Liverpool vs. Arsenal match preview
Arsenal will be looking to kick-start their season this Sunday as they travel to top-four rivals Liverpool in an eagerly awaited clash.
The Gunners have been held to 0-0 draws in their first two games against Sunderland and Stoke, as they struggle to adjust to life without Robin van Persie.
New signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski are showing signs of promise, but will take time to adjust to the demands of the Premiership as Arsene Wenger’s side look to score their first goal of the new campaign.
Fans will therefore be looking to established stars such as Theo Walcott and Gervinho to help end the goal drought and register their first win of the season.
Arsenal has a good recent record at Anfield, with the Londoners unbeaten in their last five visits to the famous ground.
They will be positive about continuing their good form against a Liverpool side in transition, following the arrival of new manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Reds started the season in disastrous fashion as they lost 3-0 away at West Brom, but were unlucky to only come away with a point from their match against Manchester City last week.
Goals are also likely to be hard to come by for Liverpool, with Luis Suárez and Fabio Borini the only recognised strikers at the club following Andy Carroll’s loan switch to West Ham.
Laurent Koscielny is set to replace Per Mertesacker at the heart of the defence after recovering from a calf injury, while Arsenal is also hopeful that Wojciech Szczęsny will be fit to start following a rib injury.
Long-term absentees Emmanuel Frimpong, Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna and Jack Wilshere will all miss the match, though Wenger is hopeful the latter duo will be back in full training after the upcoming international break.
Joe Cole and Lucas are both out for Liverpool, but Daniel Agger is set to return from suspension to help sure up a so far porous backline.
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique; Allen, Shelvey; Sterling, Gerrard, Borini; Suarez.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla; Podolski, Giroud, Walcott.
With Liverpool and Arsenal’s squads undergoing a significant upheaval during the summer, both appear to be sides in transition.
Each team will take time to click, as new signings look to bed in, and it is likely that they will cancel each other out as they find their feet.
Arsenal will look to Santi Cazorla to help break down the Red’s defence, but are unlikely to be able to keep out a Liverpool side roared on by the Kop.
Laurence Taylor, football correspondent