Arsenal, Liverpool poised to test title claims
The title credentials of leaders Arsenal and third-placed Liverpool will come under scrutiny when they meet in a heavyweight Premier League clash tomorrow.
Arsenal, top of the table with 22 points, have only lost one league match this season.
That was on the opening day against Aston Villa.
They have been beaten by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and Chelsea in the League Cup in the past week.
The visit of Liverpool, on 20 points, is only the second time they have met a team with realistic top-four ambitions following a win over rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Manager Arsene Wenger fielded a weakened side against Chelsea. He said it was very important not to read too much into recent results.
"Let's not jump too quickly to conclusions because if you take the points we have made since January 1, we have made more than anyone else," he said after the 2-0 home loss to Chelsea.
"I believe a longer distance reveals more about the quality of a team than the last few games.
"It is difficult to swallow what happened to us in the last week. "But the mistakes are not so big that it cannot be corrected," said Wenger.
He acknowledged that it was vital to get back on track against Liverpool, for whom Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge scored all the goals in last week's 4-1 defeat of West Brom. This was especially the case with tough games against champions Manchester United and surprise packages Southampton to follow. "It's a difficult [run], but that's part of the season.
"We know the games," Wenger said.
"We have to respond well against Liverpool.
"We are in a strong position in the league and have a good opportunity at home, and we have to turn this round," he said.
"Away from home we are very solid, but at home you know it's important and vital to win the big games."
Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson said his team were determined to send a message that they were genuine contenders this season having not finished in the top five since 2008-09.
"They're all tough games in the Premier League and Arsenal have been flying of late," he said.
"But so have we, so I think it will be a good game to watch and hopefully we can get a good result.
"It would send out a message to the rest of the teams that we're here and we mean business." I