It’s a top of the table clash at Anfield.
Oh no no, don't get me wrong, it is not Liverpool vs Manchester City. Well, it’s very early in the season and weird things happen, like - the Citizens not on top.
Jokes apart - it is Liverpool vs Arsenal and this clash has always been exciting. They produce goals and the latest tie had six, among which the All Reds had five. But this is a new season and Arsenal with their new signings, are ready to make life uncomfortable for the European Champions. These two are the only teams with a perfect start, and they will hope to keep it going.
Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz - these arrivals have already made them a better team this season despite the departure of Aaron Ramsey and they have already shown that. Nicolas Pepe is yet to start a game but is a very exciting prospect, and Unai Emery has hinted that the Ivorian winger might have his first Premier League debut on Saturday. Dani Ceballos, loaned in from Real Madrid, was the man of the match against Burnley with two assists and is set to show his full array of creativity throughout the season. David Luiz is a Premier League veteran who is an upgrade for the Gunners in defence looked solid in their previous game. Emery would hope that his red-hot striking pair of Aubameyang and Lacazette will be on target as a win would take them to the top spot ahead of Liverpool.
Liverpool had 97 points last season but still ended up being runners-up. But they won the Champions League and once again this season, they are going to fight for everything. They spent a quiet summer, only signing youngsters but they have players like Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain back from long-term injuries and clearly Klopp deemed new signings to be unnecessary. Klopp will be looking for his team to continue gegenpressing the life out of the opponents and also, he will be hoping that Adrian, who is currently their goalkeeper in the absence of the injured Alisson, won’t repeat the blunder against Southampton. Mohamed Salah is on the quest for his third consecutive Golden Boot, and Sadio Mane is looking for his second. Their water-tight defence will hope to not get impregnated by the lighting Gunners attack, and securing this would put them well ahead of the North Londoners.
The last ten matches between the teams have produced a staggering 44 goals, and Liverpool have managed to win four of them. Klopp has never lost to Arsenal with Liverpool, and Emery’s first visit to Anfield with Arsenal ended up in a 5-1 defeat. Arsenal’s last victory at Anfield came way back in 2012 when they beat the hosts by 2 goals to 1.
Players to Watch
The last time Arsenal played Liverpool, Roberto Firmino bagged a hat-trick which included a brilliant solo goal. Klopp and the Kopites would hope that Firmino will deliver anything that resembles his last outing and secure their place at the top.
The Gunners would be hoping for their record signing Nicolas Pepe to have an Anfield debut to remember. The Ivorian scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists last season, a couple of any or both would put a smile on Unai Emery’s face.
Liverpool might bring in Fabinho in place of Chamberlain to have a tad more control in the midfield, and also Joe Gomez might return in place of Joel Matip. Skipper Jordan Henderson replacing his deputy James Milner is a possibility, and the others are likely to retain their places.
Possible Lineup (4-3-3): Adrian (GK), Andrew Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson ©, Gini Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino
Arsenal boss Emery hinted that record signing Nicolas Pepe starting the game, which puts Reiss Nelson’s place in doubt. Lucas Torreira might be preferred to Joseph Willock at the center of the park, and Sead Kolasinac might come in place of Nacho Monreal but the Spaniard remains favorite for the place. Mesut Ozil would have to sit on the Bench after Ceballos’ excellent outing against Burnley, so is the fate of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Possible Lineup ( 4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno (GK), Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Nacho Monreal ©, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette
The game will start at 10:30 Bangladesh Standard Time.