ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL – Match Preview
Match week 11 is upon us and while the City game was billed to be a test of Liverpool’s title contention ambitions, this is one game that never fails to excite every season; loads of goals and drama, that’s for certain. The games at Anfield in 2013/14 season and the Emirates last season certainly come to mind.
For a rejuvenated Arsenal, this is touted to be their litmus test; with regards to their league ambitions and where they are expected to finish, come game 38 (especially in view of the fact that they have already lost to Chelsea and Manchester City this season).
Liverpool will be looking to consolidate on their best start to a Premier League season with a win against The Gunners on Saturday. The reds are unbeaten after 10 games in the premier league and having had all week to prepare for this encounter, are expected to be firing on all cylinders, coming from the wins against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League and Cardiff City.
Liverpool have scored 17 times in their last 5 league games against Arsenal, scoring at least 3 times in each of those encounters.
If the Reds score 3 or more on Saturday, it will be the first time in their history they have done so in six consecutive top-flight games against a particular opponent – and the first time it has happened to Arsenal (against any side).
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is unbeaten in all five of his Premier League games against Arsenal – only Jose Mourinho (12), Gerry Francis (8) and Alex Ferguson (6) have waited longer for their first defeat against them in the competition.
Arsenal are winless in six Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D3, L3), their longest such run against them since a 12-game sequence from 1994 to 2000.
The only previous managerial meeting between Emery and Klopp was the 2016 Europa League final, in which Emery’s Sevilla beat Liverpool 3-1.
The Gunners have won 11 of their last 13 home league games, with the other two matches defeats by Manchester City (3-0 in March and 2-0 in August).
They have won just three of their last 27 Premier League games against the other ‘big six’ sides (D9, L15), losing the last five encounters.
Three-quarters of Arsenal’s league goals this term have come in the second half (18 of 24).
The Gunners are one of four teams who have yet to lead a Premier League game at half-time this season. Under Unai Emery they have been behind twice after 45 minutes and level eight times.
Arsenal boast the highest shot conversion rate in the top flight this season, scoring 24.5% of their shots (excluding blocks).
They have already scored five Premier League goals from outside the area under Emery – just one short of their final total for the 2017-18 campaign.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been directly involved in 22 goals in his 23 Premier League appearances with Arsenal, scoring 17 and assisting five.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 league games, conceding just four goals in this run.
Their tally of 26 points from their opening 10 matches equals their highest total at this stage of a Premier League season. Victory on Saturday would make this their very best start in the division.
Roberto Firmino has scored and assisted in each of his last three games against Arsenal – no player has ever done this in four consecutive Premier League matches against a particular opponent. Opportunity for another record, if he gets on the score sheet.
Mohamed Salah has scored in all three of his Premier League games against Arsenal (one for Chelsea, two for Liverpool). Only Charlie Austin has a better 100% strike rate against the Gunners in the competition (four games in total).
It should be an interesting game because of the way both teams set up to play. I would like to see what formation Jurgen will go with: seeing as we are not as predictable as we used to be. I tip the Reds to win it: however, both teams are likely to be on the score sheet.