Liverpool will continue to be without the services of first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker when they take on Arsenal in a top-of-the-table clash this weekend.
Liverpool will be aiming to extend their 100% record in the 2019-20 Premier League when they face off against Arsenal, who are the only other team apart from Liverpool to have won both of their league games so far this season.
Saturday’s game at Anfield against the Gunners will be Liverpool’s biggest test so far, especially with the threat posed by their dangerous attacking trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and new signing Nicolas Pepe. A win on Sunday would see them extend their lead at the top and set the pace in the title race early into the season.
And while there are no fresh injury worries for manager Jurgen Klopp to contend with heading into this weekend’s clash, Liverpool will have to continue to make do without star goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who picked up a calf injury against Norwich City on the opening day.
Speaking of the Brazilian’s condition, Klopp said in his pre-match presser, “He looks good, he is in good shape, a good mood, but it will take time, I don’t know [how long] exactly.”
Alisson’s continued absence means summer signing Adrian will continue between the sticks and will be hoping not to make another howler like he did against Southampton last weekend.
While there may be a case for Klopp to use a more defensive-minded Joe Gomez at right-back ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold against a dangerous Arsenal attack, the German is likely to stick with the academy graduate. Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson should make up the rest of the backline for Liverpool.
The midfield is likely to be in for a shuffle after the manager opted to rotate his troops last weekend. Captain Jordan Henderson and defensive shield Fabinho, both of whom were benched against Southampton, are expected to be reinstated for the high-profile clash against Arsenal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, fresh after signing a new contract earlier, is likely to be benched as three starts in a row might be too much exertion after his lengthy injury layoff. James Milner is also expected to drop out, with Georginio Wijnaldum set to complete the midfield trifecta for Liverpool.
There is no looking past the first-choice attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for the big game against Arsenal. Given the Gunners’ vulnerabilities at the back, the trio could wreak havoc much like they did last season at Anfield.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane