Brendan Rodgers confident Liverpool can beat Arsenal despite cup upset
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is confident his side can beat Arsenal despite losing to League One's Oldham in the FA Cup
Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool can beat their top-four rivals Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday, despite their shock FA Cup exit.
The Reds suffered a fourth-round elimination at the hands of League One’s Oldham Athletic on Sunday, leaving the Merseyside outfit with just the Europa League and a fourth-place finish to aim for this term.
Rodgers’ side are three points behind Arsenal, and a further seven adrift of Tottenham Hotspur, who currently occupy the final Champions League spot.
The 39-year-old refused to brand the Gunners clash “must-win”, but the Reds boss admitted that it was important to continue their league form.
“It’s a very important game,” said Rodgers. “I wouldn’t say it was a must-win game, but it’s a game where, if we put yesterday aside, the team that has been playing of late in the league has got big confidence.
“We know it’s a tough game for us, but it’s a game we’re certainly going to look to go and try and win – and a game we’re capable of winning.
“On the day, we can go and win the game – there’s absolutely no question of that.”
Liverpool were 2-0 winners on their last trip to The Emirates, but the Merseyside outfit have lost successive games to Arsenal at Anfield since that triumph in north London in 2011.
Rodgers believes his side have improved dramatically since a 2-0 reversal at home in September, with Pepe Reina, Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson all available after missing the cup tie.
“We played Arsenal earlier on in the season and because of circumstance we weren’t at the best and deservedly lost the game,” he added.
“But I believe we’ve made improvements, both mentally and tactically, in our game, so it will be as equally as tough for them.”