To be played at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday 2nd November at 17:30
Last season 2-2
Match Preview & Team news
This is certainly one of the more eye-catching games this weekend as two domestic giants go head-to-head at the Emirates Stadium with only two points separating the sides at the top of the table. Both sides will love the win as they look to answer the question of ‘can they compete against the bigger sides?’ Both have had one game each against the ‘bigger’ sides and came up with a 1-0 win on the same weekend at the start of September.
In terms of team news, Mikel Arteta is back from a one match ban after being sent off in last week’s win against Crystal Palace for Arsenal. He served it during the midweek Capital One loss against Chelsea. Mathieu Flamini misses the game because of a groin injury, while Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are also getting closer to featuring in the first team again but are more likely to feature in next week’s visit to Manchester United, whilst Serge Gnabry should be fit enough to be part of the Arsenal squad.
For Liverpool, they will feel they have the advantage of being fresh going into this game as they look to preserve their unbeaten away record in the league at the start of the season. Both Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are in good form after finding the net in last week’s 4-1 win over West Brom and are boosted by the return of playmaker Philippe Coutinho to the squad after recovering from a shoulder injury. Coutinho may start the game on the bench, however, after Liverpool’s impressive display last week. There is also the added factor that Kolo Toure is determined to show Arsene Wenger why he should never have been let go – which is bound to add just a little bit of spice to the game.
Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are Arsenal’s top scorers in the league with five goals each.
Daniel Sturridge is Liverpool’s top scorer in the league with eight goals.
Arsenal’s last six: Won 5, Drawn 1, Lost 0
Liverpool’s last six: Won 3, Drawn 2, Lost 1
Arsenal’s home record: Played 4, Won 3, Drawn 0, Lost 1, Goals For 9, Goals Against 5.
Liverpool’s away record: Played 4, Won 2, Drawn 2, Lost 0, Goals For 5, Goals Against 3.
Arsenal had 62% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 away win against Crystal Palace.
Liverpool had 55% possession in their last league match, a 4-1 home win against West Bromwich Albion.
Five players to watch
Apart from the fact he is in terrific form, Suarez tried to engineer a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window. It will be interesting to see what reception he gets, but more importantly his performance level will be scrutinised. Having said that, expect it to be as high as ever.
He looks like the man who will be playing the Flamini role. Flamini has been a big player for the Gunners this season, with many hailing him as one of the best signings in the summer. Can Arteta step up to the mark and perform to the same standard?
Last weekend he showed how important he is to the Liverpool team, and how much better the side functions with him in the middle of the park. He is going to have a major role to play on Saturday evening, which includes trying to stop the king of the assists in Mesut Ozil.
Ramsey has shown some excellent early season form and will inevitably be a threat against Liverpool. The battle between him and Steven Gerrard could be a fascinating one, as one imagines they will try and keep each other quiet.
One of the most understated parts of Giroud’s game is the strength he possesses, and Liverpool have been bullied by such strength in the past. However, Liverpool’s back three doesn’t look to be as prone to being bullied by strength this season, will it be different in Giroud’s case?
Last time they met
Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool – Premier League January 2013
It was a terrific game to watch for the neutrals but Liverpool must have headed back to Merseyside kicking themselves after blowing a two goal lead. Luis Suarez gave Liverpool the lead after just five minutes but the game always looked as if it would provide more goals. Jordan Henderson doubled Liverpool’s lead on the hour mark through sheer persistence but Arsenal hit back with an Olivier Giroud header before Theo Walcott rifled home a low strike to level the game with a quarter of the game left. Somehow, there were only four goals in it.
image: © Matt and Kim Rudge