Arsenal host Liverpool on Friday night in what is an essential match to decide their top- four qualifications. The Gunners as of now sit one point behind Liverpool, and with a definitive and sure win, could set up the North London club as genuine challengers at the top of the Premier League, while also exorcising some ghosts from the 4-0 beating they got toward the start of the season.
The Arsenal- Liverpool game was billed as the best-ever Premier League opening weekend clash, more than satisfying expectation. The Gunners and The Reds get ready for another titanic battle in North London with last season’s encounter perpetually carved in the fans’ memories.
Moments in the wake of missing a penalty, Theo Walcott fired the North London side ahead, before Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana turned it around before the break. The Brazilian at that point bagged his second and Sadio Mane hammered home what resembled a charging win for the Reds.
In any case, the hosts did not surrender their hope and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and after that Calum Chambers scored to heap pressure on Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s men, in the end, clutched on to claim an emphatic win following good football from the two teams that will live long in the memory. It is precisely what those in attendance at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night will seek after.
In August 2016, no one foresaw such an engaging and entertaining opening weekend and following 30 dreary minutes, it’s appeared as though the spectator’s expectation were about to be proven right.
But Theo Walcott opened the floodgates and an extraordinary second half ensued, with exceptional goals keeping spectators on the edge of their seats. Barely 15 months after that, the two sides have managed how to keep up their quality up front. Goalscoring should not be an issue, with Summer imports Lacazette and Salah adding fresh firepower to their team respectively.
Last season, Arsenal’s lack of quality in defense was severely revealed by Liverpool’s fire-powering attack; this time around, it is the Liverpool’s back line which has been more than once questioned.
Jurgen Klopp will demand defensive strength from his side and will in this way be seeking after a low-scoring encounter. In the event that the point of reference set the last term is any marker of the result on Friday night, it isn’t looking encouraging for the Reds manager.
The reverse fixture at Anfield toward the start of the new season, Liverpool left away with a significantly more uneven win, with the addition of Mohamed Salah making the Reds much more dangerous up front.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have remade themselves, keeping clean sheets in each of their last three Premier League matches. Arsenal appears to have at long last discovered some truly necessary balance after a poor start to the season.
Wenger will probably bring in changes once again after giving a number of squad players a shot against West Ham in the EFL Cup.
Olivier Giroud (hamstring) and Francis Coquelin (issue) Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Santi Cazorla (ankle) on the sidelines, but Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck played an uncommon an hour and a half in the 1-0 EFL Cup win over West Ham.
Alberto Moreno (ankle) and Nathaniel Clyne (back) while Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) and Joel Matic (muscle) are real doubts
Arsenal predicted XI:
Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Wilshere, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette
Liverpool predicted XI:
Mignolet; Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Coutinho, Mane
Is it time for another spine chiller at the Emirates?