Liverpool vs Arsenal preview: team news, lineups, TV, kick-off time, referee & VAR

As Christmas approaches, Liverpool face another quick turnaround as league leaders Arsenal come to Anfield for a top-of-the-table clash late on Saturday afternoon.

After the Reds fell to a disappointing goalless draw against Manchester United on Sunday, Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table with their 2-0 win at home over Brighton and Hove Albion, thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz.

Since losing away at Newcastle on 4 November, the Gunners have been in excellent league form, winning five of their last six games, with the only slip-up coming at Villa Park almost a fortnight ago.

They come into this game having had a full week's rest, while Jurgen Klopp's team faced a midweek clash with West Ham United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final, a game the Reds won 5-1.

A single point currently separates Liverpool and Arsenal, meaning that three points would put the winner top on Christmas Day and in the driving seat in the title race.

DATE, KICK-OFF, STADIUM, REFEREE & VAR

  • Date: Saturday, 23 December 2023
  • Kick-off time: 17:30 GMT / 12:30 ET / 9:30 PT
  • Stadium: Anfield
  • Referee: Chris Kavanagh
  • Assistants: Tim Wood, Mark Scholes
  • Fourth official: Tony Harrington
  • VAR: John Brooks
  • Assistant VAR: Eddie Smart

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

Liverpool against Arsenal is one of the most celebrated fixtures in English football, dating back to 1893.

Saturday's match marks their 240th encounter and, overall, Liverpool have the superior record in this fixture, securing 94 victories compared to Arsenal's 82, while 63 matches have ended in draws.

During the Premier League era, the record favours the Reds, too. Liverpool have 25 wins to Arsenal's 17 (20 draws).

Since Mikel Arteta took over at the Emirates in December 2019, Klopp has mostly had the upper hand, winning five of the 11 meetings, compared to Arteta's three (two of which were in penalty shoot-outs).

Last season, however, title-chasing Arsenal had the upper hand, beating Liverpool at the Emirates 3-2 in October 2022, before a 2-2 draw at Anfield in April this year.

In that most recent clash, the Gunners surrendered a 2-0 lead, with Mohamed Salah (who also missed a penalty) and Roberto Firmino levelling the scores and seriously denting Arsenal's title bid.

WHERE TO WATCH LIVERPOOL VS ARSENAL ON TV

Liverpool fans in the United Kingdom can enjoy live match coverage on Sky Sports Main Event or BBC Five Live radio.

For those in Europe, DAZN and Viaplay are among the TV companies with the rights to the game.

In the United States, soccer fans can watch the game on NBC, Peacock, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and Telemundo.

Match commentary, highlights and full match replay will be available after the game across the world on LFCTV.

LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS

For Jurgen Klopp, Ryan Gravenberch should be fit to make the matchday squad but is unlikely to start, given the nature of his fatigue-related injury picked up against Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Diogo Jota and Alexis Mac Allister's recoveries are progressing well, but neither are expected to be ready in time to feature at Anfield.

Long-term absentees Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara remain sidelined, while teenage winger Ben Doak will require surgery on a knee injury.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 17, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch walks past manager Jürgen Klopp as he goes off injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

ARSENAL TEAM NEWS

For Arsenal, they come into this game potentially short on midfield options.

Jorginho was absent from the squad that beat Brighton last weekend. The Italian midfielder has been suffering with a foot injury but could be in contention to face Liverpool.

Likewise, Mohamed Elneny made his return from injury in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven last week but had to be substituted as a precaution. He could also be fit enough for a spot on the bench.

However, Thomas Partey will definitely be out for the remainder of the year, having undergone a procedure on his troublesome thigh injury.

He is joined on the long-term absence list by Fabio Vieira, who has been nursing a groin issue and underwent surgery on the injury, and Takehiro Tomiyasu, who suffered a calf injury in the second half of Arsenal's clash against Wolves. Both are expected to be out of action until late January

Jurrien Timber will also be absent at Anfield after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament on the opening day of the season – an injury which is set to keep him out of action for a large chunk of this campaign.

PREDICTED LIVERPOOL LINEUP

Jurgen Klopp's options will be limited for this game. But while the goalkeeper and defence picks itself, it will be interesting to see what he does in midfield given Ryan Gravenberch's injury concerns and Dominik Szoboszlai's recent downturn in form.

Up front, it could be a coin toss between Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, with neither player in particularly great shape in front of goal recently.

(4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Endo, Elliott, Szoboszlai; Salah, Darwin, Diaz.

Dominik Szoboszlai - ProShots.

Dominik Szoboszlai - ProShots.

PREDICTION

When Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta face off, it's rarely a dull occasion. Both sides will want to play attacking, high-energy football, and that could mean we're in for a treat.

That said, Arteta has been stung at Anfield before.

Will he risk playing the same way again? Or will he channel the more pragmatic version we've seen of Arsenal this year and look to build from a more solid foundation?

Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

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