John Aldridge on Liverpool's trip to Arsenal and selection choice he expects

Raheem Sterling

Liverpool need to bounce back from their defeat to Manchester United with a win against Arsenal, and Aldridge has a few thoughts on the game, and the team selection.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has said the Reds must win against Arsenal at the weekend in order to keep their bid for a Champions League place alive.

The Reds are currently five points off the top four following their defeat to Manchester United prior to the international break, and six points behind the Gunners, but they know a win could take them to within at least three points of the Champions League places with just seven games to go.

He wrote in his Liverpool Echo column: "In normal circumstances, you’d say a point at the Emirates is a decent return, but with Manchester United at home to Aston Villa, you have to expect they’ll pick up three points, and if we don’t win, a gap of seven or eight points would surely be too big.

"It’s not going to be easy, Arsenal are not a bad side at all and they do well at home. But Monaco showed they can be beaten, and I don’t think this Gunners team is as strong as some of the recent ones. I don’t think it’s a great league in general, to be honest. Liverpool have got to go there to win. They’re capable of it."

Aldridge also said he expects Raheem Sterling to lead the line against Arsenal with Daniel Sturridge a doubt following a hip injury he picked up in the defeat to United.

He said: "I expect Raheem Sterling to move into the centre forward position.It worked at Manchester City, and it can work again. In fact, that City game was probably the last time Liverpool really played well.

"They’ve been a bit scratchy since, and they need to improve. I’ve been critical of Sterling recently, as have a lot of people, but in that City game he was excellent in setting the tone from the front, and a similar performance would be needed against Arsenal, who can definitely be got at."

The game carries extra importance for Liverpool after losing for the first time in 2015 in the league to Manchester United prior to the international break. If they do come away from the Emirates Stadium with all three points, it will be a very good result given they have only won on just the one trip to the Gunners' relatively new home since it opened in 2006.

Any defeat for Liverpool could leave them as much as eight points behind in the Premier League - which at this stage of the season could prove to be something of a mountain to climb. 

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch