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Arsenal

Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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For different reasons, Liverpool and Arsenal aren't meeting expectations

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth gives his betting odds for Arsenal and Liverpool, where he explains the best option would be to side with the Gunners.
Raheem Sterling, left, is managing the Prem pressure fairly well, Alexis Sanchez is thriving. Both players' teams, though, are not living up to expectations.

While Arsene Wenger was at least occasionally joking in his Friday news conference, Brendan Rodgers seemed genuinely abrasive. Gone was the charm so often associated with the Liverpool manager, so too the long descriptive lines about his team's style of play.

Rodgers was abrupt, to the point and occasionally on the attack. He was also defensive of some of his players, particularly Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli.

In other words, Rodgers was everything off the pitch that his team need to...

 By Nick Miller

Five questions in advance of Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says his side's Premier League game against Liverpool is a chance to continue their recent good form while praising Thierry Henry following the Frenchman's retirement.

Nick Miller looks at five key talking points regarding Sunday's clash between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield.

1. Will pressure actually help Raheem Sterling?

All the warnings about Raheem Sterling this season seem to have centred on his heavy workload and even heavier weight of expectation, with concerns that such pressure would burn out one of the brightest hopes of English football before he could really start. While it's true that Brendan Rodgers doesn't seem to have managed Sterling's workload...

 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...

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...

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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ArsenalArsenal
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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...

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...