When Arsenal prepared to host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in July, they were on the back of a couple of bad results. First, there was the disappointing draw against Leicester City, then defeat to Spurs leaving the season on a knife-edge.
Everything changed after that match. Arsenal beat Liverpool, used the momentum to defeat Manchester City and Chelsea to win the FA Cup, before facing off against Liverpool again in the Community Shield and winning again.
Now, Mikel Arteta has the task of carrying their positive end-of-season run forwards. His side already have a couple of wins in their opening Premier League games, but they’ve lost their last five at Anfield, and last won there back in 2012.
Now let’s have a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup for the Liverpool clash.
Bernd Leno will start, as the undisputed number one goalkeeper at the club right now. Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson could well make the bench after signing from Dijon.
As long as they’re available, it seems likely Kieran Tierney, David Luiz and Gabriel Magalhaes will all start. Tierney and Luiz started in both of the recent wins over Liverpool, and Gabriel’s form should be enough to keep him in the side.
That would mean Rob Holding dropping to the bench on this occasion. Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Pablo Mari still aren’t quite fit, whilst William Saliba is unlikely to be thrown into a league game at Anfield just yet.
Midfield and Wing-Backs
With Tierney in the back three, it’s between Bukayo Saka, Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles for left-wing back. Maitland-Niles is consistently impressing in the big games, so I’d bet on him.
Hector Bellerin should start on the right, with Granit Xhaka in the middle.
Most likely alongside Dani Ceballos, as they still seem to be Arteta’s number-one pairing.
That leaves Mohamed Elneny on the bench along with Joe Willock. Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Özil remain unlikely to feature in a Premier League squad, whilst Lucas Torreira edges towards a transfer.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will start. It’s a guess which one of Willian or Nicolas Pepe joins them in the front three, though. For now, I’d gamble on Willian, due to his higher defensive workrate for a game like this.
Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah will remain on the bench, with Gabriel Martinelli still pushing to recover from his injury before the end of 2020