Premier League Preview: Arsenal vs. Liverpool
- Arsenal had 1W-1D vs. Reds last year
- Gunners won 4-1 at home
- Liverpool leads all-time 83W-57D-78L
- Gunners: 18W-13D-7L since 01-02
Goals are a safe bet when the Gunners and Reds tangle, and the Emirates Stadium will be the venue for another hopeful score-a-thon on Monday (Watch live on NBCSN at 2:45 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra).
Liverpool has a chance to stay with Manchester City as the only perfect teams in this early Premier League season, but topping Arsenal on the road will be a bigger task than wins against Stoke and Bournemouth.
And Arsenal will fear dropping six points back of both the Reds and the top, as Arsene Wenger’s crew dropped a decision to West Ham United on Opening Day.
Brendan Rodgers will set up his Liverpool side to take its game to the hosts, and that almost certainly means more play directed towards big forward Christian Benteke.
“What he gives us is that threat in the box; when the ball comes in, he’s a striker that’s in the area. There are other ways of keeping the game alive, but when you have a 6ft4 player like Christian when the ball comes into the box, because of his physicality and mobility it keeps the game alive that little bit longer.”
For Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, it’s more about restoring the home fans faith after that tough West Ham loss.
“If you want to have a successful season you want to be strong at home,” Wenger said. “Normally we are strong at home. This is an opportunity to show that.”
What they’re (also) saying
Wenger on what this match means: “Your confidence is linked with your last result and at Crystal Palace we responded well. You could see that we were a bit edgy at times but we responded in a very strong way. From that we should have enough confidence to go into the game positively against Liverpool. This is a very important game where the result will of course be vital. It’s not a result that will decide [our title chances] but in our heads we know it’s very important.”
Liverpool’s Rodgers on their style: “I said at the beginning of the season that we want the unpredictability to our game. Our notion in the game is always to dominate the ball but I’ve been around football for a long time and my emphasis has always been about possession, of course, but dangerous possession. That is important to us.
Arsenal looked lively in attack against Palace, is at home, and has more consistency in its side than Liverpool, but the Reds will attack Arsenal’s questionable back line with vigor. The Gunners’ big center backs will be up to the task of Benteke, but Philippe Coutinho may be a different story. Jordan Henderson is out for the Reds, and that could also be a deciding factor. We’re going to play it safe in a 2-2 draw.