The Reds picked up where they left off in 2019/20 with two straight league wins, whilst the Gunners followed up victory over them for the Community Shield with back-to-back league wins of their own.
On the back of that Arsenal make the first of two long trips to Anfield this week for their much anticipated Premier League clash against champions Liverpool.
Good day one and all.
With two meetings these last two months already, these sides should know each other pretty well by now. And although the Gunners got the better of the Reds on both occasions, some argued that neither of those games were priority for Liverpool; as they already had the league title sewn up when they visited the Emirates and that the Community Shield nothing other than a “glorified friendly”.
Be that as it may, none of those matches were at Anfield where Jurgen Klopp’s side are on unbeaten league run stretching back to April 2017. However, they didn’t look quite as invincible when they hosted Leeds on opening day. The Peacocks came from behind three times, only to be undone by a late Mo Salah penalty that handed the Reds a 4-3 win – all four goals came from set-pieces.
If opposition fans thought maybe this is the season Liverpool are there for the taking, those were quickly put to rest when they made light work of Chelsea in a 2-0 victory last Sunday.
Mikel Arteta won’t doubt his side’s chances though. In his short managerial career he is already two for two over the Merseysiders. In fact, in Arsenal’s last nine matches (all competitions) we have beaten four of last season’s top-five: Liverpool (twice), Man City, Chelsea and most recently Leicester in a Carabao clash.
It’s still early days though to say whether that is proof that Arteta is the man to lead the Gunners back into the top-four, especially ahead of a very tricky league run of five matches against last season’s top-seven. But if we can come out the other side in good shape, well, I guess we can start feeling confident of our chances.
Despite Marcelo Bielsa not cc’d on that memo, a trip to Anfield remains a daunting task for any team and we haven’t won there in a really long time. But this Arteta’s Arsenal is a resolute bunch, that come a long way from that side that lost their heads in a 2-1 defeat at Brighton. And despite our personal feelings about the politics at Colney, these boys deserve our support each time they step on that field.
There’s no new injuries as Kieran Tierney, who pulling out in the warm-up ahead of last weekend’s win over West Ham is due back. So is David Luiz who could make his first league start of the season.
Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to score the winner against the Hammers and was on the scoresheet again in midweek, but it’s unlikely that he will start ahead of Alexandre Lacazette, who was on target in both our opening two league fixtures.
Liverpool is amongst the top three teams in Europe, so we will be up against it, but we also don’t need to sell ourselves. We are on a pretty decent run and our recent wins against them should give us all a boost.
These clashes also aren’t exactly short on entertainment, with 20 goals scored in our last three visits up north, and this one could be no different. First real hurdle for both teams this season and I’m looking forward to it. COYG!