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Arsenal vs Liverpool: English Premier League preview | News


Who: Arsenal vs Liverpool
Where: Emirates Stadium, London, UK
Time: 4:30pm (15:30 GMT)

When Liverpool visited Emirates Stadium for the last time in a league match, they were 15 points ahead of Arsenal and won a historic double.

A lot has changed in the seven months after that game last season.

The Gunners entered Sunday’s game 11 points ahead of Liverpool, knowing a win would send them back to the top of the table.

After a tumultuous start to the season, Liverpool are currently 10th with just two wins in their last five games.

Two clubs at opposite ends of their evolutionary journey. While Jürgen Klopp’s men appear to have reached a dead end after six years, Arsenal have fallen under Mikel Arteta and his young squad appear to be on track to restore Islington glory.

Arsenal’s revival under Arteta is reminiscent of Klopp’s early years at Liverpool: Exciting additions, active players on the ground, players coming back from the brink become vital cogs and the reawakening of a disillusioned fan base with the club.

The match between two clubs operating on the same philosophy promises to be very interesting.

Set up title credentials

Arsenal have won seven of their opening eight games. But there is still some hesitation when it comes to naming the team’s championship contenders.

The club’s tendency to collapse at a time of crisis – evident in the way they won fourth place for Tottenham last season – casts doubt on their ability to maintain their place.

Last week, Aaron Ramsdale spoke about how his teammates had a “burning fire inside” because of last season’s defeat.

It is still early days but this fire seems to have ignited a newly formed solidity at Arsenal.

The additions of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City added steel to Arsenal’s soft goal. While their performances at the start of the season were judged as weak opponents, the win over Tottenham last week cemented their credibility as contenders.

Beating Liverpool will strengthen this card.

Liverpool used to have Arsenal’s shirt number in the past

Liverpool are not in great form but have history on their side.

The last time Arsenal beat them in the league was in July 2020, by which time the Reds finished the championship in a COVID-effective season.

Before that, Arsenal’s last win took place in April 2015.

In total, the two sides have met 60 times in the tournament, with Liverpool winning 25 against Arsenal’s 16.

Under Klopp, Liverpool have scored three or more goals against the Gunners on a staggering 11 occasions.

While Liverpool’s defense looks shaky this season, it can be reassuring as the Gunners have failed to score against them in their last six encounters in all competitions.

The Battle of the Midfielders

Since moving to Liverpool in 2018, Virgil Van Dijk has established himself as the best defender in the league.

But now he sees that position under threat. His opponent for the crown is 21-year-old French midfielder William Saliba.

Van Dijk’s faltering start to the season coincided with Saliba’s difficult start to the Premier League. Aggression and assurance at the back have made him a fan favorite at the Emirates.

Van Dijk doesn’t seem to live up to the high standards he sets at Liverpool. The Dutchman is Liverpool’s mainstay and his weakness in defence this season has left the team fragile.

Jesus must have studied closely how Brighton’s Leandro Trossard consistently overtook the Dutchman last week at Anfield.

Klopp’s choice is a headache first

Klopp changed the familiar 4-3-3 in the midweek game against Rangers against Rangers to 4-2-3-1, with Darwin Nunez playing in front of Mohammed Salah, Diego Jota and Luis Diaz.

In the face of much stronger opposition, it remains to be seen whether Klopp will continue with this squad.

There is also a personnel decision, with Nunez and Roberto Firmino vying for the top spot. While Nunez had a slow start at Liverpool, he looked sharp against Rangers and could be a painful presence for Arsenal’s backline.

Firmino has been Liverpool’s top scorer this season and his dexterity in movement could allow him to slip between Arsenal’s majestic centre-backs. The Brazilian loves to play for the Gunners and if he scores today he will become the top scorer in the history of this match.

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