By Bulldog Drummond
It is quite possible that Arsenal will put out something of a reserve and under 23 side while Liverpool! using very few under 23 players. This will be because having been banned from signing new junior players because of their behaviour towards a young player and his family not surprisingly they have only a modest position in the under 23 league.
Indeed if they weren’t Liverpool! with all the positives and exclamation marks that being a media favourite bring, they probably wouldn’t be here at all since the League decided that fielding an ineligible player in Pedro Chirivella didn’t really matter. Instead of throwing Liverpool! out of the competition for cheating, which they clearly were, the club got a fine of £200,000.
That is 0.044% of their turnover for a flagrant breach of the rules. Rather like a driver who breaks the speed limit and who has an annual income of £30,000 a year getting a fine of £13.00.
It will clearly mean nothing to them whatsoever, so in effect the League is saying “fine, go ahead, do what you like”. Exactly as was said when they were found guilty of a whole tankload of offences concerning their singing of children.
Such situations tell us quite a lot about Liverpool! who get themselves into this situation, and the League who refuse to take such breaches of the rules – and indeed criminal behaviour – seriously.
But it was ever thus.
Here is the under 23 league table…
As for Arsenal, Torreira should take over from Xhaka and Hector Bellerin presumably will start. One might guess that Keiran Tierney will now have a night off.
Gabriel Martinelli having just been a sub in the VAR farce on sunday is likely to have a game. Reiss Nelson is of course injured.
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Squaka give us a possible team of
Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Kolasinac;
Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang;
So this makes the Liverpool game the moment Ozil returns. We shall see.
EPL Index has a few variations
Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac;
Torreira, Guendouzi, Maitland-Niles,
The Radio Times website says, “Don’t be surprised if the likes of Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Ki-Jana Hoever and Rhian Brewster get run outs at Anfield on Wednesday.”
Certainly because of the recent results, the game against Wolverhampton on the following saturday takes on both extra importance and extra tension, as there is no telling who the crowd will turn on next. At least away from home the Arsenal team are to some degree taken away from the abuse.
Arsenal’s record against Liverpool of late has been poor to say the least… All these matches are in the Premier League
|24 Aug 2015||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||0-0|
|13 Jan 2016||Liverpool v Arsenal||D||3-3|
|14 Aug 2016||Arsenal v Liverpool||L||3-4|
|04 Mar 2017||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||3-1|
|27 Aug 2017||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-0|
|22 Dec 2017||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||3-3|
|03 Nov 2018||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||1-1|
|29 Dec 2018||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||5-1|
|24 Aug 2019||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||3-1|
Not a happy list.
Cup matches however are a little different and could give us some hope.
|05 Apr 1987||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||2-1||League Cup|
|02 Nov 1988||Liverpool v Arsenal||D||1-1||League Cup|
|09 Nov 1988||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||0-0||League Cup|
|23 Nov 1988||Arsenal v Liverpool||L||1-2||League Cup|
|12 Aug 1989||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||1-0||“Charity” Shield|
|25 Oct 1989||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||1-0||League Cup|
|11 Jan 1995||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||1-0||League Cup|
|27 Nov 1996||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-2||League Cup|
|12 May 2001||Arsenal v Liverpool||L||1-2||FA Cup|
|27 Jan 2002||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||1-0||FA Cup|
|11 Aug 2002||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||1-0||“Community” Shield|
|06 Jan 2007||Liverpool v Arsenal||W||1-3||FA Cup|
|09 Jan 2007||Liverpool v Arsenal||W||3-6||League Cup|
|02 Apr 2008||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||1-1||Champions League|
|08 Apr 2008||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||4-2||Champions League|
|28 Oct 2009||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||2-1||League Cup|
|16 Feb 2014||Arsenal v Liverpool||W||2-1||FA Cup|
The “charity” shield and “community” shield references are in inverted commas as the FA were found guilty of not keeping acceptable records of the organisations to whom they gave charitable donations (if there were any, and of course we do not know) and were then refused permission to use the word “charity” in the title. It was a total humiliation for the FA but the media refused to make much of it. The FA has also refused to answer letters requesting details of the donations made under the community shield games.
So we have won six of the last eight non-League games against Liverpool, but this I fear may be clutching at the odd straw passing by floating on the stream.
We shall see.