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Arsenal

Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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50-50 Challenge: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

The ESPN FC panel answer your twitter questions on Liverpool's top-four chances, Jozy Altidore's future and Chelsea's potential transfer window targets.

Liverpool humiliated Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield last season but this time around, the landscape is different. The hosts have struggled following Luis Suarez's departure to Barcelona while Daniel Sturridge's continued absence has contributed to Liverpool's worst-ever start to a Premier League season.

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Arsenal have troubles of their own and both Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger have come under criticism this season. It promises to be an entertaining clash at Anfield with both defences rather suspect...

 By James Dall

Flawed opponents Liverpool, Arsenal yearning for statement of intent

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno, Craig Burley and Stuart Holden are in agreement the pressure is piled on Liverpool ahead of their Capital One Cup match against Bournemouth, with a clash against Arsenal looming.

Premier League Spotlight previews the weekend's top-flight fixtures, highlighting the key points to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Weekend fixtures

Saturday
Man City vs. Crystal Palace
Aston Villa vs. Man Utd
Hull vs. Swansea
QPR vs. West Brom
Southampton vs. Everton
Tottenham vs. Burnley
West Ham vs. Leicester

Sunday
Newcastle vs. Sunderland
Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Monday
Stoke vs. Chelsea

Weekend battle: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Liverpool face Arsenal on Sunday, the team they have been doing a very convincing imitation of this season: bark without the bite, an at-times invisible goalkeeper, lots of itty-bitty passing, injuries to key players, profligacy in front of goal, slapstick defending, style over substance and a manager who talks a good game...

Alexis Sanchez may get the plaudits, but The Ox deserves the spotlight too

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has enjoyed a fine season at Arsenal while all the focus has been on Alexis Sanchez's impact.

In a season in which the most eye-catching performer has been Alexis Sanchez, only one Arsenal player has played in every league game so far: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

With 11 starts and five substitute appearances, the England man is the only ever present, although Alexis, Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker have all played just one game fewer. The record is in doubt ahead of Sunday's game at Liverpool, however, with Arsene Wenger reporting that Oxlade-Chamberlain faces a fitness test before a final...

 By Tony Mabert

Thierry Henry quits, Qatar eyes Prem club, FIFA to publish World Cup report

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti explains that Thierry Henry may be one of the best French players ever, after amassing 20 trophies in a 21-year career.

This week's biggest news stories of the week saw a true great of the modern game bow out, Manchester United step closer to another big-money deal and FIFA and Qatar do yet more wonders for their respective reputations.

TOP 5 STORIES

1. Henry deserves a big hand (Tuesday Dec. 16)

Thierry Henry calling time on his playing career was widely expected, and that allowed him the time to stage-manage his announcement perfectly. The striker picked what could be predicted as a quiet news day to make the...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Liverpool and Arsenal's defensive issues not an easy fix

The ESPN FC panel answer your twitter questions on Liverpool's top-four chances, Jozy Altidore's future and Chelsea's potential transfer window targets.

Liverpool's lack of attacking quality puts pressure on their defence; Arsenal's backline lets down their all-star attack. Both Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger would paint themselves as devotees of attacking football, yet each manager requires defensive solutions to save his season.

A frail defence cost Liverpool last season's title, as they conceded 50 goals (two more than 11th placed Crystal Palace.) While Arsenal lost any chance to challenge at the top when being thrashed by the clubs that finished...

Liverpool and Arsenal shun defensive midfielders; creativity over destruction

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson asseses Arsenal's defensive woes given all the injuries and the suspension to Calum Chambers.

The defensive midfielder is not a footballing dinosaur or dodo, a species consigned to extinction by the changing of the times. How could it be when Chelsea's Nemanja Matic is perhaps the most influential player of the season?

Yet it has no counterpart at two of the supposed elite: The defensive midfielder seems a dying breed at Liverpool and Arsenal. Matic highlights a philosophical divide in football. This summer Chelsea paid 21 million pounds to re-sign the man they sold for a sixth of that...