Liverpool host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, as both sides look for positive results going into the September international break.
These matches just always seem to be about the most entertaining in the league, with goals galore and controversy never too far away.
There have been 20 goals in the last four Anfield meetings between the Reds and the Gunners, and you wouldn’t bet against the average staying the same this weekend.
Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Hoffenheim in the Champions League play-offs in midweek was a massive boost, and it should give them a huge amount of confidence going into Sunday’s clash.
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That said, legs may be slightly tired from a relentless 90 minutes, so Jurgen Klopp‘s much-lauded “heavy-metal football” may make way for something a little less intense.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are not a happy club at all right now, with Arsene Wenger continuing to split opinion like no other manager in football.
Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Stoke City was hugely disappointing, and a quiet transfer window and the same old mistakes on the pitch have ensured their supporters are in meltdown yet again.
The north Londoners are still a very good side when they click, though, and with talisman Alexis Sanchez returning and new signing Alexandre Lacazette a real threat, there can be no doubting that they will cause Liverpool problems.
TEAM NEWS & POTENTIAL STARTING XI:
Philippe Coutinho is still unavailable due to ‘injury’, as rumours about his future show no sign of going away completely just yet. Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana are also unavailable, as has been the case in every game so far season, with the latter expected to be out until November.
Potential Starting XI : Mignolet; Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Can; Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Arsenal welcome back talisman Alexis Sanchez, who would hopefully start his first game season with lingering doubts over his future.
Arsenal also welcome back Laurent Koscielny, who finally served the last of his three match been and shall fit in a defence that has looked feeble in his absence.
After a long time, Wenger has a largely fit squad to choose from, with Cazorla the only long-term absentee.
Potential Starting XI : Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Bellerin; Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE TWO TEAMS:
The front three of Liverpool – Mane, Salah, Firmino, look in great shape off the back of 6-3 win in the Champions League qualifiers and would look to carry on that momentum into this game.
Mane and Firmino love playing against the Gunners, with Mane getting 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games against Arsenal while Firmino has 3 goals in his last two games against them.
Arsenal are still getting over the disappointing 1-0 loss at Stoke last week, although the return of Sanchez makes Arsenal’s forward three of Sanchez, Ozil, Lacazette look as formidable as any other team in the world.
Koscielny’s return to the defence is hugely welcome, adding some much needed steel to a defence that has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent weeks.