Keeper vs. attack and the 6 failures that leave Arsenal fans “fearing” Liverpool

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Liverpool are preparing to visit Arsenal on Wednesday night, but are Gunners supporters confident of inflicting a rare defeat on the Reds?

It was a frustrating weekend for Jurgen Klopp‘s champions, with Burnley managing to battle their way to a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

Liverpool’s hopes of winning every home Premier League game this season went up in smoke in the process and a response is needed in midweek.

Arsenal host the Reds looking to bounce back from Sunday’s north London derby loss to Tottenham, as Mikel Arteta continues to adjust to life as manager.

Ahead of the match, we spoke to Emirates regular Faisal Khan (@fkhanage) to get his opinion on both sides’ seasons and how Wednesday’s clash could unfold.

 

How would you assess Arsenal’s season overall?

Arsenal defender David Luiz was sent off on a miserable night for Arsenal (Laurence Griffiths/NMC/PA)

Bearing in mind that I am writing this immediately after our defeat at Tottenham, my wounds are raw.

Our season overall? Abysmal. It’s our worst Premier League campaign in more than 20 years. It’s painful.

We will be lucky to finish in the top half of the league come the end of this season and it will be a campaign I will be glad to see the back of.

We do have Man City to look forward to at Wembley, though. Gulp.

 

Is Arteta the man to bring the good days back?

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 2, 2020: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta pictured before the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Arsenal FC at Turf Moor. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I think so and I hope so.

The biggest mistake the club made, over and above appointing Unai Emery, was not sacking him sooner. We waited until after the November international break and this has cost us dearly.

In Mikel Arteta, we have the model professional. He is intelligent, calm, charming and handsome. Being an ex-player gives him a lot of kudos and time from the Arsenal faithful.

Many have been critical of his lack of experience, but we are such a shambles at the moment we may as well see how this goes.

He needs time, money and loyal players. Our play has vastly improved, which fills me with great optimism for the future.

I completely trust the process.

 

Is a title push completely out of the question next year?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 24, 2019: Arsenal's Joe Willock (L) Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal? Title? As in a Premier League title? What are they smoking over there at Anfield?

No. We’re miles behind. We have so much deadwood to shift and we are in desperate need of four or five proven players.

Liverpool and Man City are on another planet. Chelsea will spend big and Man United are just simmering.

It’s a long road back.

 

Who have been Arsenal’s best and worst performers this season?

London, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 23, 2018: Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Everton FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, obviously. I dread to think where we would be without his goals.

Bernd Leno has been outstanding between the sticks, and whilst the injury at Brighton has been dreadful for him, Emiliano Martinez, our No. 2, has shown that he is a perfectly adequate replacement.

I absolutely love Kieran Tierney, though. What a lad. If he can demonstrate his fitness in the coming few months, he is surely a contender to be captain in the future.

It’s so tempting to just list out the names of our worst players—it’s hard to decide an order.

By position, Hector Bellerin has blown hot and cold, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz and Sead Kolasinac are trash with such low concentration levels and general football ability.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 24, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) and Arsenal's Mattéo Guendouzi during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Matteo Guendouzi, whilst talented, is a Big-time Charlie and I think Arsenal are looking to offload him this summer.

As for Mesut Ozil, has anyone seen him?

I was hoping for a bigger impact from Nicolas Pepe as a £72 million signing, but he has struggled at times.

Man, my wounds. Why did I volunteer for this?

 

Where does this Liverpool side rank among the best you’ve seen?

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 8, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (C) celebrates with the opening goal scorer Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the AMEX Stadium. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool have had an incredible 18 to 24 months. Phenomenal, really.

They are certainly up there as one of the greatest set of champions, but I’m not sure they pip Man United’s treble-winners or our Invincibles, though.

How sad that one of our highlights of the season was celebrating Watford’s win over you.

 

Looking ahead to Wednesday, who do you fear most for the Reds?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 5, 2020: Liverpool’s Sadio Mané (C) celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mates Mohamed Salah (L) and Roberto Firmino (R) during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With a back three of Mustafi, Luiz and Kolasinac, I fear your front three.

I am desperately hoping that Jurgen Klopp feels sorry for us and rotates heavily, but I think he wants maximum points.

I would say your best player has been Fabinho. If you revisit my season prediction for you, I tipped him as the one who would be your main man this year. What a fabulous signing. I wish we had him.

And Jordan Henderson, what a lad. I never thought he had it in him. He is not the best footballer, but what a leader of men.

I’m even tempted to rank him as a better captain than Steven Gerrard.

 

Where do you see the key battles taking place?

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, June 20, 2020: Arsenal's goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Arsenal FC at the AMEX Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadly, the only battles will be your forwards against Martinez. How long we can keep you out for will be telling. It could get nasty.

I would like to see how Trent Alexander-Arnold does against Tierney, but otherwise, slim pickings.

 

Finally, hit us with your prediction…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 30, 2019: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) celebrates scoring the third goal during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Yikes. My heart says win but that’s insane. I will say 2-2 at best, but my head says 3-1 to Liverpool.

🏆  A collector’s item for every fan – the official LFC matchday programme for the day the Reds lift the title is available to pre-order now.

 
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