The game was scheduled to take place last week but was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Liverpool camp. However, Jurgen Klopp later revealed that there were numerous false-positive cases that led to the match being postponed.
The Reds enjoyed a 4-1 success over Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup third round at the weekend, but Arsenal endured a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest.
Liverpool vs Arsenal – Team News
Trent Alexander-Arnold was the only Liverpool player who had actually contracted the Covid-19 virus last week. He is back in training along with Alisson Becker. Nat Phillips, Thiago Alcantara and Divock Origi are all out injured.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have teamed up with their respective nations for the AFCON.
Caoimhin Kelleher could once again start in goal for Liverpool. Virgil van Dijk is a pillar at the back for the Reds and will start in such an important game against the Gunners. The Dutchman could partner Joel Matip at centre-back, with Alexander-Arnold at right-back. Andy Robertson will retain his spot at left-back.
Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Jordan Henderson could form the central midfield trio for the Reds against Arsenal. Upfront, Roberto Firmino will be eager to start and lead the line for Klopp’s side. The Brazilian forward will have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diogo Jota on either side of him.
Due to a combination of Covid-19 cases and international duty, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will have a depleted squad at his disposal against Liverpool. Takehiro Tomiyasu is doubtful after missing the FA Cup game against Nottingham Forest, while Granit Xhaka has tested positive for Covid-19.
Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all away on international duty.
Set for the semi-final ✅
💪 Get pumped for matchday with brand 🆕 training footage from London Colney!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 13, 2022
Bernd Leno has become the Gunners’ cup goalkeeper after the summer signing of Aaron Ramsdale and the German is expected to start against Liverpool.
Takehiro Tomiyasu missing due to Covid-19 related problems could see Cedric Soares start at right-back, with Kieran Tierney keeping his place on the other side of the defence. Centre-backs Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes will have to be at their best to stop a free-flowing Liverpool side at Anfield.
Due to a depleted midfield, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Charlie Patino could be the preferred midfield pairing. Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard may not feature due to Covid-19.
Gabriel Martinelli is set to keep his place after an impressive run of form for the Gunners. The Brazilian will have Bukayo Saka on the other flank, with Alexandre Lacazette playing in a number 10 or a withdrawn role. Eddie Nketiah should lead the line with resources stretched for the Gunners.
Liverpool vs Arsenal – Predicted Lineups
Liverpool Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Caoimhin Kelleher; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Curtis Jones, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho; Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota
Arsenal Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Cedric Soares, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Albert Sambi Lokonga, Charlie Patino; Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli; Eddie Nketiah
Liverpool vs Arsenal – Key Players
Liverpool – Diogo Jota
Diogo Jota has stepped up his performances this season, combining very well with fellow attackers such as Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. With Salah and Mane away for the AFCON, Jota will have the onus on him to deliver the goods against Arsenal.
In the Arsenal attack, Bukayo Saka has become the torchbearer of sorts in the last few seasons and his consistent displays this season are a testament to his growing importance in Arteta’s side. If Arsenal are to take home a positive result from Anfield, the England international must produce a top performance.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal