Arsenal will brace themselves for their toughest test yet, in the Premier League this season, as they lock horns with champions Liverpool on Monday. The Gunners have been in excellent form in the new campaign, winning their first two league matches while also knocking Leicester City out of the Carabao Cup in midweek. However, things could get infinitely more difficult against a Liverpool side strengthened by the arrival of Thiago Alcantara.
Predicted 3-4-3 Arsenal Lineup Vs Liverpool
Mikel Arteta is devoid of reliable options in defence at the moment, with players like Shkodran Mustafi, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers and Sokratis spending time on the sidelines.
David Luiz did, however, return to the frame in midweek and is a guaranteed starter, alongside his compatriot Gabriel Magalhaes, who has started his Premier League career on a positive note so far. Arteta will face a selection dilemma in the one remaining centre-back slot, though.
Kieran Tierney is in contention after picking up a knock against West Ham and missing the game against Leicester City. The Scot might just get the nod ahead of Rob Holding at centre-back while Bernd Leno is a guaranteed starter in between the sticks.
Arteta rested two of his key midfielders in midweek by giving starts to both Mohamed Elneny and Joe Willock. He is expected to revert those changes, recalling the more familiar duo of Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka in the double-pivot.
The work-rate, understanding and discipline of these two players could be critical against a Liverpool side who boast the services of quality stars like Thiago and Naby Keita.
Elsewhere, Hector Bellerin is expected to return to the side, starting at right wingback while Ainsley Maitland-Niles might get the nod ahead of Bukayo Saka due to his defensive traits, on the opposite flank.
In the attack, Arteta is likely to make wholesale changes with the experienced Willian replacing Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returning to his duties at left-wing.
The Gabonese international is a vital element to Arsenal’s plans against Liverpool as he has the pace, as well as the quality to find that breakthrough that should give the Gunners the incentive to sit back and defend.
Aubameyang should receive decent support from the number nine, Alexandre Lacazette, although Eddie Nketiah is also pushing for a start after scoring in his last two matches. Saka, meanwhile, is an option Arteta could use in the second half.