Liverpool hosts Arsenal in the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-finals, after a one-week postponement. The Gunners and the Reds always seem to face each other in this competition. This is the first time in over 30 years that two top-flight sides have faced each other in three straight League Cup campaigns. This year, the stakes get a little higher as they face each other in the semi-finals.
The Gunners have enjoyed an easy run to the semi-finals. They have scored 16 goals and conceded just one. I must note that the only Premier League opposition they have faced in this run was Leeds United.
Arsenal has not tasted glory in this competition for almost thirty years. They would love to get their hands on this trophy, having made it all the way to the semi-finals now.
Liverpool vs Arsenal EFL Cup Semifinal FYIs:
Kick-off time: 7:45 PM GMT, 13th January 2022
Starting XI Predictions: Arsenal Liverpool
Premier League Podcast: go here
Form Guide (All Competitions): Liverpool (DWLDW) Arsenal (WWWLL)
Now comes the time I gaze into my crystal ball to see who lines up for the Gunners in this crucial semi-final matchup.
Although Bernd Leno is the Gunners’ cup goalkeeper, I think the importance of this match will see Aaron Ramsdale return to the starting lineup for this one. He is the best English goalie at the moment and the Gunners can ill afford for him to miss here.
In the defense’s heart, Arsenal will probably reunite Ben White with his usual partner, Gabriel; who missed the Gunners’ last match after receiving two yellow cards against Manchester City.
At right-back, I am going to err on the side of positivity and predict Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu will pass his fitness test and play. There is seemingly only one thing for sure at left-back after Nuno Tavares’s brutal first-half substitution against Nottingham Forest. He will not start here.
I am going to pick Sead Kolasinac after he made his return from injury off the bench in the same match. Things are pretty light on for the Gunners in midfield.
With that in mind, I am picking 18-year-old Charlie Patino to line up alongside Albert Sambi-Lokonga.
Patino scored his first senior goal in the last round of this competition. Martin Odegaard will play the most attacking central midfield role. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli will play on either side of Alexandre Lacazette in the attack.
Once again, the importance of this fixture sees the Gunners pick a full-strength attack.
This side might just account for Liverpool here. I don’t think Liverpool will treat this with the same magnitude the Gunners will, and that works in the North London club’s favor.
Predict: 1-0 to the Arsenal.
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