Liverpool taking on Arsenal might not have sounded like a crucial deciding match for the Top-4 when the last international break happened.But as we go back to the Premier League after the November break, it is.

In a clash of the No. 4 and No. 5 place occupants of the league, it is a clash of the Big-6 alright. But the fortunes are not what one would expect. Current form is with the away side, as Arsenal have 11 points in their last five games as against Liverpool’s 8.

The home side were shocked to a 2-3 defeat against West Ham when they visited the London Stadium last week. Meanwhile Arsenal survived a close 1-0 win against Watford. Are they clear favorites against Klopp’s Liverpool? No. But are Arsenal fans right to finally hope?  A resounding yes.

Here are four important matchups that will decide the result of this game.

#1 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) vs Gabriel (Arsenal)

Remember when we said Arsenal fans finally have the right to hope? Yes, that is not possible until Arsenal find a way to stop Mohamed Salah. There is no one in the footballing world right now who is in a better form than him.

The Egyptian is the leading scorer in the league so far with 10 goals. He is well on his way to have yet another season with the club with 30+ goals in the league. And except the second game vs Burnley, he has scored or assisted in every single game for the Reds.

If Arsenal are to stop this marauding goal-scoring machine, it will involve Gabriel in some capacity. The Brazilian leads his team in terms of clearances (4.3 per game) and blocks (1.4 per game) among starting defenders. He has been part of their new-look back four after the first three games.
Salah has shown an increasing tendency to cut into the box and wade through defenders this season. He has been a general nightmare to deal with. Gabriel will be the centre-back facing down his side and will have his hands full along with Nuno Tavares.

#2 Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal) vs Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)

If Salah is on fire for Liverpool, Emile Smith Rowe has been in the form of his life coming into this match. He has scored a goal in each of his last three games for the club in the PL and two more for England during the break.

But scoring against Watford, Villa and San Marino is one thing, and to do so against Liverpool is an entirely different thing. Especially since they have Virgil Van Dijk back this season.

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