Saturday's top of the table clash will be an absolute corker.

Liverpool travel to the Emirates stadium to face Arsenal and seek a win that will send them to the top of the Premier League. 

There are several reasons why I can see the Reds walking away with all three points. The main one is the return of play-maker Phillippe Coutinho.

Coutinho has been out since mid-September after suffering a shoulder injury in a 2-2 draw with Swansea. He is now back in the squad to face Arsenal and it couldn't have come at a better time.

The Brazilian is an absolute magician on the ball. He has excellent ball control, movement and his link up play with both Suarez and Sturridge is phenomenal.

This is the first time this season that all three players will be fit and available to feature together.

At times, Liverpool have been lost without Coutinho. He offers a breathe of fresh air when going forward - he's quick thinking and turns away from defenders like there's no tomorrow. Since his injury, the midfield three of Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson have sometimes looked out of ideas.

Gerrard is still one of Liverpool's best players and passers of the ball in the world, however he is unable to get up and down the pitch like he used to.

With Coutinho offering more freedom going forward, this will allow the Liverpool captain to focus on Arsenal's main danger - Mesut Ozil.

Since is £42.5 million move to the Gunners from Real Madrid, Ozil has been the missing link in Arsenal's squad for the last few years. He is a lot like Coutinho, however his experience and playing at the top level for a while longer makes him an all round better player.

What Liverpool can't do is give the German international space. Gerrard has been sitting deeper since the signing of Coutinho. He is an all round midfielder and is one of the strongest tacklers in the game.

Along with defensive midfielder Lucas, I believe that the Reds can definitely stop Ozil from playing. If they are constantly pressuring the former Real Madrid man, it will cause him to make mistakes and give the ball away.

Arsenal are too without Mathieu Flamini. Since re-signing on a free transfer from AC Milan, he has thrived in his defensive midfield role. Last season, Arsenal looked dodgy at the back to say the least.

However with his protection to centre back Per Mertesecker and Laurent Koscielny this season, they have looked like to new players, oozing with confidence and being decisive most of all.

However the French international is unavailable through injury. It has hard to say who'll replace the midfielder. Mikael Arteta is not an out and out right defensive midfielder and Arsene Wenger will not want to play Jack Wilshere further back.

There other option Abou Diaby has yet to appear for the Gunners and is severely lacking match practise.

There only other option is to play a third centre back. This will however invite Liverpool to attack.

Arsenal will really miss Flamini. Like Coutinho's return, the Frenchman's injury couldn't have come at a worse time.

Liverpool's strike force of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturiddge are in fine form lately, scoring 14 league goals between them.

Without Flamini's protection, I'm predicting a long Saturday evening for Mertesacker and Koscielny. Suarez has the ability to do the impossible with a ball at his feet, as he's showed time and time again.

Liverpool will be dominant in the fixture. Defender Martin Skrtel is in the form of his life, looking solid at the back and will provide stability and confidence to Aly Cissokho and Mamadou Sakho who are still settling in. 

It is the biggest game of the season so far for the both of them. 

Arsenal have started well, however their latest run of difficult fixtures (including their League Cup loss to Chelsea this week) of Liverpool, Borrussia Dortmund and Manchester United will test the side's character and see if they are legitimate title contenders.

I think Liverpool have looked excellent and Coutinho returning will only improve them. 

It will be an end to end game, however Liverpool will be more suited in every department and go on to win the fixture, sending them top of the league.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool
Arsenal