Jamie Carragher believes that Liverpool having home advantage against Arsenal on Saturday evening makes them ‘slight favourites’ to beat their Premier League title rivals.
The Reds haven’t lost a top-flight match at Anfield since October 2022 (1-2 v Leeds), and that was the only one in front of fans since April 2017, while they’ve only been denied victory once at the venue in all competitions this season.
However, Jurgen Klopp put the cat among the pigeons in midweek with less than complimentary comments about the atmosphere in L4 for recent games, although he yesterday sought to clarify what he meant by saying ‘give your ticket to someone else’ (Liverpool Echo).
Speaking on Sky Sports on Friday night, Carragher thinks the Anfield factor may tip the scales in Liverpool’s favour, even with Arsenal having had almost a full week to prepare for this game as they weren’t involved in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
The former Reds defender said: “I’d say Liverpool are probably slight favourites just because it’s at Anfield, but you take into account the fact Arsenal haven’t played midweek. I think it’ll be brilliant game. It was one of my favourite games from last season.”
Regarding Klopp’s comments about the Anfield atmosphere, the Sky pundit reflected: “I think Jurgen Klopp just knows that, to beat Arsenal on the fact of putting a lot into a midweek game, they’re gonna need the crowd. I think if this game’s not at Anfield, Arsenal are massive favourites wherever it is because they’re a top team.
“We’ve played in European or midweek games, and sometimes when a team has that good lead-in of three or four days’ preparation, physically will be almost perfect going into the game, Jurgen Klopp knows he needs more than what his team has on the pitch, which’ll be the crowd.
“I think it was a way of him rallying the crowd, but I thought he didn’t get the tone right. I think he could’ve said it in a slightly different way, but we all know now that at 5:30 it’s gonna be lively.”
Liverpool’s imperious home record certainly feels as if it offers a great psychological boost to Klopp’s team while serving as a burden for visitors, and part of that does stem from the Merseyside faithful giving their vocal backing.
Given the gravity of tonight’s fixture, as well as the kick-off time ensuring it’ll be under lights, Anfield should be positively rocking later. We’ve seen against Arsenal over the past couple of seasons how, when this place gets going, it can be whipped into an absolute frenzy.
You can view Carragher’s comments below, via @SkySportsPL on X (formerly Twitter):
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 22, 2023
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