Liverpool travel to Holloway, London this weekend as they take on a resurgent Arsenal Football Club who are currently basking in the glow of having a new manager after 22 years under Arsene Wenger. Arsenal will come up against their first real footballing test since August on Saturday, which also happens to be the new manager’s 47th birthday.
Unai Emery took the managerial reins at Arsenal on 23 May 2018 after guiding Sevilla to three Europa League Cup wins (including a 3 – 1 win over Liverpool in the final played at St. Jakob-Park in Basel on 18 May 2016) and winning Ligue 1 with Paris St-Germain last season before announcing his decision to leave on 28 April 2018.
After having their 11-match unbeaten run halted at Selhurst Park in their Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace this past Sunday, the Gunners will be hoping to prove themselves against the Reds.
Meanwhile, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool will look to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 11 games and continue their high scoring ways as an 8-goal deficit (goal difference of 16) is the only thing that separates them from Manchester City who are tied with the Reds on 26 points but sit atop the table with a superior goal difference of 24.
Arsenal’s Form: DWWWW
Games: 15 (10 Premier League 3 UEFA Europa League 2 Carabao Cup)
Wins: 12 (7 PL 3 UEL 2 Carabao Cup)
Draws: 1 (PL)
Losses: 2 (PL)
Arsenal’s season began with them hosting the current Premier League Champions Manchester City in a match they lost 2 – 0. It was not a good start for the Gunners who played Chelsea the following week at Stamford Bridge and while they showed much more tenacity than they had against City, the match ultimately ended in a 3 – 2 loss. However, since then, their game has shown improvement week on week as they went on to win seven games in the league (with one draw against the aforementioned Crystal Palace) and have won all their Europa and League Cup fixtures, most recently beating Blackpool on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup.
The Gunners along with their supporters are currently enjoying the winning ways as Unai Emery’s influence looks to have improved an Arsenal side who were less than enthusiastic to be on a football pitch last season.
During pre-season, Unai Emery had this to say about his and his staff’s football philosophy;
Each match, you are looking for every player to transmit intensity, aggression, to show that they want to win and are prepared to work hard to win. We want to do that with style, with a personality, with protagonists on the pitch. We want every player to create things and find things when they’re on the ball. When we are without the ball, we also want to show ambition to recover the ball quickly.
Arsenal vs Liverpool: Head to Head
All-Time – Wins: 78 Draws: 60 Losses: 86
Premier League – Wins: 15 Draws: 18 Losses: 19
Last six meetings – Wins: 0 Draws: 3 Losses: 3
The last time Arsenal beat Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium it was April 2015 with Liverpool losing by 4 goals to 1. Since then though, there have been four draws and three Liverpool wins. Goals aplenty from both sides are expected given the fixture’s history, and while Unai Emery remains undecided about who will be his first-choice keeper between Petr Cech and Bernd Leno, Liverpool’s Alisson will look to begin a new chapter in the clean sheet department after the Reds finally conceded at home after a run of 10 clean sheets.
Liverpool’s Form: WWDDW
Games: 14 (10 PL 2 UCL 1 Carabao Cup)
Wins: 10 (8 PL 2 UCL)
Draws: 2 (PL)
Losses: 2 (1 UCL 1 Carabao Cup)
Liverpool are in fine form after their return to action after the international break saw them defeat Huddersfield away in a tough fought (and tough to watch) 1 – 0 win, followed by an emphatic 4 – 0 win in their Champions League fixture against Red Star Belgrade and their rampant 4 – 1 victory over Cardiff City at Anfield last weekend.
With Xherdan Shaqiri joining Liverpool’s goal scoring ranks and Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané looking back to their effervescent best while Roberto Firmino does Firmino things with the football, the Reds should be more than able to continue their hot streak in the PL and go 11 games unbeaten.
Highest goal aggregate: 9 in the 2006 – 2007 season, Liverpool 3 – 6 Arsenal
Highest Arsenal score: 8 in the 1934 – 1935 season, Arsenal 8 – 1 Liverpool
Highest Liverpool score: 5 in the 1893 – 1894 season, Liverpool 5 – 0 Arsenal
The first time Arsenal faced Liverpool at home was 28 October 1893 and they were called Woolwich Arsenal. The match took place while both sides were in League Division Two at Manor Ground, Plumstead with Arsenal ultimately losing by 5 goals to nil.
A Liverpool win on Saturday will be reflective of the seasons gone by and a 5 – 0 will surely be disastrous for the Gunners. One can hope that the Reds will go in with guns blazing at the Emirates.
But I’ll be a little more conservative with my prediction and go with Arsenal 0 – 3 Liverpool.
Up the Mighty Reds!