Liverpool host Arsenal on Saturday with both teams in desperate need of a result. Liverpool haven't won in 2017, while Arsenal just saw their title challenge end at the hands of Chelsea and their Champions League hopes all but snuffed out by Bayern in quick succession.
Both teams could use a boost, but who needs a win more?
Arsenal FC via Getty ImagesDavid Price
The argument for Arsenal
Arsenal are in the midst of their darkest period in decades. The team is underachieving on the pitch yet again, and it looks like this could be the year they finally finish outside of the top four.
Fan support is split between loyalty to Arsene Wenger and a belief that it's time to move on from the legend, but the "Wenger out" brigade has grown louder and louder in recent months. Amid reports of a new contract offer to the Frenchman, another anemic performance or poor result would incense fans beyond all measure. It could spell the end for Wenger and the beginning of the end of Champions League participation for the Gunners.
The case for Wenger has always been "we're in the Champions League," but that case gets a lot weaker if they lose to Liverpool.
The case for Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp's come under increasing scrutiny at Liverpool of late, and tensions are at an all-time high for the gregarious German. He admitted openly that the players and he are fighting for their futures at the club, and a poor performance and result against Leicester City on Monday has piled the pressure on him.
Liverpool are one point behind Arsenal in the league, putting them outside the Champions League places with one more match played than the Gunners. A poor result on Saturday would put them further out of UCL contention, and further compound what's been a rather miserable 2017 so far.
With no chance at a trophy, all Liverpool have left is the top four. This is huge in their chase for a Champions League spot.
This content is subject to copyright.
The verdict: Liverpool
As much as Arsenal need the points and a big result, this one's a must-win for Liverpool. The Gooners have a game in hand on the Reds, and even if they don't perform, they can point at the difficulty of traveling to Anfield, plus the desperation of Liverpool's position as an excuse for a poor result.
On the Liverpool side, they're not getting results away from home, and if they don't perform at the sanctuary that is Anfield, the scattered howls for Jurgen Klopp's head will start to grow in number and fury.
This is a must-win for the Reds. Their top four chances depend on it.