After dropping points in the league for the first time in eight matches, Arsenal next face the challenge of Liverpool – in what could possibly be their biggest test of the season so far.
Liverpool also come into this fixture in good form. Still unbeaten in the league, the Reds have recorded eight wins and two draws – with the latest win being a 4-1 victory against Cardiff last time out.
Arsenal will be without Matteo Guendouzi after his red card in the Carabao Cup. However, the Gunners will be hoping that full backs Hector Bellerin (Right thigh), Sead Kolasinac (Hamstring) and Nacho Monreal (Hamstring) pass their late fitness tests before Saturdays match.
While Laurent Koscielny (Achilles), Konstantinos Mavropanos (Groin) and Mohamed Elneny (Thigh) remain out with their injuries, Unai Emery was able to welcome back Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Leg) against Blackpool, during the week.
Liverpool also have an injury worry of their own, with Naby Keita (Hamstring) a doubt as he continues his rehabilitation from injury. Otherwise, the only other absentee is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Knee), who remains on the sidelines.
The Gunners remain lethal up front. Having scored the second most goals in the league (24), the Arsenal frontline also possesses the leagues joint top scorer, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who has seven goals to his name so far. If Arsenal are to get anything out of the game, they will surely look to either Aubameyang or his strike partner, Alexandre Lacazette.
Even with their attacking prowess, one of Liverpool’s most impressive features of the season so far, is their defence. Only conceding four goals all season – Nine less than this weeks opponents – Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk have formed a formidable bond in central Defence. A key part of the match will be whether Aubameyang and co. will be able to break this partnership down.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have often been victorious as of late – winning three of the last five match ups. Recent fixtures between these two have also been very high scoring. Over the last two meetings at the Emirates, there has been a collective 13 goals – last years game ended 3-3.
Despite this, Emery remained positive ahead of Saturday. “We have a lot of players looking to play and to take this responsibility to show their performance, their quality for the team and I am thinking that we can also have a performance for a big match on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Klopp was asked about the amount of goals his team are/aren’t scoring. “We chase goals. That’s our nature. They want to score goals”. However, he was keen to stress the importance of points, “The next game is away at Arsenal, I don’t think we will worry about how many goals we will score, we just have to get a result there.”
Arsenal 1 – 3 Liverpool
Arsenal: Leno; Lichtsteiner, Holding, Sokratis, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka, Özil; Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.