The final set of Premier League fixtures before Christmas kicks off tonight with an early potential cracker down at the Emirates.

This set of games marks the mid-point in the season and both Arsenal and Liverpool, who meet tonight, will be fairly pleased with how things have gone so far.

Sure, neither looks close to a Premier League title challenge this season now, which is a kick, but both are still well in contention for the top four.

Four, of course, is how many goals the Reds won by at Anfield in this fixture earlier on in the campaign, too, and so revenge might be on the Gunners’ minds most of all.

The result won’t come down to that, though, it will instead depend on which side gets the balance right between attack and defence.

The pair are both guilty of placing too much emphasis on offensive play – perhaps because they know their defences are sub-par for genuine title contenders.

Even so, a concerted effort to keep things as tight as possible at the back, whilst letting the attacking stars doing the work, will surely nab the three points.

With that in mind, then, Arsenal may call on Francis Coquelin (if fit) to bring some defensive steel to the midfield along side Granit Xhaka, meaning Jack Wilshere misses out.

Liverpool, meanwhile, should be aiming to bring in a James Milner or Emre Can in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who impressed v Bournemouth – to help shut out the space for Arsenal’s offensive players to operate in.

We’re talking nullifying tactics, of course, and that’s something neither side has really portrayed in recent times, but the team that can get closest to getting in right should take a massive three points this evening.


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