Home English Premier League Arsenal vs Liverpool match preview

Arsenal vs Liverpool match preview

TEAM NEWS

Matteo Guendouzi is suspended, while Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac are nearing returns from hamstring injuries and will be assessed. Arsenal will monitor right-back Hector Bellerin, who was forced off last weekend because of a muscle problem.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who is nursing an ankle problem, is also a doubt ahead of Saturday’s game. Liverpool midfielders Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are again ruled out by hamstring injuries.

Mohamed Salah has worn protective strapping in training this week because of an inflamed wrist tendon, but he is fit to play against the Gunners.

Arsenal v Liverpool

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@Wilsonfooty: From the very first meeting (Woolwich Arsenal 0-5 Liverpool, in October 1893), to the most recent (Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool, in December 2017) – this clash seldom disappoints.

There have been four cup finals, an FA Cup semi-final that went to three replays, two European meetings, the first ever BBC Match of the Day and a last-day – make that last minute – title decider. 

There’s every chance that, once again, someone will write their name alongside the greats who have excelled in this fixture – or even the journeymen who just chose this game to do something great.

So who next after Bastin, Baptista and Barnes: Charlie George, Charlie Nicholas, Nicolas Anelka and Steve Nicol: Hunt and Henry, Mellor and Fowler: Ray Kennedy and King Kenny: Michael Owen, Michael Thomas?

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery: “We want to write a new history… I believe in my players and this project.

“The result is very important but first I want to show them, to show you and to show everybody our best mentality in the game.

“If we have a very big mentality in the game and a very big performance individually and collectively – and also we need some luck – then I think we can win.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Unai Emery: “All people in football knew how good he is but I am not sure all Arsenal fans were over the moon at first when they heard it would be Emery.

“But that’s England a little bit, you want the poster boys. Unai was in France and before that in Spain in a smaller club, so you can go a bit under the radar.

“Not for all the people in football, though. I saw yesterday that he won eight titles in two or three years. That’s pretty big.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Arsenal won 11 games in a row before they drew at Crystal Palace on Sunday but they have not played a top side since they lost to Manchester City and Chelsea at the start of the season.

I think Liverpool will have a little bit too much for them but, even if Arsenal do lose, this has still been a very encouraging start by their new boss Unai Emery.

Prediction: 1-2

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Liverpool have netted 17 times in their last five league games against Arsenal, scoring at least three times in each of those encounters.
  • If the Reds score three or more on Saturday it will be the first time in their history they have done so in six consecutive top-flight games against a particular opponent – and the first time it has happened to Arsenal (against any side).
  • Arsenal are winless in six Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D3, L3), their longest such run against them since a 12-game sequence from 1994 to 2000.
  • The only previous managerial meeting between Unai Emery and Jurgen Klopp was the 2016 Europa League final, in which Emery’s Sevilla beat Liverpool 3-1.

Arsenal

  • The Gunners have won 11 of their last 13 home league games, with the other two matches defeats by Manchester City (3-0 in March and 2-0 in August).
  • They have won just three of their last 27 Premier League games against the other ‘big six’ sides (D9, L15), losing the last five encounters.
  • Three-quarters of Arsenal’s league goals this term have come in the second half (18 of 24).
  • The Gunners are one of four teams who have yet to lead a Premier League game at half-time this season. Under Unai Emery they have been behind twice after 45 minutes and level eight times.
  • Arsenal boast the highest shot conversion rate in the top flight this season, scoring 24.5% of their shots (excluding blocks).
  • They have already scored five Premier League goals from outside the area under Emery – just one short of their final total for the 2017-18 campaign.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 22 goals in his 23 Premier League appearances with Arsenal, scoring 17 and assisting five.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 league games, conceding just four goals in this run.
  • Their tally of 26 points from their opening 10 matches equals their highest total at this stage of a Premier League season. Victory on Saturday would make this their outright best start in the division.
  • Roberto Firmino has scored and assisted in each of his last three games against Arsenal – no player has ever done this in four consecutive Premier League matches against a particular opponent.
  • Mohamed Salah has scored in all three of his Premier League games against Arsenal (one for Chelsea, two for Liverpool). Only Charlie Austin has a better 100% strike rate against the Gunners in the competition (four games in total).

Source: BBC News

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