Arsenal visit Anfield for a top of the table clash with Liverpool as both teams aim to take three points and build momentum at the top of the Premier League.
Liverpool face their toughest test yet this season as they prepare to host Arsenal at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp will be a satisfied man so far after his club avoided problems to see off Southampton in the last game. But their credentials will be tested by Unai Emery’s Arsenal as the two teams having a 100% record so far in the league take the pitch for a blockbuster clash.
Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League crown to Manchester City last season, and they would have been happy to gain an advantage over the champions previous week. The Reds have yet to reach their best levels, something that was evident in their scrappy win over Southampton. They will want to hold on to their top spot with a win over Arsenal, but the Gunners might have something else in store.
Arsenal, under Emery suffered their most massive defeat at Anfield, when Klopp’s men thrashed them 5-1. Emery stressed that loss could not be a precursor to tomorrow’s clash, as the manager takes a new-look Arsenal to Anfield. The Gunners come into this game at the back of two narrow victories over Newcastle and Burnley.
While it may be a futile effort to bill this clash with Liverpool as a season-defining one, it positively could shape up how Arsenal can go on from here. With Tottenham to be played next in the league, Emery would be gunning for a victory but should be happy if his team takes at least a point out of Anfield.
Team News & Tactics
Alisson Becker is still out injured, and his status is not about to change for the next few weeks. Adrian, who shook off an injury scare after the UEFA Super Cup triumph to start against Southampton, is the likely candidate to take the No.1 spot against Arsenal. On the other parts of the pitch, Klopp is set to make some necessary changes from their last game against Southampton.
Wantaway defender Dejan Lovren and midfielder Naby Keita are significant doubts for the Arsenal game, while Nathaniel Clyne is out with a severe knee injury. Klopp could bank upon captain Jordan Henderson and defensive midfielder Fabinho after starting them from the bench in the last game. The midfield duo should come into the starting lineup.
With Klopp expected to play a midfield three, the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner will compete for a spot in the lineup. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who got the nod in the last game is likely to see the face of the bench alongside Milner. Klopp is expected to start Wijnaldum barring some last-minute change of decision.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Firmino are yet to hit convincing form, but they are the best bet to start a game such as the one against Arsenal. Firmino, in particular, would be keen to punish the Gunners once again after scoring a hat-trick in the same fixture last season. Divock Origi is an option from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Manager Emery will also be looking to make some essential changes to the side that won at home against Burnley. His backline is likely to look a lot similar from the last game with Sokratis and David Luiz set to for a central defensive partnership. While Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a sure starter at right-back, Emery will make a late decision whether Nacho Monreal or Sead Kolasinac will start on the left side.
Monreal has been a rock defensively in the last two games and there is a higher chance the Spaniard will start. However, if Emery decides to approach the game offensively, then Kolasinac might get the nod.
Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka missed the last game with an illness and a lower back problem respectively, and they are back in full training ahead of the Liverpool clash. While the German may not be a preferred starter for Emery, Xhaka could come into the side in place of Joe Willock. The youngster started both of Arsenal’s league games so far, but it would be a stretch too far to play against Liverpool.
Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi could partner Xhaka in central midfield, as Emery is likely to mirror Liverpool’s formation. There is the possibility that Emery could give Lucas Torreira his first start of the season, and he could displace either Xhaka or Guendouzi from the starting lineup.
Reiss Nelson has been in the starting lineup for the last two games, but Emery might give record signing Nicolas Pepe his first start at the club in place of the youngster. Last game’s goalscorers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are expected to form a three-pronged attack alongside Pepe to trouble Liverpool’s defence.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Leno; Maitland-Niles, Soktratis, Luiz, Monreal; Guendouzi, Torreira, Ceballos; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 39 home Premier League games.
- Liverpool have scored at least two goals in their previous 11 Premier League games.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight games against Arsenal, winning four and drawing the other 4.
- No Premier League fixture has seen more goals than matches between Liverpool and Arsenal (155 goals in 54 games).
- Arsenal have lost 13 Premier League away games versus Liverpool at Anfield – only versus Manchester United at Old Trafford (16) have they lost more in the competition.
1. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.57
2. Arsenal Asian Handicap + 1.5 @ 1.650
1. Full-Time Result – Draw @ 4.6
2. Arsenal Draw No Bet @ 4.50
Player to Watch
As much as Liverpool’s front three are the mentality giants, they are a well-established unit. Aubameyang recently admitted that Arsenal are also looking to create a similar attacking unit and Pepe is their man to complete the puzzle. The Ivorian’s arrival has somewhat refreshed Arsenal’s attacking options along with Nelson and others.
If Pepe is to start against Liverpool, he will make his full debut with the toughest opposition possible. There were glimpses of the winger’s flair against Burnley, but if he is to perform against Liverpool, he certainly will make a significant impact for the club. A brilliant performance will set up Pepe and Arsenal for a good season, especially given Tottenham are next.
Liverpool 3-2 Arsenal
Its a difficult task for any team to beat Liverpool at Anfield, let alone Arsenal. However, with Arsenal’s new-look attack offering promise, there are chances for the Gunners to outperform Liverpool. But considering the last few fixtures, Liverpool have managed to score three or more goals in their last five games against Arsenal at Anfield.
The fixture certainly offers plenty of goals traditionally, although Liverpool will prove tricky for Arsenal to overcome. Their attack, midfield, and defence are much more superior to that of Arsenal’s and this will pave the way for Klopp’s men to collect all three points here.