Notice how Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton have kept comfortably near Champions League places without being very good? Well, Liverpool's finally creeping up on them.
Liverpool have a lot of work to do if they want to finish fourth or higher in the Premier League. They're going to need Pepe Reina and Lucas Leiva to get healthy and find their form. They're going to need Joe Allen to locate his early-season form. They're going to need Daniel Sturridge to learn how to be a bit less selfish and make the right decisions with the ball. They're going to need Coutinho to come in and make an impact.
None of those things are far-fetched, and all of them save for Coutinho playing could come together when they play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.Reina and Sturridge should make the starting XI, along with Lucas. That last inclusion could potentially set up Liverpool for a game that they can control in the center. Jack Wilshere is in top form, but Abou Diaby doesn't look 90 minutes fit yet (or ever?), while Mikel Arteta is still out injured.
Wilshere has struck up some chemistry with teammates who are also coming into form, however, so the Gunners might not need to dominate possession and the center of the park to come away with a win. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud have both had excellent scoring touch as of late, and the Gunners are effective when they actually decide to counter quickly. Could we see an unconventional match, with Arsene Wenger's team winning via goals scored on the break after long spells of opposition possession?
Arsenal injuries and suspensions
Liverpool injuries and suspensions
Expect all four players listed above as 'in doubt' to play. They're all recovering from injuries and have sat out recently, but trained this week and are expected to join their teams' starting XI on Wednesday. Arteta is still a massive miss for the Gunners, but should return to the team shortly. He could make an appearance off the bench as soon as this weekend.
Match date/time: Wednesday, 7:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
TV: Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), FOX Soccer (U.S.), Sportsnet regional networks (Canada)