Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Sunday, August 27, 2017 — 4pm (BST)
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.
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.
On paper, you would say the Reds should have a little bit too much for their under-fire opponents, but this will be an end-to-end contest full of unpredictability.
A win would be a huge, in terms of keeping momentum going into the international break.
Last Meeting: Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
Philippe Coutinho is still unavailable due to ‘injury’, as rumours about his future show no sign of going away completely just yet.
The Liverpool manager may make changes after his side’s efforts against Hoffenheim, but he could also feel he can get one more big performance from his key players before they head off and represent their countries.
Andrew Robertson has a chance of replacing Alberto Moreno at left-back, despite a good performance from the Spaniard in midweek, and James Milner could push for a start in midfield, in place of Georginio Wijnaldum.
As mentioned, Sanchez is back for Arsenal after injury, which is a big boost for the visitors, and Laurent Koscielny has completed a suspension.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Arsenal – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 1-0 vs. Stoke
Won 4-3 vs. Leicester
Drew 1-1 vs. Chelsea (won 4-1 on penalties)
Lost 2-1 vs. Sevilla
Won 5-2 vs. Benfica
In his pre-Arsenal press conference, Klopp discussed the return of Alexis Sanchez, stressing the Reds cannot just focus on the Chilean:
“If you are too much concentrated on [Sanchez], then 100 percent Mesut Ozil will show up.
“Giroud, Lacazette, Walcott, Welbeck [too], then Ramsey shoots from 25 yards, or Xhaka shoots from 40 yards.
“We have the tactical tools to make it more difficult. When we have the ball, we need to know where to play—that’s what preparation is about.”
TV & Live Blog Info
The match is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 3.30pm (BST), with proceedings at Anfield getting underway at 4pm.
Our matchday live blog will be up and running from 3.15pm, with loads of pre-match content and minute-by-minute updates during the game. Henry Jackson is in charge of keeping you entertained.