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Arsenal

 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...

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...

 By John Cross

Arsene Wenger has unearthed a gem in Hector Bellerin

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.

Arsene Wenger may have unearthed a little gem when he least expected it. The Arsenal boss almost found his hand was forced into playing rookie full-back Hector Bellerin against Newcastle last Saturday because of the club's ongoing injury problems, but the young Spaniard showed a determination and desire that made you think he's got what it takes to eventually become a first-team regular.

Perhaps Bellerin's greatest asset is his lightning pace. He's so fast, in fact, that he beat Theo Walcott's time...

Thierry Henry's magic at Real Madrid in 2006 an example of his greatness

Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football as he prepares for a career in the media.

It was a cold night in February 2006. I'd travelled from Barcelona to the Spanish capital to watch the Gunners play giants Real Madrid, and I was thankful for the heaters built into the stadium roof that warmed us as we stood watching the match.

The 2003-04 "Invincibles" were in the process of being broken up, the FA Cup final win in May 2005 was a success but unconvincing in terms of performance [an awful game won over Man Utd on penalties], and Arsene Wenger was trying to change the profile of...

Where does Thierry Henry's legacy fit into the pantheon of French football?

Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football as he prepares for a career in the media.

Now that his career is over, Thierry Henry, 37, will come home. He will move back to where he belongs. No, it is not Paris or its suburbs where he was born and grew up and where his family still lives. It is not Monaco, where he started his incredible career at age 17. No, home for Henry is London.

Of course, he spent eight great years at Arsenal and has a statue at the Emirates. He is the club's greatest-ever player, its top goal-scorer (228), its biggest legend and, in my opinion, the best player...