Saturday, April 16, 2011

Arsenal-Liverpool Preview: The Forgotten Duo

It was Liverpool's best season since the start of the Premier League. A season which saw Liverpool scored the most goals and lost the least games but yet could not win the Premiership title.

But the Reds under Rafa Benitez gave us some wonderful moments with last minute winners and high scoring games. One of the most memorable game from that season came for the Anfield April 2009 match against Arsenal. The result? Liverpool 4 Arsenal 4.

Two of the players who starred at that match are now looking pale shadows of their old self. Fernando Torres and Andrei Arshavin.

Fernando Torres have been struggling since the start of the season. He seemed to have lost his aura of scaring opposition defenders. His loss of pace and fear of injuries are definitely affecting his game. Chelsea fans must be wondering who this impostor is. What they got is now a sullen sulky individual who is no longer the prolific El Nino of the past.

Similarly, Andrei Arshavin after two outstanding seasons is no longer preferred by Arsene Wenger in the starting lineup. The Russian looked lazy and disinterested in a season where the Gunners are in search of a leader to spearhead their title ambitions. Arshavin has only scored six goals this season compared to his first season's haul of ten though his assists are comparable. His stamina and match endurance have dipped since his four goal virtuoso performance against Liverpool.

I doubt that we will see this sort of free scoring game this weekend. Still, the return match of Arsenal v. Liverpool have some significance as a win will pull the Gunners to a more manageable four points behind leaders Manchester United. With Liverpool chasing an automatic Europa League berth, a draw is useless for both teams.

Liverpool's strength in attack should give the Reds an edge over Arsenal. Liverpool's unquestioned ability to produce the goods against top four opponents, also will give them the three points on Sunday.

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