Liverpool will look to make it three wins in a row when they host Arsenal at Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Reds had a low-key summer after becoming European champions for the sixth time in June. Former West Ham keeper Adrian was the only senior signing with talented youngsters Harvey Elliot and Sepp van den Berg joining the rank.
On the outgoings front, Jurgen Klopp sanctioned the departures of Simon Mignolet, Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno, the latter two leaving after their contracts expired. Further, the likes of Marko Grujic and Harry Wilson were once again loaned out to gain experience and potentially become a part of the squad next season.Embed from Getty Images
The transfer inactivity looks to have had little effect, as the Merseyside club put the Community Shield loss on penalties to Manchester City behind them to lift the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea. On the league front, Norwich were dispatched with ease before a tough away trip to Southampton was negotiated as well.
Now, the Reds will have a proper week’s rest to prepare for the upcoming game and will aim for nothing less than the full 3 points.
Their visitors, the Gunners, are also looking for their 3rd consecutive league win, after beating Newcastle and Burnley in their first 2 games.
Arsenal had a terrific summer with a lot of quality additions. Wide forward Nicolas Pepe is an upgrade on Alex Iwobi who left for Everton while Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos was signed on a loan deal to replace the outgoing Aaron Ramsey. Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney fixes a problem position while David Luiz replaces Laurent Koscielny in the experience department.
Unai Emery let Danny Welbeck and Stephan Lichsteiner leave on free transfers while veteran goalkeeper David Ospina and defender Carl Jenkinson also left the club.
The Spaniard’s primary aim will be to get back into the Champions League and the game against Liverpool offers an opportunity to make a statement.
In terms of team news, Naby Keita is once again ruled out with a muscle injury. Nathaniel Clyne and Alisson Becker are out of the game as well with long-term injuries. Thus, Klopp is expected to hand Adrian his 3rd consecutive start while Joel Matip is expected to feature alongside Virgil van Dijk in defence once again.
For Arsenal, defenders Hector Bellerin, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Tierney are long-term absentees. Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil and Rob Holding are expected to be touch and go for Emery’s side.
Head-To-Head and Liverpool vs Arsenal Prediction
In terms of head-to-head, Liverpool have won their last 3 home matches against Arsenal, scoring 3+ goals in 3 of the last 4 games against the Gunners across all competitions. While Emery’s men have won their last 3 PL games, the home side are unbeaten in their last 39 games at Anfield in the league.
However, the Liverpool defence has been a bit shaky this year and Arsenal’s considerable firepower could give them a good chance to score. Nevertheless, the Reds have scored 2+ goals in their last 11 PL games, implying both teams can be expected to find the back of the net.
In the end, Klopp’s Reds are the favorites to win here, considering their home form and head-to-head record but the Gunners will not be easy pickings this time around.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane, Firmino
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal; Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ceballos; Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette