Mac Allister wants Liverpool to make their mark, Arsenal eye revival

Mac Allister wants Liverpool to make their mark, Arsenal eye revival

January 19, 2024 at 5:11 AM
Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister
Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister. Photo: Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP
Source: AFP

Liverpool can strengthen their position on top of the Premier League when they travel to Bournemouth on Sunday.

Spluttering Arsenal will hope for a slip from the Reds as they look to get their title challenge back on track against Crystal Palace.

At the other end of the table, Brentford's Ivan Toney is expected to return against fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest.

AFP Sport looks at three talking points ahead of this weekend's action:

Mac Allister's mark of success

Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister is already planning a tattoo to mark a season to remember as the rampant Reds chase four major trophies.

Jurgen Klopp's table toppers sit two points clear of second placed Manchester City and can extend that gap to five points with a victory over Bournemouth on Sunday.

Despite Mohamed Salah's absence at the Africa Cup of Nations, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions and have their sights set on winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.

Snapped up from Brighton in the close-season, Mac Allister has played a key role in Liverpool's resurgence this term.

The flamboyant Argentina World Cup winner wants to get a tattoo to commemorate his country's triumph in Qatar last year, and next on his body art to-do list will be inking any silverware Liverpool lift this season.

"I want to get my tattoo about the World Cup first and then of course, I will get something about Liverpool, because since the first day I felt a really good connection with this club and I'm really happy to be here," Mac Allister said.

"(A trophy) would be nice! Maybe on my leg. Hopefully we can win something this year and get it done."

Arsenal on the rocks

Arsenal's Martin Odegaard
Arsenal's Martin Odegaard. Photo: HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP
Source: AFP

With just one win in their last seven games in all competitions, Arsenal have suffered an untimely stumble that threatens to derail their bid for a first title since 2004.

Mikel Arteta's men will host Crystal Palace on Saturday on the back of three successive defeats against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Fulham and West Ham in the Premier League.

Arsenal were top of the table before Christmas but they have lost their way due to a fatal combination of poor finishing and sloppy defending.

A move for Brentford striker Ivan Toney could be on the cards as Arteta looks to add a more clinical cutting edge to his attack.

Trailing Liverpool by five points, the fourth placed Gunners have no margin for error and will hope their recent warm-weather training camp in Dubai is reinvigorating.

Gabriel Jesus could return to face Palace after the Brazil forward missed the Liverpool defeat with a knee injury.

Toney return threatens Forest

Brentford's Ivan Toney
Brentford's Ivan Toney. Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP
Source: AFP

Ivan Toney is expected to make his first Brentford appearance for eight months as the England striker returns from his ban for breaching Football Association gambling rules.

The 27-year-old took to social media to celebrate the end of his suspension this week by posting a GIF of a man holding his arms aloft in celebration, with the slogan "free!" on the bottom of the image.

Toney's last competitive match was on May 6, but he has been allowed to train with his team-mates since September.

Facing a fired-up Toney on Saturday will be a major concern for Forest, who are one point ahead of Brentford.

Aware of interest from Arsenal and Chelsea, Toney said: "Everybody wants to play for the top clubs, fighting for titles and these kinds of things."

Forest are four points above the bottom three, a situation that could get worse if they are hit with a points penalty after admitting financial breaches earlier this week.

Bottom of the table Sheffield United are already eight points from safety ahead of their clash with West Ham on Sunday.

Fixtures (all times GMT)


Arsenal v Crystal Palace (1230), Brentford v Nottingham Forest (1730)


Sheffield United v West Ham(1400), Bournemouth v Liverpool (1630)


Brighton v Wolves (2000)

AFP photo