Arsenal face Liverpool today, in what will be a huge game for Unai Emery as he looks to continue the Gunners’ unbeaten streak.
The Spaniard, however, comes up against an incredibly strong Liverpool squad which looks like it’s just starting to click into gear going forward. Mohamed Salah looks as though he’s starting to gather some form, while Xherdan Shaqiri has filled the number 10 role which has been left since Coutinho departed the club last season.
Against that attack, Arsenal will need to start much quicker than they have in recent games. For most of their unbeaten run, Arsenal have often allowed the opposition too many chances to score. With Liverpool having such a strong attacking lineup, if Arsenal continue that trend, they could well be out of the game within the first 15 minutes.
Over the last few games, Arsenal have been without Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac. Both players will be assessed today ahead of the game and if Emery is without the two defenders, he will have a huge decision to make.
He could possibly play Stephan Lichtsteiner at left-back or he could take the gamble and play Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The English utility man recently returned to play in Arsenal’s EFL Cup game against Blackpool and with his return, Emery must play him instead of Lichsteiner in defence.
Maitland-Niles might not have the experience of Lichsteiner but what he does have is the athleticism to keep up with Salah’s pace. Obviously, the 21-year-old will need help from his winger but overall, he’s the best option. If Granit Xhaka plays there, it could be a very long game for The Gunners.
Thoughts Arsenal fans?