lights at Anfield tonight. We’ll need assistance with flags, if individuals can come all the way down to the Kop/Kemlyn nook underneath the scoreboard from 19:15.
We’ve additionally acquired smaller flags for teenagers or individuals who haven’t waved one earlier than. As at all times, anybody on the Kop is welcome.
— Spion Kop 1906 (@SpionKop1906) January 13, 2022
1:08 p.m.: The calm earlier than the storm.
12:45 p.m.: Earlier than this matchup, take a look again on the bonkers assembly between Liverpool and Leicester Metropolis within the EFL Cup quarterfinals that noticed the Reds attain this stage of the competitors.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal lineups
Liverpool lineup notes
It was thought that Trent Alexander-Arnold was the one Liverpool participant nonetheless in COVID-19 isolation, however he’s included within the beginning lineup after making a fast return from COVID-19 protocols, that means the Reds are again to a virus-free squad. Goalkeeper Alisson is included within the group of returnees, having missed time earlier with a constructive COVID-19 take a look at.
Nonetheless, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita are all on AFCON 2021 responsibility, and the injured group of Harvey Elliott, Divock Origi, Thiago, and Nat Phillips be a part of them on the unavailable gamers record. So the Reds aren’t precisely wholesome regardless of the COVID-19 circumstances fading away. Which means younger gamers like Curtis Jones and Kaide Gordon have made the bench, they usually may doubtlessly see the sector relying on recreation circulate.
Apparently, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are included within the beginning lineup, suggesting Liverpool may very well be lining up in additional of a 4-4-2, until one of many two is being deployed out vast.
Liverpool projected beginning lineup (4-4-2): Alisson (GK) – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson – Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Minamino – Jota, Firmino.
Liverpool subs (9): Kelleher (GK), Konate, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Gordon, Morton, Williams.
Arsenal lineup notes
Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are each on AFCON 2022 responsibility, that means the Arenal midfield is extraordinarily skinny. That would result in time for Charlie Patino and Albert Lokonga in the course of the pitch. The Gunners additionally seemed to be coping with COVID-19 points, however Granit Xhaka has confirmed himself match, a significant increase. Takehiro Tomiyasu is reportedly nonetheless out with a calf harm, that means Cedric Soares steps in at proper again once more.
MORE: Arsenal winter switch roundup
Each Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe are out, with Smith Rowe unable to recuperate from the groin harm that stored him out of the FA Cup match final weekend, and Odegaard a latest addition to the record after testing constructive for COVID-19. That leaves Arsenal with out a No. 10, with one among Gabriel Martinelli or Alexandre Lacazette transferring centrally to take the place.
One other query for Mikel Arteta is who to begin up entrance because the striker. Eddie Nketiah has been a go-to possibility in Cup video games of latest previous, however he was poor within the FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest. Nonetheless, with the skinny attacking choices, Nkeitah begins no matter latest performances.
Arsenal projected beginning lineup (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale (GK) – Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney – Lokonga, Xhaka – Saka, Lacazette, Martinelli – Nketiah.
Arsenal subs: Leno (GK), Holding, Mari, Chambers, Tavares, Patino, Salah-Eddine, Hutchinson, Biereth.
How one can watch Liverpool vs. Arsenal
- Date: Thursday, Jan. 13
- Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
- Streaming: ESPN+ (subscribers solely)
Thursday’s first-leg match between Liverpool and Arsenal from Anfield within the EFL Cup semifinals might be broadcast solely on ESPN+ in the USA.
Pre-match betting traces, picks & predictions
Choose: Liverpool win & over 1.5 objectives (+130)
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal
- Moneyline: Liverpool +100 / Draw +275 / Arsenal +260
- Unfold (Asian Handicap): Liverpool -0.5 (+100) / Arsenal +0.5 (-115)
- O/U 2.5 complete objectives: Over -140 / Underneath +120
- Each groups to attain: Sure -165 / No +125