Liverpool vs Arsenal
TV: Sky Sports Premier League
In one of the mostly hotly anticipated games of this early season, Liverpool will host Arsenal this Sunday afternoon.
Brazilian hotshot Philippe Coutinho, £114m target of Barcelona, will remained sidelined with an injury. He is yet to play this season, with Liverpool taking 4 points in their opening two games. Despite his lack of action, speculation over Coutinho’s future has remained intense.
Last season Liverpool had the best record against other teams in the top six, and Juergen Koop will be looking to build on the previous years’ successes against England’s top teams. Coutinho will remain on the bench, however Arsenal’s Chilean winger Alexis is tipped to make his first appearance of the season.
Sanchez has also been subject of intense transfer speculation this season. With one year left on his contract at the Emirates and contract talks stalling, Sanchez was a target for many of Europe’s top teams including PSG and Manchester City. Despite missing the first two games of the season, Sanchez is “absolutely ready” to return this weekend according to boss Arsene Wenger. In addition to this, Laurent Koscielny will return after finishing a three match ban from last season.
These additions, even without the long term absence of Santi Cazorla (ankle), this reinforcement of Arsenal’s squad tips the game in their favour, against a Liverpool team who, are struggling for the top form expected from their star studded line up.
Despite this, Liverpool will be looking to carry forward Wednesday’s success again Hoffenheim, where they confirmed their place in the champions league group stages with a 6-3 aggregate victory.
Last season arsenal struggled to fire against top 6 teams. They lost 5 of their 10 games against top six opposition, however with strong new signings in the form of Alexandre Lacazette, Sead Kolasinac and the return of Koscielny Arsenal should travel North with some confidence, despite problems with defence we have seen in these opening two games.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping Arsenal maintain a three at the back formation, as this will allow space for pacey forwards such as Roberto Firminho, Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane to get in behind the gunner’s back line.
Written by Ed Martin.