Arsenal vs Liverpool; A must-win for Klopp's Reds, says ex-Gunner.

Arsenal vs Liverpool; "It's a huge game for Jurgen Klopp and his side in the race for Champions League football next season," says former Gunner.

Arteta of Arsenal and Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool [Getty]
Arsenal host the Premier League champions on Saturday [Getty]

Paul Merson says Liverpool must beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday to keep their top-four hopes alive.


The ex-Arsenal star believes the Premier League champions are under more pressure going in the clash tomorrow and to have any chance of securing a Champions League place, Merson believes Jurgen Klopp's Reds cannot afford to keep losing matches.


Liverpool are four points ahead of Arsenal in the English top-flight table but are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.


"It's a huge game for Jurgen Klopp and his side in the race for Champions League football next season," Merson told Sky Sports.


"On the other hand, I don't think it's as big a game for Arsenal. They play Slavia Prague next week in the Europa League and it's hard to see them having much interest in the game against Liverpool at all.


"I'd expect at least five of the players who are going to be playing next Thursday to not play in this game.


"All Arsenal's eggs are in one basket now. There is no point in them beating Liverpool and then getting beat by Slavia Prague. That's no value to them at all.


"Top four is out of the window in the league. There are too many teams above them, even if they went on a bit of a run.


"But after the quarter-final draw, they have a fantastic chance of doing something in the Europa League."


The football expert added: "This when you start to talk about timing. You look at run-ins and think Arsenal away is a tough game for Liverpool, but all of a sudden, the game comes around and Arsenal have got Slavia Prague in the Europa League.


"They can't get in the top four. It doesn't become the easiest game in the world for Liverpool, but there are definitely other games now that would be harder.



"It's all about timing. It's good timing for Liverpool to be facing Arsenal because, being honest, Slavia Prague is a bigger game for Arsenal.


"It's tough when the players have been all around the world and you've got to get them to hit the ground running straight away in the Premier League.


"It could work to Arsenal's advantage though with the focus sure to be on the Europa League. They've got time to get the players back, re-charge their batteries after a gruelling international schedule and then get them ready for next Thursday.


"They haven't really got to rush them all back in for Saturday night's game, like Liverpool have to.


"Liverpool have got to win this game. They have to get Champions League football for next season.


"People tell me they don't but of course they do. It's Liverpool.


"I'd say Anfield and then Celtic Park are the best two atmospheres on European nights in the whole of Europe.


"Europe wants Liverpool in just for that reason."




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