Liverpool travel to North London for a highly anticipated match up against league leading Arsenal. The Gunners are flying high this campaign and will relish the test against Jürgen Klopp’s struggling outfit. Here’s the match preview. 

The Reds have just not got going this season. Since the Community Shield victory, several key players have not played anywhere near the level we’ve come to expect, seeing the side fall off the pace in the early weeks of the campaign.

There have been just the two league victories thus far, with the 9-0 thrashing of Bournemouth and the last gasp 2-1 victory over Newcastle proving false dawns. The intensity levels have been nowhere near what we’d associate with the gegenpressing connoisseur.  

The Reds have been outran in one too many games. This combined with their high risk approach to defending has seen their previously watertight defence breached over and over again.

They have Alisson Becker to thank for the goals against column reading just nine. The Brazilian, along with Luis Diaz, has probably been Liverpool’s best player this season.

If Klopp’s men are to get anything from Sunday’s fixture then they have to return to something resembling their best. Anything short of that and they will be made to pay by a hungry Arsenal side.

By contrast, Arsenal have been flying this campaign. The Gunners have won seven out of eight league games, showcasing an exciting brand of football. Mikel Arteta’s boys have been absolutely relentless, showing the energy and verve that used to be endemic of Liverpool at their best.

Arsenal have been simply irresistible. From young Saliba at the back, to a reborn Xhaka in midfield, not to mention the youthful exuberance of Martinelli and Saka out wide, through to the irrepressible leadership of Odegaard, and finally to the sheer quality upfront of Gabriel Jesus.

Having failed their first real test at Old Trafford a month ago, the Gunners have bounced back in impressive style, winning each of their last four in all competitions including an impressive North London derby victory over Spurs.

This is arguably the first time Arsenal are heading into a clash against the Reds as favourites since the opening day of the 2017/18 campaign. The Reds came out on top that day, edging a seven goal thriller 4-3.

Jürgen Klopp’s men come into Sunday 11 points behind Arsenal. Realistically, a win is essential to reignite the already faint title hopes. Should the Gunners turn the Reds over, a 14 point gap at this early stage of the season will have alarm bells ringing on Merseyside.

With Manchester City visiting Anfield next, this is a real chance to get the league season back on track. Otherwise we’d be staring at a top four race for the remainder of the campaign, a far cry from a few months ago when an unprecedented quadruple was on the cards.

On their last trip to the Emirates, Liverpool were handed a real thorough examination, with Arsenal holding their own until Diogo Jota broke their resolve in the second half on the way to a hard fought 2-0 victory.

With this being an an even better side than the one the Reds faced in March, it promises to be a cracking encounter on Sunday. For what it’s worth, Jürgen Klopp has an enviable record against Arsenal, suffering just the one defeat (in regular time) in his 18 encounters.

That defeat came late in the 2019/20 season, with the Reds having already bagged the title with games to spare and sleepwalking to a rare defeat.

Team News

Jurgen Klopp on injuries:

“Curtis Jones was in training yesterday, looked good but that’s not his first session, he’s probably closest. Naby and Ox still a little bit away and we have one new injury – Arthur.”

“He got injured in the last session before Rangers, it’s a normal situation, a muscle. Robertson is also running and looks close but Curtis is the closest to returning.”

For Arsenal, Mohamed Elneny is out as he struggles with a hamstring injury, as is Emile Smith-Rowe who remains out with a groin injury. The youngster isn’t expected back till December. Reiss Nelson and Cedric recently returned to the matchday squad.



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