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Liverpool vs. Arsenal prediction: Bet on a lot of goals to be scored in EPL showdown

Will the Gunners have their way against a struggling defense?

Juergen Klopp, manager of Liverpool, reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on March 05, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Juergen Klopp, manager of Liverpool, reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield on March 05, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Read moreMichael Regan / Getty Images

It was supposed to be Liverpool that was battling with Manchester City in the Premier League title race. But a down year from the Reds and a renaissance campaign from Arsenal has left Liverpool on the outside looking in while the Gunners sit eight points clear of City with nine matches remaining.

It’s been a challenging season for Liverpool, who were the second-favorites to win the Premier League behind Man City in the preseason, but they can still make a charge up the table and challenge for a Champions League spot in the top-four.

Here’s how to bet the Premier League headliner this weekend.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal Prediction: Over 3.5 goals (+168, FanDuel)

After spending years in a battle with Manchester City for Premier League supremacy, the war of attrition finally caught up with Liverpool this season. Sadio Mane left for Bayern Munich, the defense lost a step and Mo Salah’s endured an inconsistent-by-his-standards season.

The result has been a disappointing campaign filled with ugly losses to Bournemouth, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The biggest reason for Liverpool’s downfall has been a defense that ranks 11th in preventing non-penalty expected goals, 20th in xG allowed on set pieces and 13th in suppressing big scoring chances. The Reds are still a prolific offensive unit, but it’s hard for any team to provide enough offense when your defense is that leaky.

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For a few weeks it did look like Liverpool was in the midst of stabilizing defensively, but things have gone back off the rails of late. The Reds have allowed 7.3 expected goals in their last three matches (Man City, Real Madrid and Chelsea).

The job will be even tougher on Saturday against an Arsenal attack that ranks first in shots per 90 minutes, second in expected goals for and second in big scoring chances created.

Arsenal would prefer a relatively pragmatic game where they can dominate the ball and work through the Liverpool defense, but it’s hard to see that happening here. The Reds may be a pedestrian defensive team, but they remain quite dangerous going forward and should provide a stern test for a team that has started to show some cracks defensively since the beginning of February. It’s nothing all that alarming, but the margin for error is so thin against a world-class offense like Liverpool that it’s hard to see the Gunners getting out of this one unscathed.

In the end, Liverpool’s defensive misgivings and ability to punish their opponents on the counter should make this a wide-open match where it wouldn’t be surprised to see both sides find the back of the net on multiple occasions.

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