Arsenal will visit Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday as
they look to extend their 100 per cent domestic record with a third win of the
Premier League season.
Unai Emery’s side have enjoyed a perfect start to their
season thanks to wins over Newcastle United and Burnley but the trip to
Liverpool will comfortably represent their first big test of the new campaign.
Liverpool, who are joint table-toppers with Arsenal, head
into Saturday’s contest off the back of a narrow 2-1 victory over Southampton.
Granit Xhaka could return
after missing the Burnley win due to ‘bruising to his lower back and leg’ while
Mesut Ozil’s status remains unclear due to personal issues and illness. Rob
Holding is back training with the first team and played for the Under-23s last
week but will not be rushed back into Premier League action.
Meanwhile, Hector Bellerin,
Konstantinos Mavropanos and Kieran Tierney are all long-term injury concerns
for the Gunners.
Probable Arsenal XI
Manager: Unai Emery
Bernd Leno (GK)
Leno is Arsenal’s undisputed no.1 and he has to be at the
top of his game to keep a clean sheet on Saturday.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (RWB)
With Hector Bellerin our injured, the young Maitland-Niles
is the natural starter down the right-hand side for the Gunners.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (RCB)
Sokratis has started the season positively and is well-versed in a back three system. He is certain to start against Liverpool.
David Luiz (CB)
One of the best ball-playing defenders of the division, Luiz
will have to be at his best to keep Liverpool’s attackers at bay.
Nacho Monreal (LCB)
Monreal lacks pace and agility but he makes up with his good
understanding of the game. He’ll complete Arsenal’s back three.
Sead Kolasinac (LWB)
Kolasinac is best suited as a left wing-back due to his lapses of concentration. The Bosnian will provide a lot of width down the left flank on Saturday.
Matteo Guendouzi (CM)
Guendouzi has impressed in the first two games of the season
and deserves to keep his place in the starting XI.
Granit Xhaka (CM)
Despite the young Joe Willock doing so well from the start
of the pre-season through the first two games, the Gunners would need a leader
in the middle of the park and that could see the return of Granit Xhaka at the
Dani Ceballos (CAM)
Ceballos had a storming game in midfield during Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Burnley last weekend, ending up with two assists to his name. He is a definite starter at Liverpool.
Alexandre Lacazette (RS)
The Frenchman scored in the 2-1 victory over Burnley and he will have to be at his best to help his team leave Anfield with a positive result.
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LS)
The one Arsenal player on the pitch who can change the game in a blink of an eye – expect Aubameyang to start alongside Lacazette up front.