Liverpool v Arsenal preview | Gunners duo to return, Torreira starts + prediction

By on August 24, 2019

dani ceballos arsenal

Arsenal need to build on our solid start to the season and show we can compete with the best when we take on Liverpool at Anfield this evening.

After an exciting summer that saw Arsenal complete some wonderful transfer business we have a well balanced squad that is more than capable of challenging for third and fourth this season.

However, while the main aim is to get back into the Champions League, Arsenal also need to prove we are closing the gap on the top two and that’s why is so important we put in a decent display against Liverpool today.

Our recent visits to Anfield have been a disaster as we’ve been thumped 3-1, 4-0 and 5-1 so Unai Emery has to show we’ve improved and are at least able to compete with the European champions.

After conceding so many goals against Liverpool it’s imperative we tighten up at the back and we looked solid during the 1-0 win at Newcastle. However, the back four was all over the place at times against Burnley last weekend so let’s hope for a better display today.

Team news

Arsenal will hand a late fitness test to Granit Xhaka after he returned to training following a back complaint that kept him out of the Burnley game. Mesut Ozil will also be looked over after missing our first two matches but I expect both players to be in the squad.

Rob Holding stepped-up his recovery from a knee injury with another run-out for the U23s last night but he’s still unavailable along with Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Dinos Mavropanos.

As for Liverpool, they’ll be without number one goalkeeper Alisson Becker due to a calf injury while Naby Keita has also been ruled out with a muscle problem.

Preferred line-up

football formations

It’s going to be interesting to see how Emery lines-up to compete against Liverpool but I hope we go with the same back four as last week. No doubt Emery will recall Xhaka but I’d like to see Lucas Torreira given the nod in the defensive midfield role with Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi ahead of him.

Nicolas Pepe should be given his full debut in attack and link-up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette so Ozil will have to settle for a place on the bench.

Expected Liverpool XI: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

Score prediction

Obviously this is going to be a huge test for Arsenal and I do fear another hiding as that would be a big blow to our morale. However, we have to be positive and not fear Liverpool despite our woeful record at Anfield. We haven’t beaten Liverpool in eight attempts, they are 41 unbeaten at home and our away record has been atrocious for the past two seasons so even the most optimistic Arsenal fan knows a win is a tall order.

However, Liverpool haven’t hit top form yet and I do think we can cause them plenty of problems. Let’s pray for another Ceballos masterclass and Aubameyang to continue his fine form in front of goal.  I’m going to back the boys to snatch a 2-2 draw.