Arsenal vs Liverpool Pre-Match
Both teams have had a great start to the season but also have been handed a kind fixture list until now. Time for Arsenal to show the competition why we belong at the top of the table. A resurgent Liverpool? I don’t think so: time to shut them down at the Emirates on Saturday.
Let’s get in to it shall we:
Missing in Action:
Arsenal: Podolski (Hamstring) – back in training, Ox (Knee), Diaby (Knee), Sanogo (back), and Walcott (abdominal). Not too sure what’s going on with Flamini (groin). There have not been any noises coming from the medical department, is he unavailable? Are we just supposed to presume that he is? Or was he sent to a different medical centre to Diaby…one that actually heals injuries quickly?
Liverpool: Coutinho returns to the squad, left back Enrique Iglesias is in doubt for this one because of a knee injury.
Szczesny, BFG, Giroud, and Ozil should return to the starting line-up. Arteta returns following a one-match suspension and should line-up next to Ramsey if Flamini is injured. I’m not too sure if Santi is ready to go again. If he is then he should play out on the left, if not I’d give Wilsher/Rosicky a go. Gnabry should start on the right and could cause problems if Enrique doesn’t get up for this fixture.
Arsenal v Liverpool 2-2
A ripper from Walcott saw Arsenal come from 2 goals down to share the spoils against Liverpool. It was a rather dull encounter but after Henderson scored on the 60′ mark we shot to life and scored two goals in 3′. Both of their goals were a complete joke and as lucky as they come!!!
Allah Theo, Allah!!!
Liverpool v Arsenal 0-2
Two new signings bring two goals away at Anfield. Santi and Podolski started their Arsenal careers with a bang. Deserved the win after we controlled the midfield all game.
EPL Form Guide: Arsenal: : WWDWW Liverpool: WDWWL
We slipped up midweek against Chelsea but our EPL form has been solid, yet unspectacular. Time to kick in to gear again and stop a premiership contender in their tracks.
Although they lost points to Newcastle they’re on a good run of form. Suarez was blistering against West Brom in their last fixture, netting a hat trick. A win will see them jump above Arsenal on the table.
This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s the famous 4-2 victory against Liverpool during our ‘invincibles’ season. in the week preceding this game we had been beaten in the FA Cup semifinal by Manchester United and the Champions League quarterfinal by Chelsea. A patched-up Arsenal twice went behind to Sami Hyypia and Michael Owen goals, but stormed back, inspired by Thierry Henry, as he scored a hat trick to seal the win and preserve the unblemished record. Brilliant clip!!!
One to Watch:
Recent transfer target ‘El Pistolero’ Luis Suarez. His suspension has been served and boy has he hit the ground running! In no time at all he’s netted 6 times this season after just 4 games. I know I’m being greedy when I say this…but Jesus I’d love to see him in our team! Suarez really would slot in nicely up top with Giroud wouldn’t he? ‘El Pistolero’ means ‘the gunner’…he was a perfect fit. Oh well what could have been huh, let’s just hope he’s firing blanks this weekend.
This week’s one to watch has to be Ozil. Truly great players stand up in the big fixtures and I have no doubt Ozil will do just that. 2 goals and 3 assists make Ozil a very dangerous player for Liverpool to match up against. It’s also interesting to note that he’s currently got a 88% shooting accuracy and we’ve all seen just how long he needs to pick his target.
Giroud vs the Liverpool CB’s
Our midweek game showed just how important Ollie is to our side. He’s stepped up a gear this season and his self-belief is coming along in leaps and bounds. 7 goals 4 assists and an average of 5.1 aerial duels won per game makes Giroud a handful wherever the ball is. Who he’ll line up against is anyone’s guess. Skrtel, Sakho, Agger or Toure, or all four as has happened on one occasion this year. Whoever it is will have to keep close watch on Giroud.
This week’s finger goes to Foy for sending off Mikel Arteta’s. Fair enough a decision was needed in real time, but why not throw out the ridiculous one match suspension? Sort it out rules committee! How can a bunch of grown men on a football site be left scratching their heads after the game when asked what Arteta’s outcome would be?! Because the rules are a joke at times. That decision changed the game. Thankfully for us we still came out on top! Video replays people…we need them!!!!
‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week.
It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead. This week the answers were kindly provided by Paul Tomkins from tomkinstimes.com (@paul_tomkins). Let’s see what he’s written for us this week:
1. What do you think is the secret behind your success this season?
Credit has to go to Rodgers and the transfer committee, for the work they did, and to John Henry and co. for keeping Suarez, when I thought he’d played his last game for us. Who knows, another one pound fifty and we might have buckled?!
We’ve not had the toughest first nine games, with just United a big test so far, and they look uninspired this season. But Sturridge, and now Suarez as well, have been absolutely sensational. With Mignolet making the saves that Reina had stopped making, we have racked up points due to the keeper and the strikers. What’s in between hasn’t been as good as last season, with some of the possession game sacrificed, but the tactics are getting the best out of the front two, and they are clinical at the moment.
The next 10 games are very difficult on paper. So after game 19 – the halfway point – we should have a better idea. I don’t see us as challengers for the title but we are capable of the top four if the front two stay fit. Lose both of those to injury and there’s not a lot in the reserve. Our first XI is the strongest it’s been since 2009, and the average age is good, so we should have a brighter future. The fact that we’ve done well without Suarez in over half the games, and with Coutinho out, suggests we are getting better.
2. Suarez…is all forgiven?
I think so, although he was just doing to us what he did to Ajax to move to us in the first place. Some footballers are like that, and you accept it. He is not the loyal kind, but he is someone who works his nuts off in every match. I think he loves LFC, just like he loved Ajax, but he is also fiercely ambitious. My view is that we just enjoy him while we have him and then reinvest the fee wisely when he inevitably leaves. Hopefully he’ll move overseas, when that times comes, and for a lot more money than was on offer in the summer. And hopefully he won’t bite anyone in the meantime.
3. Are you happy with how your transfer window went?
I think so. Mignolet is doing extremely well, and Sahko looks a beast. Aspas had a great preseason and then looked hopeless when the season started, but it’s too early to write him off – although he’s the one disappointment so far. Cissokho looks like a sensible loan, and Luis Alberto has that Barcelona pedigree. Tiago Ilori has a very bright future, and Victor Moses is another astute loan, although after a bright start he’s looked a bit lost in his last couple of starts. Still, he’s clearly a good player.
And of course, there’s Kolo Toure. He’s really surprised me. I really rated him at Arsenal but assumed he was a fat-arsed has-been – but he’s not, and he’s impossible not to love. A great character, and still a very good footballer.
4. What position/ player is your weakest link?
We’ve had problems at left-back, and hopefully Cissokho will prove a solution. Enrique is a mix of brilliance and awfulness, and while he’s quite endearing, he can be too frustrating, so that’s the main area.
And some fans are moaning about Lucas again, but I remain a fan. He missed a lot of football, and it can take a long while to get back to the old levels. He reads the game so well, but once he’s beaten he’s beaten as he doesn’t have the recovery pace.
5. What position is Arsenal’s weak link?
It’s hard to say for sure, as I don’t see you play as often as I see Liverpool. I’m not overly impressed with Szczęsny, although he may be playing better now, and is still quite young for a keeper.
I don’t think you have the strongest centre-backs around, although I used to be a big Vermaelen fan – not sure what happened with him? But again, I may be wrong, as I only see the occasional game or highlights on TV, and Mertesacker and Koscielny may be much better than I realise. I do actually quite like Koscielny but he’s one of those who seems to make a few high-profile mistakes.
6. Which Arsenal player would you love to have in your team and why?
Probably Ozil, although we aren’t short of attacking quality. He’s not what we need, but then I thought he wasn’t what you needed either. Turns out that he’s so good he improved Arsenal all the same, even though you seem to have a few similar types. You’re a bit like us – better going forward than defending.
7. Ozil or Suarez?
I’d say Suarez, but then I would, wouldn’t I? As an individual he’s phenomenal, and now that the team seems better suited to his style he is looking obscenely good. But of course, he’ll probably want out in the summer. They’re both great players, and that’s not me being diplomatic.
8. What is your match prediction?
No idea! I’d expect a lot of good attacking play from both sides. The higher-scoring games have tended to happen at Anfield in more recent years – 6-3, 4-2, 4-4, but it could be one of those evenings!
I’ll admit it; I’m a touch worried about this fixture. Sturridge and Suarez have been on fire and have the speed to really trouble the BFG. Both teams love to attack so this one could turn into a good old fashioned shootout. We have to press them all over the pitch so they don’t have too much time on the ball! If we can do that and not get hit on the counter I think we’ll win this one 2-1.
What is your prediction?
Suarez or Ozil who would you prefer?
What position is our weakest link at the moment?
What tactic would you employ to beat Liverpool?
Written by: Oz Gunner