Arsenal face their biggest test yet today with a trip to European champions and league leaders, Liverpool. Unai Emery’s men will be looking to avenge the 5-1 defeat his side suffered at the hands of the Reds last season and at the same time, will want to keep his side’s unbeaten run going.
Arsenal have faced two stern tests so far in Newcastle United and Burnley, but in a trip to Anfield, we will get to see just how far this team has come under Emery since that disastrous defeat in this fixture at the end of 2018.
With the additions of Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe and David Luiz, it turned out to be a positive summer for the Gunners, and both Ceballos and Luiz have already settled in nicely (receiving an A and B grade respectively for their performances against Burnley last time out, as per the Independent).
So, off the back of a positive result last time out, how will the Spaniard line-up at the home of Europe’s best?
Arsenal started the season with a lengthy injury list (an update was provided on seven players ahead of opening day clash with Newcastle, as per Mirror), which has given Emery little choice in who to pick from.
The back four will surely remain the same as it did against Burnley, now that Luiz has played 90 minutes, whilst the departure of Laurent Koscielny has passed the leadership role to Sokratis Papastathopoulos at the back, who all but guarantees himself a start given that he’s been dribbled past fewer times than any Arsenal defender, per WhoScored. Elsewhere in the defence, Hector Bellerin is continuing his recovery, so Ainsley Maitland-Niles could start once more at right-back.
Matteo Guendouzi could start alongside Joe Willock once again having started the opening two games of the Premier League season together. The Frenchman received a 6 for his Burnley performance and Willock was handed a 7/10 (as per Independent), to follow on from both receiving a 7/10 for their performances vs Newcastle (as per Express). Furthermore, he’s made the most interceptions (3) per 90 minutes than anyone in the squad.
Mesut Ozil returned to training this week for the first time since his security threats, but the German’s lack of fitness will most likely place him on the bench for now. As a result, Ceballos will surely be given the opportunity to continue his excellent form in the centre after receiving the Man of the Match award against Burnley.
Furthermore, Reiss Nelson’s good start to life back at Arsenal may not be enough to keep him in the XI, as summer signing Nicolas Pepe may come in after the Ivory Coast international played the second 45 against Burnley. After all, Reds legend Jamie Carragher recently stated (speaking on Monday Night Football, via Metro) that he fears for the Reds’ high line against Arsenal’s pacey attack, with Pepe being one of the three attackers mentioned by him.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains Arsenal’s best source of goals, whilst his goalscoring partner, Alexandre Lacazette, managed to find the back of the net last time out.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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