Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed that he has a lot of respect for Liverpool ahead of his side’s away clash as the Merseysiders are always up for a game at Anfield and are backed well by their fans.

Wenger said that the crowd at Anfield is always special as they back their team through glory and despair, “Yes, of course. There’s a special atmosphere.

“I have a lot of respect for the crowd at Liverpool because they stand behind their team. I remember one day we were leading 5-1 at Liverpool and they were chanting ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. It’s one of the few grounds in the world where you can see that. There’s a special combination of knowledge of the game at Liverpool and support for their team. I have a huge respect for that.”

Wenger’s side were swamped last time when they travelled to Anfield as four goals in the opening 20 minutes all but ended the game in the first half. When Wenger was asked about that result, he responded, “Every defeat hurts. Every defeat is a scar in your heart forever. We also have very good memories at Liverpool. We won many games at Liverpool as well. Even last year we lost against them, the week later against the same team we won 2-0 at home in the FA Cup.

The Frenchman went on to add that his side will face a completely different Liverpool as they are not the same potent attacking force they were last season, “Liverpool scored over 100 goals last season in the Premier League and they were very good going forward. This season they’ve scored 19 I think until now so they are not on the same trend offensively.

“But it’s difficult for me to assess our direct opponent two or three days before [the game]. I expect to play against a very good team. This season they have a heavy schedule as well, like we have. They play Champions League games, they play Premier League games and it’s very demanding,” he told the club’s official website.

Key period for Arsenal

With a host of players still missing due to injuries, the next couple of weeks will be crucial for Arsenal. Apart from Liverpool, the gunners have a favourable schedule in late December which could help them claw back the deficit between themselves and  the top four.

Arsenal have won three of their last four Premier league games and will want to put in a strong display against Liverpool to continue their good run. Wenger said, “We want to have continuity. It’s a very important period now. You start the Christmas period now and over the Christmas period you play four Premier League games.

“Can we have a good run over Christmas? I’m sure we will come back strongly in the league and when you get over the hill in January we look towards the end [of the season], so how you come out of the Christmas period is of course very important.”