Liverpool vs Arsenal preview: James Milner remains sidelined for Gunners visit
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Last Updated: 29/12/18 8:40am
James Milner will remain sidelined for Liverpool when they host Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday as the Reds look to consolidate top spot.
The midfielder missed out on the Boxing Day win against Newcastle and will not be fit in time to face the Gunners, although he could be ready for Thursday's showdown against Manchester City, live on Sky Sports.
Liverpool are currently six points clear at the top of the table and Arsenal head coach Unai Emery believes they can match Arsene Wenger's 'Invincibles' and go through the season unbeaten.
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"At the moment they are doing it and they can do it," Emery said. "They can do that because they are doing it at the moment. We played against Liverpool three years ago with Sevilla in the final of the Europa League and I look at this progress and they are a very good example.
"This progress is also one example for us, now, in our moment. But we need to be very, very demanding of ourselves to do this step quickly in our way. But we need also time and sometimes the patience is very important for us."
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp does not believe this is a form of mind games from his counterpart.
"That is not how I know Unai Emery [to play mind games]. I don't think they will have the white flag and say 'no chance'," he said. "It will be really tough game, really tough because they are good.
"That is all I am interested in and all the rest is a nice little game where people respond to your questions and you make stories of the answers. We are focused on ourselves and that is all."
Alberto Moreno is available for selection for Liverpool after missing the Boxing Day win against Newcastle, although Dominic Solanke (muscle), Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will not feature.
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) looks set to return to training at the end of February, according to Klopp.
Arsenal are unlikely to be able to welcome back any of their injured players when they travel to Anfield. Rob Holding (knee), Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Hector Bellerin (calf), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (ankle) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) are all out.
Shkodran Mustafi is the only man with a slight chance of being involved but his return from a hamstring problem is not expected to come this weekend, while Laurent Koscielny should be fine following a foot issue in the draw at Brighton.
This will be the 227th meeting between these two teams in all competitions, with Liverpool winning 86 times to Arsenal's 79 (61 draws).
Arsenal are without a win in their last five trips to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Premier League (D2 L3), conceding two or more goals in each match (17 in total).
Liverpool have gone seven games unbeaten against Arsenal in all competitions (W3 D4) - they last embarked upon a longer such run in February 2000 (14 games).
Arsenal have scored more goals from outside the box than any other Premier League side this season (9), while Liverpool are the only team yet to concede such a goal in 2018-19.
Arsenal have won just one of their last 12 Premier League away games against sides starting the day top of the table (2-1 vs Chelsea in November 2008), losing the last six in a row by an aggregate score of 2-17.
Liverpool are unbeaten in 30 Premier League home games, their longest such run since a run of 31 between December 2007 and August 2009.
Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the top scorer in the Premier League this season with 13 goals, with the Gabon international scoring six in his last eight away from home.
The juggernaut will roll on here. Even when they [Liverpool] play games like the other day against Newcastle they still don't let in a goal. Arsenal's strengths are scoring goals, but they are coming up against a really, really good defence. Look at Man Utd the other day, they are strolling at 3-0 and end up winning 3-1 - it counts in the end. This Liverpool team are just getting clean sheet after clean sheet. Arsenal's Achilles' heel is at the back, and with Liverpool's firepower they will score goals.
Arsenal struggled at Brighton and were fortunate on many occasions in the unbeaten run - you cannot keep going behind in games and expect to be winning football matches all the time. Arsenal are where I expect them to be.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)