Emirates awaits vital showdown for title race
Hosts Arsenal will try to narrow the five-point gap on league leader Liverpool while the visitors look to open up an eight-point lead in the Premier League title race when the teams meet for the third time in six weeks on Sunday.
Liverpool earned a 1-1 draw in league play against Arsenal at home last December, and the Reds beat the Gunners 2-0 in the FA Cup third round in London on January 7.
Boasting six wins from their last seven top-flight contests at the Emirates Stadium -- the one aberration being a 2-0 defeat to West Ham United -- vengeance will be the special dish on the North London menu this weekend as Arteta's men seek to right the wrongs of an identical FA Cup loss to their Merseyside foes.
Liverpool are on course to give their manager a glorious goodbye with Jurgen Klopp stepping down at the end of the season.
With 51 points from 22 games, Liverpool are five points clear of both Arsenal and Manchester City, who have a game in hand, and remain in the hunt for three other trophies in the League Cup, FA Cup, and Europa League.
The outcome at Emirates Stadium could potentially decide if the title race would boil down to a three-horse or a two-horse race at the business end of the league.
Victory over Arsenal could be a knockout blow to the Gunners' chances of a first league title for 20 years.
But Klopp is more concerned by the lurking threat posed by City, as the champions aim to defend their title for a fourth consecutive season.
"What we learned over the years is if you want to be around Manchester City you better win all your football games because they are good," added Klopp.
Klopp also acknowledged how important this game is in the context of Arsenal keeping themselves in the hunt for the elusive trophy.
"Arsenal, they beat us, they are definitely there [in the title race]. They don't beat us, ask other people. But there are so many games to come," Klopp said.
Since their FA Cup loss to Liverpool, the Gunners have earned a dominant 5-0 home win over Crystal Palace and a gutty 2-1 victory on Tuesday at Nottingham Forest.
Now with a bit of momentum, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes it's not about changing all that much against Liverpool aside from the end product.
"What we need to do is play the way we played in the last two games against them and be more efficient in the areas that are going to decide the game. It's always great to prepare a game against Liverpool. We play at home, and what I sense is a real sense of positivity and enthusiasm around the place," Arteta said.