LIVERPOOL (Sporting Alert) — Leaders Arsenal have their hands full once again when they take on Liverpool in the pick of the Barclays Premier League games this weekend.
Arsenal, looking to fend off the challenges of Manchester City and Chelsea in the race for EPL title, travel to Anfield for a date with the Reds on Saturday.
Premier League injuries and recovery: They Gunners are expect to have England international Jack Wilshere back from an ankle injury and manager Arsenal Wenger is hoping the midfielder can be slotted right back into the setup.
Wilshere is set to get a late fitness test.
“The team news is basically similar to the squad that was available in our last game against Crystal Palace. We might have Wilshere back and that’s basically it,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com.
“It’s important to have as many players back as possible in the squad. In the big games it is always decided by having the complete squad available.
“As many top players as possible because most of the time these games are decided by players who come on or strong players who have a big statement in a big game.”
On Arsenal’s injury list are Aaron Ramsey (thigh), January loan signing Kim Kallstrom (back) and along with defender Thomas Vermaelen (calf).
The are joined by striker Yaya Sanogo (back), as well as Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott, who are all long-term absentees with respective knee injuries.
Central midfielder Mathieu Flamini is still out suspended.
Premier League injuries and recovery: For Liverpool, manager Brendan Rodgers is still without defenders Daniel Agger (calf) and Glen Johnson (ankle) and Jose Enrique (knee operation).
Mamadou Sakho is still working on his fitness and isn’t expected to be available.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal like to play open and attacking football, but Rodgers thinks it could be a different kind of game on Saturday.
“We’ve seen games – many games – where you arrive into them thinking it’s two open teams that are going to play open, attacking, attractive football, and sometimes it doesn’t work out like that,” the boss said on www.liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s certainly two clubs that are based on a possession game, a fast game, and for us it’s really about performing to our qualities. We saw in the Everton game that tactically we were a wee bit different to get the victory.
“For us it’ll be the same idea – we always go into every game and look to control, have dangerous possession of the ball, dominate the possession and look to get maximum points.
Liverpool (from): Mignolet, Flanagan, Skrtel, Toure, Cissokho, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Sturridge, Suarez, Jones, Kelly, Allen, Alberto, Aspas, Moses, Ibe.
Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Podolski, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Giroud, Fabianski, Monreal, Rosicky, Cazorla, Bendtner, Jenkinson, Gnabry, Zelalem.
|LIVERPOOL||5||G Johnson||Ankle/Foot Injury||16th Feb 14|
|L Leiva||MCL Knee Ligament Injury||1st Mar 14|
|D Agger||Calf/Shin Injury||16th Feb 14|
|M Sakho||Hamstring Injury||16th Feb 14|
|J Enrique||Knee Injury||no return date|
|ARSENAL||8||T Vermaelen||Calf/Shin Injury||8th Feb 14|
|M Arteta||Knock||8th Feb 14|
|K Kallstrom||Back Injury||no return date|
|J Wilshere||Ankle/Foot Injury||8th Feb 14||Late Fit Test|
|T Walcott||ACL Knee Injury||no return date|
|A Ramsey||Hip/Thigh Injury||1st Mar 14|
|Y Sanogo||Back Injury||no return date|
|V Diaby||ACL Knee Injury||no return date|