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Football Today: Acid test for Arsenal, time for Toney to step things up

Friday night produced a shocker in the Bundesliga as table-topping Bayern Munich crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Augsburg.

Elsewhere, Queens Park Rangers boosted their Championship play-off hopes with a stylish 2-0 home victory over Luton Town.

Attention switches to Premier League football today, with the early evening fixture between Liverpool and Arsenal undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.

Acid test for Arsenal

Arsenal’s visit to Anfield will provide an excellent yardstick over how much progress they have made under manager Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners have bounced back from their 5-0 mauling at Manchester City in recent weeks, reeling off an eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

However, a relatively favourable fixture list has helped their cause and we will have a much better idea about their top-four hopes after today’s game.

West Ham United showed that Liverpool can be exposed at the back in their most recent outing – whether Arsenal can do the same is another matter.

Time for Toney to step things up

Ivan Toney’s performances for Brentford in the Championship last season drew plenty of admiring glances from other clubs.

His goals helped fire the Bees to promotion and he was expected to be the main man in their attempt to establish themselves in the top-flight.

However, Toney’s tally of two goals in 11 Premier League appearances highlights is a poor return considering his finishing ability.

Toney needs to step things up and quickly. This afternoon’s game against former club Newcastle United presents him with a perfect opportunity to showcase his quality.

Saturday football on TV

  • Sheffield United vs Coventry City – Championship – Sky Sports
  • Leicester City vs Chelsea – Premier League – BT Sport
  • Celta Vigo vs Villarreal – La Liga – La Liga TV
  • Lazio vs Juventus – Serie A – BT Sport
  • Celtic vs St Johnstone – Premier Sports Cup – Premier Sports
  • Union Berlin vs Hertha Berlin – Bundesliga – Sky Sports
  • Atlético Madrid vs Osasuna – La Liga – Premier Sports
  • Liverpool vs Arsenal – Premier League – Sky Sports
  • Philadelphia Union vs New York Red Bulls – MLS Play-Offs – Sky Sports
  • Fiorentina vs AC Milan – Serie A – BT Sport
  • Barcelona vs Espanyol – La Liga – Premier Sports
  • Rennes vs Montpellier – Ligue 1 – BT Sport
  • Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps – MLS Play-Offs – Sky Sports

One to watch

Steven Gerrard will fancy his chances of getting off to a winning start as Aston Villa manager today. However, Brighton & Hove Albion have enough about them to spoil the party.

Prediction

Fulham, Stoke City, Rotherham United and Exeter City look good bets to win their respective matches. The four-fold pays nearly 4/1.

Read more: Premier League Weekend Predictions – Matchday 12.

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