Sunday 2nd September and both Arsenal and Liverpool have yet to register a win in the Premier League. After today’s game, for one team or perhaps both, that will remain the same – in the media, it’s “whoever loses this game is in crisis”. We finished above Liverpool last season and although we’ve lost two players, we’ve added the missing link between midfield and the striking berth in Santi Cazorla. Liverpool have been doing some business in the transfer window, have a new team and a new manager. From a betting perspective, they are favourites, but in reality, with the squad we have, shouldn’t we be?
The team news ahead of the game is status quo from last game – although Koscielny is fit, he’s lacking match practice and I don’t think Arsene will disrupt a defence that hasn’t conceded a goal this season. The news is that both Szcznesy and Fabianski will miss out and we’ll see Mannone in goal again, but no confirmation of that…
The team line up may well be:
Jenkinson – Mertersacker – Vermaelen (c) – Gibbs
Arteta – Diaby
Walcott – Cazorla – Podolski
Despite the form of Gervinho and Oxlade, I think Arsene will be keen to bed in Podolski and Giroud and give them both a start to try and get them working and scoring. Theo loves playing at Anfield and after what’s been going on, and the potential bad reception from home fans at the Emirates, it makes a lot of sense for Arsene to play him today.
If we do play the team above, then the bench could be: Martinez, Koscielny, Djourou, Santos, Coquelin, Oxlade, Gervinho
It’s an interesting time at Anfield too and a period of transition for them too – their team has changed a little from last season, with the likes of Kuyt out and the likes of Borini in… let’s see how they could line up today:
Johnson – Agger – Skrtel – Enrique
Allen – Sahin
Sterling – Gerrard – Suarez
Liverpool will play in a similar formation to us and I hope we see a slightly more attacking game. The problem we’ve had is that we’ve not had the space in the opposition defence to exploit – Stoke and Sunderland both defending in numbers – today will be a big test. Our defensive record has been sound, but similarly it will be a good test of the defence up against the quality in Livepool.
Arsene spoke about the game and had this to say:
“We have worked on our defending and I think we are doing a good job. Last year that we had the lowest number of shots against us in the league. But we have worked on it again with Steve Bould. So far this season, we have played against two teams who defended more than they attacked against us. But the real tests will come when we go to places like Liverpool and see how strong we are as a team defensively. I am confident we will be strong back there but, of course, as well as that we want to score goals because that is our mark, our brand. I am confident we can do that too.”
No matter the transfers, no matter the players, no matter the first two games, today is a big game, we are the Arsenal and we need to get behind our team… Team news around 1pm today…
Come on you Gooners!