Support our independent LFC content & go advert-free.
Support our independent Liverpool FC content and go advert-free with This Is Anfield Premium.

10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Liverpool take on Arsenal in a huge Premier League clash on Saturday evening, with the Reds looking to bounce back after two poor results.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men have slipped up against both Brighton and West Ham in recent weeks, denting their title prospects in the process.

On Saturday, an ever-improving Arsenal side make the trip to Anfield knowing victory would see them leapfrog the Reds into the top four.

Here are 10 things to know ahead of the match.

 

1. Arsenal coming good

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

Arsenal made a slow start to the season, being humbled against both Chelsea and Man City, but all of a sudden, they have clicked.

Key men have returned, and with Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Gabriel all in good form, Mikel Arteta has solid foundations to build on.

In Emile Smith Rowe and Bakary Saka, the Gunners have two of the best young players in the country, while Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remain important figures.

Three league wins in a row have seen Arsenal jump to fifth place and they will be a threat on Saturday.

 

2. Arteta showing value of patience?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, July 14, 2020: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta (R) and Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp chat before the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates 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 David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Most managers in the modern game don’t get much time to prove themselves, with their jobs never too far away from being given to someone else.

Arteta has teetered on the brink at Arsenal a few times, but there is now a feeling that he is making his mark.

His Gunners side are the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League this season, and with each passing week, the more convincing the Spaniard looks.

That being said, this weekend will be a huge indicator of how far Arteta has taken his team, with a heavy defeat against Liverpool raising question marks again.

 

3. Liverpool’s injury list

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 30, 2021: Liverpool's Naby Keita goes down injured during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s injury woes are showing no great signs of easing, even though not all the recent news has been negative.

Andy Robertson could miss out after tweaking his hamstring on international duty with Scotland, while Jordan Henderson is also a doubt. Klopp says both will be “late, late decisions.”

The duo were due to be in team training for the first time on Friday afternoon.

Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, James Milner and Harvey Elliott are all unavailable, limiting the Reds’ midfield options, and Joe Gomez and Roberto Firmino won’t be back until next month.

Thiago is back and Sadio Mane has brushed off a rib injury, though, which is a boost.

 

4. Potential Reds XI

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (#10) celebrates with team-mates Mohamed Salah (L), Diogo Jota (C) and Kostas Tsimikas (R) after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much of Saturday’s team looks set to pick itself, but there are still a few selection questions- most depending on the fitness of Robertson and Henderson.

Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk are certainties to start, while Joel Matip and Kostas Tsimikas are also favourites to play.

In midfield, Fabinho and Thiago are shoo-ins, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looks the most likely to join them against his former club, unless Henderson is fit.

With Firmino out, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Mane will make up the front-line.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Mane, Jota.

 

5. How could Gunners line-up?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Arsenal's Thomas Partey (R) and Liverpool's Sadio Mané (L) during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal don’t have many injury concerns going into the game, although Thomas Partey and Aubameyang are doubts.

As mentioned, Ramsdale, White and Gabriel have forged a strong understanding at the back, and they are likely to be flanked by full-back pair Takehiro Tomiyasu and Nuno Tavares.

Smith Rowe, Saka and Lacazette all look certainties to play, while Sambi Lokonga and Martin Odegaard may feature in the middle of the park.

Potential Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tavares; Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe; Saka, Aubameyang, Lacazette.

 

6. Arsenal’s woeful Anfield record

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 4, 2017: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores the first goal against Arsenal during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal haven’t won away to Liverpool in the league since way back in September 2012, when goals from Lukasz Podolski and Santi Cazorla inspired the north Londoners to victory.

Since then, the Reds have won six and drawn two of the eight league meetings there, with two 5-1 victories thrown in, including the unforgettable 2013/14 triumph.

Last season, Jota scored on his home debut for Liverpool, helping Klopp’s men secure a 3-1 win.

Arsenal did win on penalties at Anfield in the League Cup last term, but that’s the most they’ve had to shout about there in almost a decade.

 

7. Has Klopp hinted at extension?

Speaking in Friday’s press conference, Klopp was quizzed about his long-term future at Liverpool, remaining coy but seemingly not ruling out staying beyond 2024:

“I don’t have to think about these kinds of things in the moment, thank god, because we are in the middle of this season and that’s all we are focused on.

“No other manager gets asked that often about things that will happen in two-and-a-half years, or three years or four years – at least I don’t know.

“I didn’t think about it until you asked me now, I don’t want to think about it now.

“It’s all fine how it is. It’s over when it’s over, but it’s far away from being over. So let’s focus on that.”

Stay forever, Jurgen!

 

8. Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 24, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Arsenal is one of the most entertaining fixtures in the country, with goals rarely at a premium.

In fact, there have been 38 goals in the last eight Anfield league meetings, at a remarkable average of 4.75 per match.

That’s not forgetting the incredible 5-5 draw in the League Cup in 2019/20, too, as the two sides served up another classic.

With Liverpool not looking too secure defensively but as good as ever going forward, this one surely isn’t going to end goalless.

If it does, you know who to blame…

 

9. Oliver takes charge

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson speaks to referee Michael Oliver after the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

Michael Oliver is considered the best referee in the Premier League by many and he is in charge of Saturday’s game.

Although the 36-year-old is generally better than most, let’s not forget that he failed to send off Jordan Pickford after he ruptured Van Dijk’s cruciate ligament last season.

Not only that, but Oliver also refereed the 4-1 defeat at home to Man City back in February, so Liverpool fans have reason to be feeling a little pessimistic about his appointment.

This is the first Reds game he has officiated this season.

 

10. Sky’s Saturday offering

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 19, 2020: Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher (R) and former Manchester United player Gary Neville (L) working for Sky Sports before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Saturday’s match is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football from 5pm (GMT), with kickoff at 5.30pm.

If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, our matchday live blog will be running from 4.45pm, with Joanna Durkan in charge throughout the evening.

Expect plenty of intriguing pre-match content and regular updates during the game.

Get the historic souvenir Liverpool vs. Real Madrid Champions League Final 2022 matchday programme, with worldwide delivery.

Fan Comments