Arsenal and Liverpool will go head-to-head in the EFL Cup semi-final second leg at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday. The kick-off is at 21:45 CEST.
Arguably no one, including us, expected Arsenal not to lose at Anfield in the first-leg last week when Granit Xhaka was sent off in the opening 25 minutes of the game. Mikel Arteta's men, however, managed to hold Liverpool down to a goalless draw in Merseyside to pick the 2021/22 EFL Cup finalists between them on Thursday.
In fact, the Gunners have had two more days to prepare for the return leg as their clash with Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday was posponed due to many absentees in Arteta's squad which were caused by injuries, AFCON, suspensions and Covid-19. Liverpool, for their part, cruised past Brentford in the league courtesy of goals from Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino on Saturday.
Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey and Nicolas Pepe will not help the hosts on Thursday due to their involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations while Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will miss the upcoming encounter for the visitors for the same reason. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in turn, has already been released from his AFCON duties through heart lesions, so he's now back in London to undergo medical tests. Xhaka and Martin Odegaard, meanwhile, are ruled out due to suspension and coronavirus while Takehiro Tomiyasu, Cedric Soares, Calum Chambers, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe remain doubtful through minor injuries. Nat Phillips, Harvey Elliott and Thiago Alcantara, for their part, are the only injury absentees in Jurgen Klopp's squad.
Well, even if Liverpool will be missing the likes of Salah and Mane on Thursday, they are still way ahead of Arsenal in terms of their respective performances this season so far. The Gunners, meanwhile, could miss out on no less than 11 first-team players this time around. Hence, we'd rather stick with Klopp's side reaching the final where they'll take on Chelsea.
Liverpool to qualify at 1.6 with 1XBET.
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