Arsenal v Liverpool - Five key battles in the FA Cup clash


Arsenal host Liverpool in a mouth watering FA Cup clash later today.

Arsene Wenger will be looking for some revenge later on today when his Arsenal side host Liverpool in the FA Cup.

The Gunners were completely thrashed at Anfield last weekend but this is a different situation and Wenger will be looking to rectify what he called an ‘accident’ while this is another chance for Brendan Rodgers’ team to put a favourite out of the tournament.

Although both managers could make key changes to their teams for the games, the elevens which line up will still be strong.

We’ve taken a look at the key battles likely to break out over the course of the game.

Wojciech Szczesny v Simon Mignolet

Neither side is likely to drop their number one goalkeeper.

The Pole has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League while the Belgian has recently seen a couple of errors creep into his game.

In a cup game, the attacking play will be fierce and the tempo could be quite high so both goalkeepers need to stay switched on.

Thomas Vermaelen v Luis Suarez

If Wenger decides to rest one of his first choice defenders then it means Luis Suarez could target the player coming in, most likely Thomas Vermaelen.

Suarez will try and use his pace and movement to exploit the Belgian, who will be rusty not having played a great deal of first team football in the recent past.

Mathieu Flamini v Philippe Coutinho

Brendan Rodgers said he’s not thinking about anything other than fielding his first choice team for this game, which means Coutinho will most likely start in behind the main strikers.

Coutinho is a player who can get on top of Arsenal’s very talented midfield in this game, potentially breaking up the defence with a single pass in behind.

Flamini’s job will be to do what he does best; race around the midfield, protecting the back four and looking to break up the play.

Tomas Rosicky v Steven Gerrard

Gerrard will try and get on top of the Czech throughout the game.

Rosicky is likely to start, with Wenger protecting other key midfielders ahead of the Champions League game against Bayern Munich.

Gerrard can snap away at Rosicky throughout the game, looking to get forward and support the attack when Liverpool are right on top.

Lukas Podolski v Martin Skrtel

Podolski could lead the attack if Wenger wants to protect Olivier Giroud.

He may also start on the left of midfield but either way, Martin Skrtel will probably try and match up against the German because he has the physical edge.

For Podolski to be successful, he has to try and make the most of any space in front of Liverpool’s back four, pulling Skrtel out of position and passing well, as well as getting accurate shots away.

image: © wonker

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