Arsenal have found some decent form this month but the Gunners have not been able to climb up the points table. However, they have a great chance of breaking into the top-4 this weekend, when they welcome Liverpool to the Emirates. In the scene of the 4-3 victory for Liverpool on the opening day of the previous season, this game is expected to be yet another entertaining one, with both teams fighting for nothing less than three crucial points.
Arsene Wenger’s men are fresh from a 1-0 victory over Newcastle in the domestic league but were also busy in the League Cup, where they knocked West Ham United out. However, Wenger rested a number of his key players for that game and is expected to unleash a full strength side, for this tie. Klopp is also expected to go all in and here is the predicted lineup Arsenal might field, for this crunch clash:
The Gunners are without key midfielders Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, both of who are ruled out. Striker Olivier Giroud picked up a hamstring injury in the mid-week and is also ruled out. Francis Coquelin could yet make it to the bench. German defender Shkodran Mustafi is, however, expected to be back in action against the Reds. Wenger has shifted to a 4-2-3-1 system in the last few games and could stick with it for this game as well.
Expected lineup (4-2-3-1):
Petr Cech got a much-needed rest in the mid-week but he could be in for a lot of work, against a free-scoring Liverpool side. Full-backs Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac were also rested for the League Cup and should be back on the wings for this game. Up against the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, the performances of the full-backs for Arsenal, could well decide the game.
Laurent Koscielny is the mainstay at the back for Arsenal and he should be partnered by Shkodran Mustafi, in Wenger’s strongest CB pairing, this season.
Granit Xhaka will also have to play an important role, breaking up Liverpool’s play constantly. His antics in the midfield will be very important as an off day for him could leave Arsenal’s backline horribly exposed. He will be partnered by Mohamed Elneny, who has been in decent form, coming in place of Aaron Ramsey, who is injured.
Olivier Giroud’s injury will mean that Wenger cannot call upon the Frenchman for this Liverpool game. However, his national teammate Alexandre Lacazette, who was dropped for the reverse fixture earlier in the season, will lead the line for Arsenal. He will have a point to prove and could be the danger man for Liverpool.
Former La Liga duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are expected to occupy either flank. Ozil has been in good form in the last few games but Sanchez needs to up his game if his side are to take any points this weekend.
In a surprise inclusion, like in the last game against Newcastle United, English midfielder Jack Wilshere is expected to play as a CAM, which is evident in the fact that he was left out of the team that beat West Ham in the League Cup, earlier this week.
Here is how they might line up: