Liverpool vs Arsenal tactics: Predicting where the Carabao Cup semi-final will be won and lost

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
Liverpool vs Arsenal tactics: Predicting where the Carabao Cup semi-final will be won and lost
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Arsenal travel to Liverpool on Thursday in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.

The match at Anfield was originally scheduled to be the second leg but the first leg at Emirates Stadium last week was postponed due to Covid cases in the Liverpool squad.

With Chelsea awaiting the winners in the final at Wembley, both clubs will be looking to seize the initiative.

Here, Standard Sport’s Simon Collings looks at where the game could be won and lost...

Arteta faces goalkeeper dilemma

Since becoming Arsenal’s No1 goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale has handed over cup duties to Bernd Leno. The German has performed solidly enough, including at Nottingham Forest on Sunday, but Mikel Arteta must be tempted to recall Ramsdale for this trip to Anfield.

A big factor behind that is Ramsdale’s distribution, with his range of passing a vital component if Arsenal want to beat Liverpool’s press.

There is also the unquantifiable value of Ramsdale’s character and energy, which was a big factor behind the Gunners signing him. Ramsdale has brought emotional confidence and steel to Arsenal’s defence, which feels necessary for a semi-final clash with Liverpool.

Arsenal must win midfield battle

Liverpool’s lethal front-three earned plenty of plaudits after they dismantled Arsenal 4-0 in November, but the real star of the show was Fabinho.

The Brazilian utterly bossed the midfield and Arsenal just couldn’t find a way past him. Liverpool ended up finishing that game with over 60 per cent of the possession and Arsenal cannot afford it to be so one-sided this time.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Stopping Fabinho will play a big part in that because, if the midfielder takes charge of a game, he rarely lets up. Whoever plays at No10 for Arsenal, be that Emile Smith Rowe or Martin Odegaard, is likely to be tasked with pressing Fabinho and shutting him down.

Tierney and Tomiyasu needed for Anfield test

Sunday’s defeat to Nottingham Forest was a chastening evening for left-back Nuno Tavares, who was hooked after 35 minutes.

Right-back Cedric Soares did not cover himself in glory either, however, and Arsenal really need their first-choice full-backs for this clash with Liverpool.

Everyone knows about the importance of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold to the way Liverpool play, but it is the same for Arsenal.

Without Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal look a different side and they won’t be able to build from the back at Anfield if the pair are absent.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting