Mertesacker reveals Arsenal have cracked how to contain Liverpool…

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

Past performances versus Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium give Per confidence.

Liverpool's 5-1 bombardment at Anfield over visiting Arsenal was the away side's most embarrassing result of the season, even more so than the 6-3 humbling Manchester City gave them at the Etihad, as the Gunners were simply out-played, out-hustled, appeared clueless and never threatened to score from open-play.

Against City, in contrast, it was obvious the team had goals in them… but against Brendan Rodgers' side, there was only one team who were collectively-pressing, who were playing football at a much higher pace and were accurate when in possession.

That was on February 8, on Merseyside in the Premier League and, on the 16th, many of the same individuals will be on the pitch but the only difference will be the venue - Emirates Stadium - and competition - the FA Cup.

Will it be repeat or revenge come kick-off?

For Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, 29, it will not be repeat as the German centre back believes his side have come up with a tactic to limit the amount of chances Liverpool get and capitalise on.

'We kept them quiet at the Emirates earlier this season, when we won 2-0, but we know they will have chances – they are good enough to create them and they have played really well together this year,' said the defender, as quoted by talkSPORT, before touching on the importance of team ethic when it comes to press when they are without the ball.

'It’s not up to two players or two centre-backs to keep them quiet – it is more up to the whole team not to allow them too many passes, or too many clear passes around them. If there are free balls out from the midfield or from their back four, it’s much harder for us to defend against them. If it’s tight and they can’t play any free balls, it’s much easier for us to defend – no matter who is playing up front.'

The match will start at 16:00 on Saturday. The winner progresses to the quarter-final.

image: © kuaver

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