The new Premier League season kicks off next weekend (13th-14th August), with most clubs playing on the Saturday. However, two teams clashing on the Sunday are Liverpool and Arsenal.
With major changes and injuries to both sides, who will come away with the three points?
The Arsenal v Liverpool game kicks off at 4pm (UK), following Bournemouth v Manchester United earlier in the afternoon and previous clashes give us a pretty good idea that it’ll be a fast-paced match, usually full of goals.
Last time the two met at Anfield, the match ended 3-3 thanks to a last second Joe Allen screamer. However, the run-in before that was a sedate 0-0.
The 2014/15 season saw the Gunners thrash Liverpool 4-1 in north London, with a 2-2 draw away to the Merseyside club earlier in the term.
The year before that, Liverpool thumped Arsenal 5-1, getting their own back for the Gunner’s 2-1 victory early in the season.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal currently have their fair share on injury woes. Liverpool are without James Milner, Sheyi Ojo, Loris Karis, Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez and Lucas Leiva, while striker Daniel Sturridge is also a doubt.
The Gunners are without Per Mertesacker and Jack Wilshere, thanks to knee problems; centre-back Gabriel also seemed to have badly hurt his ankle during Arsenal’s pre-season friendly against Manchester City, which they won 3-2. Although Wilshere could be back in action for the Premier League clash, his history with time spent on the sidelines suggests that he probably won’t be. Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil are all still resting from their involvement in Euro 2016.
While Liverpool have the larger volume of players out, Arsenal’s are key players and although they’ve done well enough without them in pre-season, the Premier League is a different ballgame.
Liverpool have signed Loris Karius (injured), Ragnar Klavan, Sadio Mane and Joel Matip.
While Arsenal have brought in Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Takuma Asano.
Liverpool spent big on Mane from Southampton (£34m) and he’s been a big addition to the team so far, having scored against Barca, but on the other hand, Granit Xhaka has had a huge impact on the Arsenal squad.
Arsenal have won all their pre-season matches except for a 1-1 draw against Lens. They’ve beaten MLS All-Stars (2-1), Chivas (3-1), Viking FK (8-0) and Manchester City (3-2).
Liverpool have lost to Chelsea (1-0), but they have also beaten Milan (2-0), came away with a victory against Roma (2-1) and thumped Barcelona (4-0). Therefore, the Scousers have arguably had the tougher opponents and more or less proved themselves.
Jurgen Klopp has his club playing his brand of pressing, counter-attacking football, which has proven pretty effective in the past. However, will they be able to execute it at the Emirates, where results haven’t always gone their way?by