LIVERPOOL — Liverpool will close out the year atop of the English Premier League standings, but must see off Arsenal in their final game of 2018 to prevent the trailers from reducing the gap.
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Liverpool currently lead the league with 51 points and are six points clear of second place Tottenham.
The Reds have won their last eight Premier League matches and head into Saturday’s clash with Arsenal at Anfield aiming to remain unbeaten this season.
Jurgen Klopp is confident Liverpool are prepared and equipped to challenge for the title this term, but insists the team will “have to improve in pretty much everything” as he seeks perfection.
The Reds hammered Newcastle United 4-0 in their last outing.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are fifth in the standings on 38 points and have just two wins from their last five matches.
The Gunners failed to secure all three points at Brighton last time out after finishing the game 1-1.
Key playmaker Mesut Ozil was subbed off at half-time against Brighton and there are reports suggesting that the German midfielder is set to miss the game with a knock he picked up in training.
Arsenal are also without a victory in their last five trips to Anfield, while the Reds have gone seven games unbeaten against the Gunners in all competitions (W3 D4).
For Liverpool, they will be without veteran midfielder James Milner, who will miss the game with a hamstring problem, while Dominic Solanke (muscle), Joe Gomez (ankle), Joel Matip (collarbone) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) are also out.
However, Alberto Moreno has recovered from a back injury and is available to play.
For Arsenal, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (metatarsal), Hector Bellerin (calf), Kostas Mavropanos (groin), Rob Holding (knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) are all among the players out.
Shkodran Mustafi has returned to training from a hamstring injury is in contention.