Arsenal entertain Liverpool in Friday’s Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have been dominated by their Merseyside counterparts over the past couple of seasons, and their double failure last season cost them a Champions League spot as they finished a point adrift of Jurgen Klopp’s side, who secured the fourth position in the standings.
What happened last time around?
The teams previously faced each other at Anfield earlier in August, where the Reds were utterly dominant. The Gunners’ defence struggled to cope with the attacking threat of the Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, and the latter starred for the hosts with a brace in a 4-0 victory. The game could have quite easily involved more goals, but Petr Cech saved the Gunners’ blushes with a series of impressive saves including one from point-blank range versus Salah.
Players to watch out for:
Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal: The France international was probably hard done by last time around as he started from the bench. The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck struggled to make inroads into the Reds’ backline, and Wenger had received plenty of stick for the decision. The Frenchman has since become more of a regular for the big games, having contributed with either a goal or assist versus the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Lacazette has shone with his link-up play with Ozil and Sanchez of late, and he will be tasked with making the most of his chances versus the Reds, who tend to possess a leaky backline on the road. Lacazette has netted eight goals in the top-flight this term.
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool: Salah has been consistent with his goalscoring this campaign, and he is currently the leading scorer in the division with 14 goals. The Egypt international has made excellent progress since his last Premier League stint with Chelsea, and his movement from the right side of the attack has caused problems to opposition defenders. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is likely to be tasked with stopping Salah by Wenger but we can nevertheless expect the 25-year-old to have an attempt or two on goal, irrespective of the result. The form of Salah has kept Sadio Mane on the bench in recent outings, but Klopp could reshuffle his options to feature the duo from the off.
Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool
Image – Getty