Jürgen Klopp’s first test of his first full campaign in charge of Liverpool will be a trip to the Emirates to face an Arsenal squad that is in the midst of an injury crisis even before the start of the campaign. Arsene Wenger will have a weak squad at his disposal for the opening game of the new Premier League season and he will hope that he can fight out results till he has a strong team to select from.
The visitors may not be favorites to run away with all three points from this game but they have made a strong case for consideration. The manager has completed most of his summer transfer deals and has already settled most of his new players into his squad at the club. He will surely be hoping to get a result out of this game and start the season on a high. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why Liverpool can go the length and steal all three points away from the Emirates on Sunday.
Arsenal’s inevitable injury crisis
It would not be a Premier League season without Arsene Wenger’s squad suffering from injuries. Very rarely has the Frenchman had a full squad to choose from for big games and he is suffering a similar fate for this game against the Reds. The likes of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel have picked up injuries that have ruled them for 5 months and 6 weeks respectively and have left the manager short at the back. Laurent Koscielny, the back bone of Arsenal’s defense, has only recently returned to training and may not be risked for this game which means Wenger will have to go with a center back pairing of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding which will play into the hands of Liverpool.
Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud are just back with the squad last week after their exploits in the EUROs in France and may not start on the weekend. This will leave the Gunners with a weak squad who will have to fight it out and take all the help from the crowd possible to get a result from this game.
Jürgen Klopp’s side have been one of the busiest teams in England in the pre-season. Though they are a bit weak at certain positions, in more ways than one, this summer has been a fruitful one for the club as a whole. The manager got his team to play 9 pre-season friendlies including two games in less than 24 hours against Barcelona and Mainz just last weekend. He has already got every player in his squad to full match fitness and will demand everything from his players even though it is the first game of the season.
Liverpool looked sharp in games in the pre-season (like in the 4-0 victory over a strong Barcelona team in front of a massive crowd in Wembley) and are looking a side that are slowly buying into the German’s style. That, along with the additions that the manager made to the squad throughout the window, have now made Liverpool a stronger outfit than they were in the previous season. Surely, they will have an upper hand in the game at the Emirates on Sunday.
Depth in the squad
Jürgen Klopp will send out the strongest possible XI to go for the kill against the Gunners. Though they have their own injury problems (not to mention the no.15 who can’t keep himself fit), Klopp still has a fairly strong squad to choose from and with the choices he made in the transfer window, he has versatility in personnel. He has the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino fighting for very few places and with each player providing their own threat in the outfield, the manager has a kind of dynamism that can get the better of the weakened Arsenal side on Sunday.
As already mentioned, Klopp is not without his own injury problems but at the moment, he has a stronger squad than that of the hosts and it might be a bit of a let-down if they do not come out of this game with a result or even a victory.
Who do you think will start on the right note at the Emirates this weekend?