Redknapp predicts Liverpool win

Jamie Redknapp believes Liverpool's strike partnership, and the absence of Mathieu Flamini, will see the Reds to a win at Arsenal on Saturday.

Last Updated: 01/11/13 at 17:56 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Top-of-the-table host third-placed Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening and Redknapp believes the game will say a lot about the two sides' chances of maintaining those positions until the end of the season.

He told Sky Sports: "Arsenal are top of the Premier League but, despite some impressive performances, many people would have expected them to get the results they have done so far this season.

"The only team they've faced in the league from last season's top five has been Tottenham, who they beat 1-0, while they've lost in the Champions League to Borussia Dortmund and in the Capital One Cup to Chelsea in the past 10 days.

"Liverpool, meanwhile, defeated Manchester United 1-0 in their only game against a top five side from last season's campaign.

"That's why this game holds so much fascination - it will tell us a lot about each side's chances this season."

Redknapp believes the outcome of the game may depend heavily on how Arsenal's centre-back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker cope with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.

"Arsene Wenger's side have enjoyed a great run of form since their win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season and I've enjoyed watching them this year with new recruit Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud in great form," Redknapp said.

"The pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker at the back has also been key - but those two players face a really tough test this Saturday.

"Liverpool have been blessed with some great striking partnerships over the years, and Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, although not a typical blend up front, have been combining brilliantly.

"If you described them you'd say they were selfish players but their partnership is instinctive and it works. They look for each other if they can't score themselves and so far they've bagged 16 goals between them.

"The system Brendan Rodgers is employing also helps. With three at the back Liverpool are able to get three in midfield and their best two forwards on the pitch. That's one of the reasons why Liverpool are performing so well this season - and why Sturridge and Suarez are producing the goals and assists to win games.

"Prior to Arsenal's win at Anfield last September, I expected Mertesacker, because of his size and Suarez's low centre of gravity and style of play, to struggle against the Uruguayan. But he dealt with him really well.

"The problem Mertesacker has this year is that Sturridge will be playing, too. He's certainly going to have his hands full at the Emirates."

Redknapp also believes Arsenal face a battle in midfield in the absence of Mathieu Flamini.

He said: "Although Mikel Arteta will play, they will have to be extremely careful when they lose the ball.

"Arsenal struggled to cope with Chelsea's quick transition from defence to attack in the League Cup on Wednesday, and, with Sturridge and Suarez up front, they will have to be extra cautious of being hit on the break by those two.

"These are the challenges Arsenal need to face and overcome, though, if they want to be considered genuine title contenders this season.

"There will be a few nerves around the Emirates if things don't go their way, following the disappointing results against Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, but the players need to find plenty of character and come up with a big performance.

"With the different formations, strong attacks and talent on the pitch it should be a fantastic game - albeit one that's hard to predict.

Liverpool are fortunate Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski aren't fit because with their pace out wide they could have exposed their system - which players such as Ramsey or Jack Wilshere aren't likely to do when they come inside off the flanks - and I think they'll capitalise on that.

"I'm going for a 2-1 win for Liverpool."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

Footer 365

Premier League: Tony Popovic would be free to leave current club for Crystal Palace job

Western Sydney Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer will not stand in Tony Popovic's way if Crystal Palace want to make him their manager.

Sky sources: Alan Irvine will be in charge for West Brom's trip to West Ham on New Year's Day

A senior West Brom source has told Sky Sports News HQ that Alan Irvine will be in charge for the game against West Ham.

Transfer news: Fernando Torres heads back to Atletico Madrid on loan until end of next season

Fernando Torres is returning to Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2015-16 season.

Mail Box

What's Happened To Everton And Martinez?

There aren't many people still talking about how the Spaniard is better than David Moyes. Plus, thoughts on Jose Mourinho's moaning and Spurs at least being very fit...

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property