Liverpool vs Arsenal fixture will always be a clash to look forward to, this fixture had over the years produced goals feast and hat-trick heroes more than any other fixtures could, from the historical Robbie Fowler 5-minute hat-trick in a 3-0 Liverpool win in 1994/95 season to a lanky Peter Crouch’s hat-trick in another 4-1 Liverpool win in the 2006/07 season. Arsenal also had hat-trick heroes in this fixture, they had the better of Liverpool in 2003/04 season when French striker Thierry Henry dazzled with his hat-trick goals in a 4-2 win. Then came the entertaining 4-4 draw in the 2008/09 season when the diminutive Arsenal striker Andrey Arshavin put 4 goals past Liverpool goalie. Last season’s tie saw Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino registered his hat-trick against Arsenal in a 5-1 win, amongst other memorable hat-tricks, perhaps another hat-trick might be on the card come Saturday.
It’s matchday 3 in the new season, and the 2 teams with the 100% winning start lock horns in Saturday’s late game. Arsenal travels to Anfield to take on a familiar foe Liverpool in what promises to be another entertaining encounter.
Two(2) wins in 2 matches, 6 goals scored and 2 conceded, Liverpool is on the right track to challenge Manchester City for the EPL title. They will, however, need their stand-in goalkeeper Adrien not to make a silly mistake such as he made against Southampton last weekend. Henderson might come back into the midfield alongside Wajnaldum and probably Fabinho, the frontline will definitely be unchanged from last weekend win in a 4-3-3 formation.
Two(2) wins in 2 matches, 3 goals scored and 1 conceded, Arsenal couldn’t have asked for a better start to a season, they have not had such start to a season in years, is it an omen of the better season ahead or otherwise? A slightly different team might be on the card from Unai Emery with Pepe likely to replace Reiss Nelson and Xhaka coming in for Joe Wilnock in a likely 4-2-3-1 formation.
Liverpool incredibly dominates this fixture, having the better of Arsenal in the last 8 meetings(W4, D4, L0), in fact, Liverpool’s last league defeat to Arsenal was some 4 seasons ago(2014/15) when the Brendan Rodgers tutored side lost 1-4 to the Gunners at the Emirate Stadium. Power had shifted since that league defeat, as Liverpool had made 4 further trips to the Emirate with 3 draws and a win. Arsenal, on the other hand, had fared poorly on her recent trips to the Anfield with just 1 draw and 3 losses, losing with a 2 or more goal margin(1-5, 0-4 & 1-3 respectively ).
Liverpool restored her favourite lethal front 3(Salah, Mane & Firmino) in the league win over Southampton, having started the previous game against Norwich City without Sadio Mane, and the threat these 3 players offer at opposition half is relentless and ruthless. However, Liverpool is not all about attack, the Van Dijk led defence has matched the success of the attack, with the flying full-backs of Trent Alex-Arnold and Andrew Robertson offering immensely in the attack. They will no doubt miss the brilliance of their number 1 safe hands Alisson Becker who is still out injured.
Arsenal surprised everyone with the addition of few new players in the last transfer window, one player has caught the eyes of many, loan signing, Ceballos, the Spaniard has proven to be a quality addition so far and would be vital for Arsenal’s season quest. There might be a 1st start for Arsenal record signing Nicholas Pepe, the Ivorians might join the usual suspect of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre Aubameyang in a likewise exciting front 3. Arsenal weak link has always been the defence for years, and it is unclear whether the signing of David Luiz will offer any improvement to the defence, with Salah-Firmino-Mane prowling, it might be a long evening for Luiz led defence.
The stats surely favours Liverpool, having scored a staggering 12 goal against the Gunners in the last 3 visits, however, stats are often time thrown out of the window in such fierce fixture. A draw will be a welcome result for Arsenal.
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal
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