Yesterday’s results did Arsenal no favours whatsoever. Totts somehow secured a 1-0 win at Brighton, Man City, Newcastle Utd and Chelsea all won too. If Arsenal want to go back into top spot, a win today is needed. At the other end of the table, Leicester City failed to hang on to a 1-0 lead at Bournemouth and in the end, were beaten.
This is probably the biggest test so far this season for this young Arsenal team. Yes yes, I know, we’ve heard or read that before each match so far this season, but barring the undeserved defeat at Old Trafford, this group of players have passed every test. This one is different though, this one is against a club/team which Arsenal haven’t beaten in the last four attempts and for what it’s worth, I really dislike them.
What should give us a bit of hope of a victory later today is the fact that Liverpool haven’t won a Premier League fixture away from Anfield so far this season. Their last League match on the road ended 0-0 against Everton but largely thanks to Pickford.
Klopp could select Ibrahima Konate for the first time this season but Andy Robertson, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all injured.
Mo Elneny and Emile Smith Rowe are the only two players definitely ruled out. Fingers crossed it stayed that way after yesterday’s training session.
History tells us that Liverpool have had the upper hand in this fixture for a number of years now but history means little in an ever changing footballing world. Arsenal are different this season both in personnel and performance. The Emirates isn’t the same either as Klopp and his men will find out this afternoon.
The one thing pundits are saying and journalists are writing is that Liverpool don’t start games well, unlike Arsenal who’ve come out of the blocks with purpose. Brighton were 2-0 up within 20 minutes last weekend and that was at Anfield so we know we’ll get chances. If we can take them, we can win. Defensively, Liverpool haven’t discovered the kind of form shown in previous seasons with Alexander-Arnold and van Dijk receiving the most criticism. Their big name summer signing Nunez is yet to find his feet and I hope he never does, not in England anyway.
Whilst history between these two clubs is irrelevant, Klopp will have his players remembering that the Emirates isn’t a place to be feared, Arsenal aren’t a club to be feared either because his team have been there and done it so many times before but deep down, unless he’s been asleep for the last two months, he’ll know this will be a tough test for his players. Probably the toughest they’ve faced this season because this isn’t a toothless, spineless and disjointed Arsenal team of the past. This is an Arsenal team which is organised, strong and dangerous in every department playing at home in a stadium full of positivity.
Not for one minute am I suggesting this game will be easy for Arsenal because it won’t be, Liverpool are too good for that but I just think it will be far from the walk in the park Liverpool have enjoyed in recent years.
I’m looking forward to it…