When people mention this game each season I seem to get goosebumps. This is probably due to the fact that we have has some horror shows in recent seasons. Our last win there was in 2012 when we beat Liverpool 2-0 with goals from Podolski and Cazorla scoring, there were summer signings then for us. Since then we have drawn two and lost four. Notibly some heavy defeats 5-1 in 2014, 4-0 in 2017 and another 5-1 last season.
This is a game where we need to see all of the team stand up and give 100% effort and desire to the cause. We know Liverpool have the players to hurt us but we also have the players to hurt them. I think there will be many goals in this game also with no fewer then 30 goals scored in the last 6 games at Anfield, we have only scored 8 of them. Defensively we need to be more alert, more brave and positive in the tackle. If we back off and back off like we did last season. We had around 3 minutes of jubilation last year when Maitland-Niles slid in at the back post to give us the lead.
The goal that was scored by Liverpool to equalize was horrendous where they basically walked the ball in via a sliding tackle by Papa. I remember that goal and seeing two Liverpool players with the ball in the area with 7 Arsenal players all in the box. They just seemed to watch Firmino finish off the chance. Maybe a little bad luck with the way the ball fell into the path of the striker from the tackle, but still the awareness was not there. The third goal scored was the one where we had Firmino running at goal with three defenders trying not to tackle the player who just went round all of them to then score.
I hope we learnt from that defensive performance and are more astute to look at stopping that player with the ball with a foul or even just make sure you are standing in the way of the ball and the player as opposed to being to the side of the player and dangling a leg out and not even touching the player.
Okay that was last season…
This season we will see a more solid Arsenal team then last season, I know, I know it won’t be hard because we were woeful at times. I think we have more control in our shape and with the signings this season we have added experience to the defence in Luiz. I actually think him and Papa could form a good partnership this season. The main focus for the defence will be to not get isolated. out of possession. Can we get numbers in and around the ball to force mistakes? Not sure what formation we will see tomorrow. Will we see a similar shape to the games against Newcastle and Burnley or do we see a return to a back three which was the formation we used last time out.
Pleasing news is that Ozil and Xhaka are both back in full training. I am hoping that Arsenal set up really well in the middle of the pitch. Can we isolate and keep the ball the wider areas and try to stop Liverpool hurting us like last season with their front three?
My predicted line up is below
My thinking is that we stay solid in shape with the back four. Two deeper controlling midfielders who are disciplined out of possession. They need to be when in possession and the transition when we lose it. Ceballos playing higher up linking with the front players which have huge amount of speed. Monreal and Maitland-Niles have the license to push forward with the added security of players holding position in the centre.
COME ON YOU GUNNERS
Prediction : Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2
Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Through Harmony