Liverpool continue their daunting start to the new Premier League season with a home tie against Arsenal on Monday night at 8:00pm.
The Reds have already had to navigate through tricky fixtures against Leeds on matchday one and Chelsea away last weekend, winning on both occasions.
Jurgen Klopp will now face Mikel Arteta for a third time in as many months, looking to end an unwanted record of two successive defeats to the Spaniard.
The hosts followed up an end-of-season loss at the Emirates with a Community Shield loss last month, but Klopp will take solace from his side’s formidable home record. Liverpool have made Anfield a fortress under his guidance, with the club unbeaten in 60 Premier League home games.
Arteta meanwhile will be looking to become the first Arsenal manager to win on his first away trip to Liverpool since Tom Whittaker in December 1947.
Both these sides have made perfect starts to the new campaign, but come the final whistle on Monday, that will not be the case.
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Liverpool & Arsenal’s previous line-ups:
- Liverpool (vs Lincoln): Adrian; N Williams, R Williams, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Grujic, Jones, Shaqiri; Elliott, Origi, Minamino.
The teams are IN for Liverpool 🆚 Arsenal
— Goal (@goal) September 28, 2020
- Arsenal (vs Leicester): Leno; Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac; Maitland-Niles, Willock, Elnenny, Saka; Pepe, Nelson, Nketiah.
Arteta remains without Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Cedric Soares, Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli, while Kieran Tierney faces a late fitness test but should be available for selection.
Joe Gomez has returned to training after missing the trip to Chelsea last week, but Klopp may be tempted to keep Fabinho, who produced a stellar performance at Stamford Bridge in place of Gomez, in central defence. Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain meanwhile remain sidelined.
Captain Jordan Henderson is also unavailable with a thigh injury while Thiago Alcantara and Alisson missed part of the weekend’s training session and are both now doubts for the visit of Arsenal, leaving Klopp in a bit of a quandary.
Players to watch:
Liverpool: Whether he plays in defence or returns to his natural midfield role, Fabinho continues to prove his worth at Anfield as something of a Swiss army knife for Klopp. The Brazilian’s versatility not only allows him to slot into various midfield roles, but also at centre-back (as proven last week) or even at right-back. His languid yet sophisticated demeanour is central to Liverpool’s tactical approach, providing the calming presence in an otherwise intense and high-octane system. When the full-backs surge high up the pitch, they can rest easy knowing Fabinho is there to mop up any loose balls and recycle possession. The multifunctional midfielder kept Timo Werner quiet last week, he now has the job of subduing a certain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Speaking of which…
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was kept on ice for the midweek League Cup win over Leicester so he should be fresh for the trip to Merseyside. The Gabon international already has two goals to his name this season and one came against Liverpool in the Community Shield last month. Having recently put pen to paper on a new deal in north London, Aubameyang will be eyeing up an improved finish from last season by helping the Gunners fire their way back into top-four contention. It is so far so good for Arsenal, but a win against the reigning Premier League champions could send a clear message to the rest of the division about the club’s intentions this term.
Scoreline prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal