Arsenal take on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final and going into this key encounter, the Anfield outfit are definitely the favourites on paper.
The North London side go into the first leg of the semi-final as the slight underdogs but there are a few aspects which could help tilt the tie in their favour.
The first thing is that the second leg of the semis will now be played at Emirates so if Arsenal can somehow manage to limit Jurgen Klopp’s side on Thursday then they will have the backing of their home crowd next week.
The second and perhaps the most significant boost is that Liverpool will be without players like Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah. All these players have moved out for international duties and given how strongly Arsenal had performed vs Man City, Arteta will be confident that his boys can come up with the same level of performance this week as well.
Speaking about the prospect of facing a Liverpool side minus Salah and Mane, the Gunners boss said: ” I always have hope when I play and when I’m competing for any trophy.
“They have a couple of players out, we certainly have a lot out as well. It is what it is. We’re going to have to go there to try to win the first match because it’s going to put us in a better position for the second one.
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“Things have changed because the timing of the game has become different. The first leg is in a different place. It’s completely uncertain and unpredictable, but it is what it is, so I don’t know how it’s going to change. Nobody knows until we are on the pitch and we start to compete to reach that final.”
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Can Gunners cause an upset?
The Gunners impressed a lot of people with their performance against Manchester City(despite losing that match) but they were back to their old self vs Nottingham Forest.
It’s difficult to gauge which Arsenal side will show up on Thursday but if the away side can play together as a unit then there’s every chance they can cause an upset. We don’t predict a handsome win for the London side by any means but picking up a draw or nicking a slender win is very much on the cards.
Without Sadio Mane and Mo Salah, Liverpool have looked toothless in the past and the same thing might be true for Thursday’s encounter as well. And if the Gunners can hold the fort for 90 minutes then they have the skill and players to turn things around in the second leg.