Can the in-form Gunners end Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the league season?
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has a number of selection issues for the game against Liverpool
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
- When: Saturday 3 November
- Where: Emirates Stadium, London
- Kick-off: 5.30pm (UK time)
- TV channel: live on BT Sport 1
Paul Merson believes Arsenal’s “terrible defence” doesn’t stand a chance against the attacking threat posed by Liverpool in Saturday’s Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Fourth-placed Arsenal go into the game looking to extend an eight-match unbeaten run in the league.
But they go up against a Liverpool side that is yet to be beaten in the Premier League this season and is second in the table, level on 26 points with leaders Manchester City after ten games.
Merson, who played for the Gunners from 1985 to 1997, predicts in his Sky Sports column that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will triumph 3-1 against Unai Emery’s side in north London.
“I can’t see anything but a Liverpool win,” said Sky pundit Merson. “I think this is the day Arsenal show some big cracks. I just think the defence is terrible, all over the place, and no different to what it was before.
“If Hector Bellerin is injured, you’re talking about Granit Xhaka at left-back, a central midfield player, and Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back, who has been a good player but is nearly 35 now. How many 35-year-olds are there in the Premier League?
“We saw Leicester rip Arsenal to shreds for 30 minutes; they scored, Harry Maguire missed a sitter, they had a stonewall penalty turned down. Leicester’s front three aren’t even in the same class as Liverpool’s.
“I just cannot see how Arsenal will live with them. People will say: ‘Oh Arsenal will score goals…’ but Liverpool’s defence has been superb. I watched Arsenal win 11 games on the trot, and they could have easily lost four of them, let alone drawn them.”
Team news and starting XIs
Arsenal team news
Gunners boss Emery has a number of selection worries for the clash against Liverpool. The Daily Express calls it an “injury crisis” with five defenders doubtful and issues in midfield too.
After missing the League Cup win against Blackpool, Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin could also sit out Saturday’s game with a thigh issue.
On the other side of the defence, Football.London reports that Arsenal are “sweating on the fitness” of left-backs Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac.
The Express says that Stephan Lichtsteiner could play at right-back and midfielder Granit Xhaka is “set to be drafted in as an emergency left-back”.
If Xhaka does start in defence then the Arsenal midfield could also be short with Matteo Guendouzi suspended after his red card against Blackpool in midweek.
Liverpool team news
The Liverpool Echo reports that midfielders Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are both set to miss the Emirates game.
With captain Henderson and Keita yet to return to full training, summer signing Fabinho is expected to start in a midfield three alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner.
Star strikers Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will start up front for the Anfield side.
Possible starting XIs
- Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno; Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Xhaka; Torreira, Ramsey; Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette
- Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Premier League fixtures and TV guide
Saturday 3 November (3pm unless stated)
- Bournemouth vs. Manchester United (12.30pm, live on BT Sport 1)
- Cardiff City vs. Leicester City
- Everton vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- Newcastle United vs. Watford
- West Ham United vs. Burnley
- Arsenal vs. Liverpool (5.30pm, live on BT Sport 1)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Tottenham Hotspur (7.45pm, live on Sky Sports)
Sunday 4 November
- Manchester City vs. Southampton (3pm)
- Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace (4pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 5 November
- Huddersfield Town vs. Fulham (8pm, live on Sky Sports)