Liverpool and Arsenal are the only teams to have a 100% win record two games into the 2019/20 Premier League season.
We followed up our 1-0 win at Newcastle United by beating Burnley 2-1 at the Emirates last weekend but need to improve our performance if we’re to come away with anything from Anfield on Saturday evening.
Summer signing Dani Ceballos was the man of the match last weekend and will be pushing for a start against the Champions League holders, whilst club record signing Nicolas Pepe is still waiting for his first start.
Whether we’ve closed the gap on the top two certainly remains to be seen. This weekend’s game will give us some idea as we’ve been thumped 1-3, 0-4 and 1-5 in recent games against Liverpool.
Last weekend’s performance against Burnley doesn’t fill us fans with much hope as the back four was all over the place.
Granit Xhaka will be handed a late fitness test having returned to training after missing the Burnley game. The Swiss international could be joined by Mesut Ozil, who has been our opening two matches, though I really wouldn’t expect the German playmaker to go straight into the starting lineup.
We will still be without defenders Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney. The former is back in training and is set to feature for the Under-23s this evening, whilst Tierney is a few weeks away from being able to make his Arsenal debut and Bellerin isn’t due back in training until October.
Liverpool will be without goalkeeper Alisson. His replacement, Adrian, was at fault for the consolation goal Southampton scored last weekend and will surely give our attack a confidence boost. Midfielder Naby Keita has been ruled out with a muscle problem.
It will be interesting to see how Unai Emery lines the team up at Anfield. David Luiz is expected to partner Sokratis in the back four and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will keep the right-back role by defeat. There’s no reason why Nacho Monreal will be dropped on the other flank either.
However, Dani Ceballos put in a man of the match performance in his first start last time out, so it will be interesting to see whether the manager sticks with him, or chooses either Xhaka or Lucas Torreira instead to partner Matteo Guendouzi in front of the back four.
Nicolas Pepe should be given his full debut in attack to form a mouth watering trio with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Adrian, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino
Liverpool put four past Norwich City in their opening night victory before making harder work of Southampton than expected in a 2-1 win at St Mary’s. However, that’s six goals in their opening two matches and our defence is hardly one of the best in the Premier League.
The Reds are yet to keep a clean sheet and with their backup goalkeeper looking shaky we should be able to put a goal or two past Adrian. They did have one of the best defensive records in Europe last season though, so you’d think it’s just a matter of time before they get back to their best. Bookmakers have priced the home side as short as 1/2 to beat us this weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are 41 games unbeaten at home and our record in recent trips has been nothing short of a disaster. Even with luck on our side I cannot see us getting any more points this weekend so I am going for Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal.
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