Arsenal will probably play the most difficult 90 minutes of their season till now when they face Liverpool at Anfield in a couple of hours. The Reds have been clinical and despite not reaching the dizzying heights of last season footballing-style wise, Klopp has toned things down and made the team more solid and almost impossible to beat.
Unai Emery, on the other hand, saw an excellent start to his first season as Arsenal manager and despite recent setbacks, looks poised to make a strong case for a Top 4 finish at the very least. Manchester United’s resurgence means the Gunners will now want to make sure their patchy run of results doesn’t go on for too long as the points gap between the two has now reduced to 6.
PRE-MATCH MINI TRIVIA
- Liverpool are undefeated in their last 30 home matches in the Premier League.
- The Reds have kept clean sheets in 12 out of their last 14 matches at Anfield in the league.
- Liverpool are undefeated in their last 7 matches against the Gunners.
- Arsenal are undefeated in 16 out of their last 17 matches.
The above stats point towards an interesting clash and even though Liverpool are pre-match favourites, Arsenal will back themselves to pull off an unlikely win.
ARSENAL TEAM NEWS
Laurent Koscielny suffered a knock against Brighton and is unlikely to start. Shkodran Mustafi has trained and might have to start given the current injury situation at the back. Nacho Monreal is unlikely to be risked. Bellerín, Holding, Mavropanos, Mkhitaryan, Smith-Rowe and Welbeck remain out.
PREDICTED ARSENAL LINEUP TO FACE LIVERPOOL (4-3-1-2)
Bernd Leno will start in goal. The German hasn’t kept a clean sheet for a while now and even though it seems unlikely, he will hope to shut out the Liverpool attack today.
We expect Emery to roll out a back four with all the injury issues he has had to deal with. Stephan Lichtsteiner should start at right-back with Sead Kolasinac taking up the opposite flank.
Arsenal will hope Shkodran Mustafi is fit enough to start. In that case, we will see him line up in central defence alongside Sokratis.
With Liverpool’s midfield settled and looking in peak form, Emery should go with a similar 3-man midfield to contain the threat. Lucas Torreira is a sure-shot starter. We expect the Uruguayan to be partnered with Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka. This will surely provide more solidity and an extra layer of protection for the makeshift backline.
Emery might well pick both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to headline the attack. Both of them have been in fine form and could cause problems of plenty for Van Dijk and Lovren. Aaron Ramsey could line up just behind them. His work-rate and finishing prowess will add decent value to Emery’s set-up in this particular fixture.