The Three Key Battles that could decide Liverpool v Arsenal

Liverpool vs. Arsenal: Three (3) Key Battle to Envisage Ahead of the Anfield Showdown by Obiweluozo Martins

As Arsenal travel to Anfield they would be banking of the confidence they have gotten from the two wins they recorded against Newcastle (0-1) and Burnley (2-1) in the first two Premier League games, while the Reds could even be more confident for many reasons as well. One, they are with two wins (like Arsenal) after smashing Norwich City 4-1 and winning 1-2 at Southampton without first choice goalie Allison Becker. Add to this their Super Cup triumph against Chelsea coupled with the home advantage they will enjoy at Anfield.

As we anticipate the cracker, we evaluate the three key battles in that could decide the game.

Virgil Van Dijk v Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

This is arguably one of the best contests ahead of the fixture as both players seem to stand above the rest in the fixtures. The defender has been a big hit for Liverpool scoring goals and defending to perfection for the Reds. Jurgen Klopp must be pleased with his performances in the Red shirt as he comes face to face with arguably the best striker in the EPL despite the overall exploits of Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Sadio Mane,
(Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) and Mohamed Salah to name but a few. That’s how good he is but his technicality going forward will be tested by Van Dijk defensive resilience as we approach the all
important fixture at Anfield.

Roberto Firmino vs. David Luiz

This contest between these players promises to be a prominent one as both sides comes face-to-face with each other like they do in training in the National team. The two Brazilian would make the Liverpool vs. Arsenal encounter a purposeful finale to watch as Roberto Firmino registered a vital goal to seal the win against the Saints last week. It was a goal of immense quality as he gets set to outwit the intelligence of our ball playing David Luiz in the Arsenal defence.

The defender would be tested as well by positive runs from the Liverpool forward even as he (Luiz) gets into the Arsenal groove following his move from Chelsea to the Emirates Stadium.

Jordan Henderson vs. Granit Xhaka

Here we would see a lot of experience and guile in midfield as both players have largely contributed to the good of their teams in recent years. Xhaka’s intelligence on the ball will be chiseled out by Henderson’s
ruthlessness at the base of the midfield. Henderson’s eye for goals and the killer pass can be checkmated by
Granit Xhaka’s ability to read the game as the Swiss International breaks-up the play alongside youngster Matteo Guendouzi in the deep midfield position. Henderson must keep it cool in midfield while marshalling the middle
to perfection in Naby Keita’s absence as Xhaka would surely pose a threat to Liverpool’s ambition in the technical area of the pitch.

Which do you think are the key battles?

O. Martins


  1. lol says:

    Lots of comments about how our front three can match theirs and how our midfield is better, etc.

    The quality of players are important, but more so the system in the case of Pool. The main reason they beat the biggest teams in Europe, despite having inferior players, is in the way they play, especially immediately after losing the ball in their opponent’s half.

    Frankly, I’m less concerned about the scoreline than how we play in this game.

    Some questions that I hope this game will answer:

    – Can we find a way to keep possession against gegenpressing? If we can’t, how should we face other teams that employ it, like Spuds and City?

    – Do we have our own system of denying them space and forcing them into errors when they have the ball? If not, can we cope with letting them have a go at us, then stopping them in our final third?

    – How will PAL combine in attack? Can Auba perform well enough as a winger this season against a top team or should we play him as striker and keep Laca on the bench?

  2. gotanidea says:

    Dear Obafemi Martins

    I’d prefer Pepe to face Van Dijk, instead of Aubameyang, whereas Luiz knows Firmino very well

    And instead of Xhaka, Ceballos-Willock-Guendouzi should be able to make Henderson-Wijnaldum-Fabinho frustated

  3. Viju Jacob says:

    Martins, Xhaka on the pitch is faulty selection at best for this game, instead it’s better to have one of Torreira/Guendozi/Willock playing along side Ceballos, should the gaffer decides to have Ozil playing behind the front three. If Ozil isn’t selected Ceba plays there and he can be backed yo by Torreira and Guendozi/Willock.
    Xhaka will not be a good selection for this game.
    On another note, Monreal will play out of his skin this game, as his farewell gift to us. I live in hope!!

  4. kev says:

    I was feeling you until you brought Xhaka up and I just decided to skip everything else.How can we even think of playing Xhaka since he makes mistakes when pressed and Liverpool are good at pressing?I hope Emery realizes this and doesn’t play him because he’s even worse in these kind of matches.
    Torreira,Willock and Ceballos shpuld be the way to go.Torreira is our only true DM and we have no choice but to include him in a match like this

    1. Ddog says:

      He had a great game against Liverpool last season at the Emirates and helped win the midfield battle for us. I think fielding 3 very inexperienced midfielders is potentially more risky than fielding xhaka. If he’s on form he could do a job here

  5. Diogenes says:

    As I said in an earlier comment:

    – AMN vs Mane – their currently best attacker vs our worst defender
    – Auba vs his marker Alexander Arnold
    – Monreal/Kolasinac vs Salah

  6. Sammy G says:

    I think Arsenal need Ceballos at his aggressive best. Marshalling the midfield for Arsenal. I also think he should play the full 90, with Özil coming on during the dying minutes to bring more creativity to a very tired midfield.

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