Premier League key battles: Liverpool v Arsenal

Skrtel must keep Giroud quiet at Anfield on Saturday. Photo: PA

Liverpool host Arsenal in Saturday's early kick-off with Brendan Rodgers' men aiming to close the gap on Arsene Wenger's Barclays Premier League leaders to five points.

Here, we looks at some of the key battles likely to determine the outcome at Anfield.

MARTIN SKRTEL V OLIVIER GIROUD

In a constantly changing Reds back four this season, Skrtel has started the most matches and Liverpool will again look to his experience and tenacity to try and combat the in-form Giroud.

The France international has scored 10 goals in the Premier League this campaign and will no doubt fancy his chances of adding to that tally against a Liverpool defence which has shipped 29 goals in the league this term - with only Tottenham, Newcastle and Aston Villa having conceded more of the top 10 sides.

LUIS SUAREZ V PER MERTESACKER

If Liverpool are to overcome Arsenal then it will more than likely be through Suarez.

The livewire Uruguayan is currently leading the Barclays Premier League goalscoring charts with 23 goals, despite missing the first five league games of the season.

He will be up against a formidable foe in Per Mertesacker however, with Arsenal boasting a remarkable record of not having lost a Premier League match that the giant German and his defensive partner Laurent Koscielny have completed in over two years.

Mertesacker came out on top in the reverse fixture earlier this season as he snuffed out the threat of Suarez to help the Gunners keep a clean sheet on the way to a 2-0 victory, but the South American will be eager to make amends this time around.

STEVEN GERRARD v MESUT OZIL

Gerrard's move to that of holding midfielder has had mixed results but he will have to be good rather than bad in his new position when coming up against Ozil.

Despite the Germany international's poor form over the last couple of months he is still capable of finding and drifting into space in and around the penalty area, so how the match unfolds may well hinge on Gerrard's ability to track his runs from deep.