Let’s discuss Liverpool v Arsenal with a bit of perspective

The real tests are coming up by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people! We’re second in the league on goal difference to Liverpool, we’re also the only other team to win all our games from the start (with Liverpool) and we’re playing them in a top of the table clash next weekend! Now there’s a way to present facts in a totally out of context way!

Just two games of the season have passed, and the opposition we’ve played has been largely favourable for us. We’ve won all our league games against Burnley since they returned to the elite and we’ve won something like 10 out of 11 games vs Newcastle. Our last 2 visits to Anfield have seen us ship 9 goals. See how with a bit of perspective the next game appears much harder.

Even Unai Emery tried to banter about it by saying “we don’t want to play Liverpool ever”. But in every joke, there’s a bit of truth and here it’s the whole truth. We don’t want to play them. I’m not particularly excited about another potential drubbing, and it’s what I hope we avoid. When I look at the two teams there are some similarities though.

Both are super strong in attack and both’s weakness is the defence. Norwich and Southampton created a lot of chances against Liverpool and both games could’ve gone differently had they gone in. Chelsea too managed to find the net against Liverpool, so even though they’ve got Van Dijk, there are still problems there and the fact they are missing Alisson is another boost for us.

That said, our defence isn’t a bed of roses either. We’re still missing our main full backs and Luis and Sokratis could struggle with the pace of Mane, Firminho and Salah. I think we should try to be as solid as we can at the back and hope on our pace on the counter to hurt them. Going there trying to impose our game and playing out of the back could backfire, as we couldn’t really do it against the likes of Newcastle and Burnley.

What would be our starting 11? Do we trust Willock and Nelson again or do we go for the big guns with bringing in Pepe from the start? Playing the youngsters was exciting and did the job for the first two games, but it’s an entirely different beast we’re facing next. There’s a question about central midfield too.

Guendouzi was solid in his first two appearances, but with Ceballos impressing and Torreira returning I’m struggling to pick who starts. My guess is we might return to Xhaka and Torreira to solidify our back line and Ceballos in the number 10 spot. I don’t see Ozil starting such an important away game.

We’ll probably have Pepe on the bench once more, to have him as a weapon in the second half, when legs get tired. But ’til then we have to survive the pressure. If we keep it tight and don’t concede stupid goals, we can frustrate them and then hit on the break! Maybe I’m dreaming too much to hope for a point at least from the game, but avoiding a huge beatdown is an absolute must.

Hope the boys believe in themselves and are up for a fight, because the real tests start now.



  1. Cellabos can handle the #10 spot. I think he should start in that position. I wouldn’t trust Ozil, Mkhitatyan or Wilock in that position for such a tough match.

    I think Pepe should come on in the 2nd half also, so he will be fresh

  2. I think Pepe starts and that’s why he got the full second half on Saturday. Watching the games of both teams this is a straight shoot out, who is going to score more. I reckon we’ll see a ridiculous score line of 5-3…just hope it’s in our favour, but unlikely at Anfield ?

    1. I’m just worried Emery would choose the defensive 3-4-2-1, which never worked against Klopp at Anfield

      1. If Arsenal can hold on to draw in away games against top 3 teams then I bet Arsenal will be in top 4….

  3. Just wondering if Liverpool is also considering this match as their first stern test this season (EPL). I think they should as I expect Arsenal will aim to win the match

  4. Arsenal’s advantages:

    – Ceballos’ and Pepe’s playing styles are relatively unknown in EPL. They will be our main surprises

    – Most EPL managers already know Klopp’s scheme, which uses two inverted wingers that play narrow to score and two attacking wingbacks that bombard their oppositions with crosses

    – Both Allison and Mignolet are injured, so Klopp has to use a less experienced GK. Keita is injured as well

    – Arsenal are underdog, whereas Liverpool will have a heavy pressure to win the game

  5. I’d be surprised if it’s end to end. If we set up not to lose we will lose as we did badly last year. While I don’t expect anything less than playing from the back I don’t see why playing balls over the top and cutting their midfield out wouldn’t push them back. Our transition play away from home isnt always quick enough but why not use our front line pace mixing it up as it should create space. But if I knew what I was talking about I’d be managing arsenal

  6. I absolutely dread this fixture! All I think of is 4-0, 5-1… conceding 4 goals in the first 20 minutes.. 12 seconds after our corner, they score… urgh… I’m sick to the back teeth of being thrashed by this lot!
    Right now, I would settle for a draw… but obviously I want more ?
    I just hope we play well, even if we do come away with nowt, at least we’ll have tried! PAL have to start!!

  7. Gotanidea, Mignolet is not injured, he’s left Liverpool to sign for another club. That’s why they signed Adrian on a free.Adrian is a decent shot stopper but is very error prone.
    The major problem we face in a 4-4-2 is Mane coming up against the defensively inept Maitland Niles who would get bullied and dribbled past through out the match by the former. I see Emery going 3-5-2 to counteract this.
    The dilemma would be how to fit in Pepe without sacrificing one of Lacazette or Auba.

    1. Chill bro. Why call AMN inept? If anything, he should be commended for his versatility. How many of our star players can play out of position and still be at their optimal best? In my opinion, I think the young lad is doing his best given the circumstances. But what do I know? Spewing emotional tantrums seem to be the true definition of a supporter.

      1. I know we like to support our home grown kids/players but honestly I believe most us know AMN gets done far too easy on too many occasions – defending is not his strength!

        I like to believe he can improve but my gut says something different.

        Let shave your say fans!

  8. MY TAKE IS ARSENAL WILL BEAT OR DRAW LIVERPOOL. Am surprised many arsenal fans no longer believe in the team again.Remember, that the line up they defeated last season is not same again.

  9. It is false to say that say that BOTH TEAMS have weak defences. Liverpools defence is widely accepted as probably the very best in the Prem. It is based partly on good players but also on a fierce workrate by all in the team and a well coached system. The defences of both are the biggest contrast between both teams and not, as the article states, them both being weak . Ours is, theirs is clearly not.

    1. think that is right jon but saw some silly one on one comparisons on this site … but if he insists on playing xhaka in midfield then they have a more robust outfit and i dont see a way to beat them … klopp basically has a style that he sticks to emery still hasnt shown me what his is … playing out from the back is now routine in epl … and we arent comfortable doing it particularly when xhaka is in the team .. so a torreira cabellos pairing is essential possibly with guindhouzi if we want to be more defensive or ozil miki or willock (in that order for me) if more attack minded

    2. Jon I beg to differ. Their defence this season is not what it was last season. I am really disappointed that you are using last season as a yardstick for this season. Remember that Liverpool defence was breached twice by Chelsea in the Super cup. When you analyse the Chelsea strike force you would not classify it as one of the strongest in the EPL. Similarly Southampton breached their defence even though they lost. It is not fair to assume that the situation is static. There are a lot of dynamics which could tilt the game one way or the other. I am sure Jamie Carragher, being a former Liverpool defender himself, was very objective in his assessment. It is still early in the season but so far the Liverpool defence has yet to exhibit last year’s strength.

      1. David, This season has barely yet begun and yet you are are saying Liverpools defence is noticeably worse than last seasons. Excuse me my friend, I usually have much respect for your comments, but this time what you say makes no sense at all. How can it over just two Prem games? I disregard all pre-season and non Prem games as the Prem is what matters. In any case one poor defensive perf in the Super Cup can never erase a whole season of strong defensive security. One rainy day in a hot dry summer hardly makes it a wet summer. Not in my book anyway.

        1. Okay Jon. Let’s call for a truce and wait to see how the season pans out. Indeed it is my respect for you that had made me disappointed. But that is behind us now. Let’s move on.

    3. jon fox – i’m always drawn to your honest and sincere opinion in these threads and here (again) i’m in agreement with your analysis. we have not yet found the defensive solution(s) to cope with a marauding and well drilled premiership outfit like LFC – i think, contrary to what others have said about us adopting an out and out attack – we’d need to set about to spoil their flow and stifle their momentum much like CFC did to win their champions league. It was evident that for 70 minutes or thereabouts the players (esp drogba) caused the referee to stop and start the game (routinely). We will need to be crafty as hell if we are to survive our next test.

  10. To get a result up there we need all the planets to be aligned, but we know that will not happen as Uranus will be out of sync !

  11. Defensive mindset against Liverpool is like giving a walkover. The only way to play against them is by taking them on, like Chelsea & Southampton did. There should be a creative pivot that should play behind the trio of Auba, Laca & Pepe and I believe it should be Ozil, backed up by Ceballos and Torreira/Guendozi
    The back four should be the same as last game.
    Going for the kill is what will win us the game.

  12. Tips for a win:
    1- 433 formation
    2-start luiz (a must)
    3-disregard playing from d back
    4-disregard using a high line
    5-dont respect Liverpool
    6-start torreira
    7-play it compact in d middle
    8-target Robertson and Arnold and be expansive on d flanks
    9-unleash PAL (must)
    10-play lacazette a false9
    11-look for fouls close to the box bcoz Dani & Luis are freekick specialists
    12-be positive

    1. @Austin 3:16
      Have you ever in your life been to anfield – because had you done so you would have thought far more seriously about offering us suggestion No5. It’s senseless.

  13. ..what’s encouraging is both sides like to play football, however the truth is that we need to bring our A-game if we’re to come away from anfield with any thing at all. The worry being we’re not really aware (yet) what our A-game is. By that I suggest that the arsenal is very much a work in progress – whilst the reds are proven to be one of the best sides in europe (facts).

    Anyone who has ever been up to Anfield will know its a tough place to come away with so much as a point – that is what we need to achieve a point and we’ll have done well. I know its a bitter pill to swallow but the reality is currently two teams (at least) are proven better than us as far as continuity goes and they are both based either side of the M62 (motorway). And it pains me to admit it but they are not European and Super Cup champions for nothing, right?

    1. Liverpool’s home form
      2018/19 -17 Wins 2 Draws 0 Lost
      2017/18 -12 Wins -7 Draws, 0 Lost

      Can Liverpool lose to Arsenal at home??
      It’s not going to be a walk in the park at Anfield.

    1. i appreciate ..that your outlook borders more on reckless advice. It will become more evident that that is the case when we evaluate what’s about to unfold after our next test away from home. Dream on my friend.

  14. @Waal2waal
    I still stand my ground @ no5 Messi n company respected and feared d anfield atmosphere and got reeped to shreds now that’s Barça who r in theory a better side than arsenal. All am saying is arsenal shouldn’t get intimidated or else should forget about being competitive. Or maybe you’ll rather support a team without cojones…

    1. If we had George Graham in charge and that defense on our memorible night at Anfield……. Thomas right at the end! Then maybe, but let’s be frank if we can get to 30 mins still on level terms we will be happy. We need a solid performance, win, lose or draw and not a spanking that more recent seasons have occurred with the small matter of the North London Derby the following week. Best wishes Paul

  15. Why fans look at this liverfool team as a big colossus team that cannot be beaten, they were lucky to come away with a win from southampton and norwich match, what they have done in the past is history the present is more important, the ball is round, we (Arsenal) have strengthened and not the same team as last year and certainly not going to anfield to be beaten, i think the boys are pump up for this game and will come away proud of themselves. I am expecting a least a draw or a possible upset because liverfool is still good team

  16. Let us try to find a balance between the views of the optimists and the pessimists. What comes out is the fact that whereas in the recent past Liverpool has been the better team, Arsenal has strengthened and will in all likelihood give Liverpool a good game. I recall that game in 2008 when Andrei Arshavin scored four goals to bring Arsenal level with Liverpool at Anfield. I also recall another game when Steve Gerrard lost the ball to Fabregas and we beat them at Anfield. Like I quoted former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman sometime back, “Anything can happen in the ring” and this time on the pitch. Let’s brace ourselves for a real entertaining game

  17. I always dread going to Anfield, but this is football. I’m absolutely against parking the bus at Anfield, knowing how our defense crumbles under pressure. We have an attack that can match Liverpool & a better midfield than last season. The only way to come out with a point is to work harder, press harder & disrupt their play. We can’t allow them to impose their game at Anfield because they will find a way to score. As we all know, Liverpool vs Arsenal never ends with a nil-nil. Brace yourselves guys, this will be one heck of a match.

  18. 4-3-3

  19. Can’t see us not losing, unfortunately. Many are still learning the ropes, our defense isn’t all that good and against a team as fierce as Liverpool, they’ll ship in goals, no doubt. I’m pretty sure the scousers won’t get their first clean sheet in the season in this tie and I’m pretty sure that, for once, we won’t be humiliated. And that’s more than one can ask for.

  20. If we were having Brendan Rodgers as coach, this would have been a sure win.

    This manager, just like the fans have already lost the game even before it’s played.

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