Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp will shake hands, for the 4th time this season. As Arsenal & Liverpool will lock horns, yet again in an exciting Premier League clash at the Emirates.
However joyous it might be for Mikel Arteta and company, they understand the task at hand. When the two sides face each on Tuesday, at the Emirates, in the Premier League.
Although, both teams are have enjoyed a decent run of games going into this match. But the managers of each side, know the dynamics of the game. It has to be an interesting battle between two of the most reputed teams in world football.
WHEN & WHERE?
LIVERPOOL’S NEW ATTACKING DEMEANOUR
The Reds are a big-time now, and clashes like these are what they are thriving for. A sign of a World Class manager is pulling his team out of the rut. And Jurgen Klopp has just shown it, yet again!
While there have been no noticeable injuries to the side in the last games. The addition of the Columbian, Luis Diaz, has certainly added to the firepower of the Reds. Diaz has not failed to impress in his debut season in the Premier League. It just does not seem like, Diaz was bought by the club in the winter transfer window. The Columbian has fit in the system very well.
Jurgen Klopp has been successfully pairing Luiz Diaz upfront with Mane and Salah, to fruition. Playing him as the bridge between the two African players. A role that Bobby Firmino has been seen playing, for the most part of his career here at Liverpool.
There has been rhythm to Liverpool’s gameplay in the last 1 to 2 months. Liverpool have hardly put a foot wrong. Not so long ago, we were sat here, criticizing them for not being able to play from the middle. Too much “Dependency on the flanks”. But all of that now just seems to be a reminisce. And their recent run of formidable performances have been a spectacle to it.
Who would have thought, back in January, that Klopp’s side could challenge Manchester City for the title this season? Man City were clear, then!
After the recent draw against Crystal Palace, Pep’s side have left it wide open for the Reds to take this season’s title charge to Etihad. If Klopp’s men work out a victory at Emirates on Tuesday, they will go within one point of The Citizens.
GUNNERS LOOKING STRONG ON THE COUNTER
On the contrary, Arsenal under Mikel Arteta are developing a system where they sit back and hit on the counters using the pace of their speedy midfielders and attackers. Since Arsene Wenger’s departure, they have not looked in a much better shape than they have been so far this season. 51 points, in 26 games having played 2/3 games less than the teams above them.
It has been clear that Arsenal are focusing on the young players and building a squad that is sustainable. In hindsight this strategy is foolproof. And the only thing that is needed is the club and the supporters’ backing, which Arteta has got in abundance.
If we go back and take a look at how the Gunners started their season. There were a lot of problems, but the team addressed them all in a pretty quick time. They have adapted to a system where a dynamic full-back like Tierney provides that extra support in the attack and the team generally rely on the pass and move from the back.
Whereas, they have resorted to the conventional man-to-man marking. Leaving their oppositions with no chance, but to take shots from outside of the box- in turn giving less threat to concede a goal.
Despite all of these changes, Arteta has a long way to go. And Arsenal have a long journey up ahead before they can start reliving those merrier old days. Teams like Liverpool or Manchester City who play with a higher defensive backline get benefitted from this more often than not. Opening the defence through the thread passes, and scoring. But Arteta will be hoping that his players muster all the courage and confidence, from their last 5 victories in the last 5 games, in the Premier League.
Last 5 matches between the two sides
While the Gunners will be hoping for a 4th consecutive home victory on Tuesday. They also know how big of a challenge they face in their upcoming visitors, Liverpool.
Arteta’s men have not scored a single goal against Klopp’s side in the last 5 meetings. The last time an Arsenal side scored against the rampant Reds was back in October 2020. It is no joke when it is said that Klopp has built an “unbreakable wall of defence” around his world-class goalkeeper. And there is no better team than Arsenal, to tell you the truth behind the phrase.
SNEAK PEEK: KEY BATTLES
BUKAYO SAKA (ARS) VS ROBERTSON (LIV)
The young English winger has been a Beast in the making. He has been very adventurous upfront for Arsenal’s progress under Arteta. Saka was the main man for the gunners at Anfield when the 2 sides faced each other earlier in the season. Outpacing midfielders and the defenders.
Making perfectly timed runs behind the defence. Saka proved to be a trouble maker for the Klopp’s men, last time out. No doubt, Arteta will be hoping for more of the same from his young baller.
On the other hand, The Reds will once again be relying on their more experienced Scottish left-back to shut out the crosses coming in the box from the right-hand side. It has been over 4 years since Robertson was bought from Hull City. Making his way to the playing XI is one thing. Maintaining his position consistently, that now it is undisputable, is another. And this season, he has been no less.
His spoils in the attack, have been grieved by the oppositions. ROBERTSON has already contributed to his side’s goal scoring form with 9 assists in the league. 2 behind his partner, Trent and 1 behind his teammate Mohammed Salah.
It will be interesting to see who is going to triumph – Will it be the young sensation or the man who is one of the best in the World in his position?
JOTA (LIV) VS BEN WHITE (ARS)
Since the time, when Salah and Mane left for the AFCON, the Portuguese Striker, Diogo Jota has developed into a complete beast. A sense of responsibility of carrying his side to victories could be seen with the way he has been driven to the cause.
Klopp has been all praises for the striker since his move here to the Merseyside from Wolves. And rightly so! Diogo Jota has been in the thick of scoring goals for Liverpool this season, scoring 17 goals in just 37 games, across all competitions. He will surely be looking to add on to this tally, on Tuesday, when they will travel to face the in-form home side- Arsenal
Meanwhile, Arteta will be hoping that his $70 million Defender, Ben White, can stand up tops to Liverpool’s attacking threats. A key player in the defence for The Gunners this season. White blocked all the goal opportunities for Klopp’s men, earlier, when the two sides faced each other in the 1st Leg of the EFL Cup Semi-Finals, at Anfield. Although, Arsenal went on to lose the Semi-finals in the 2nd Leg, courtesy to a Diogo Jota brace. The Arsenal faithful will be hoping for another solid performance from their expensive defender. If they have any chance of maintaining their solid run of form, and even maintaining their top 4 position to qualify for the Champions League football, next season.
Arteta must be relived by the news that Emile Smith Rowe recovered from the illness, after handing the youngster a 15-minute cameo in the win against Leicester City. Meanwhile, Tomiyasu’s calf injury will sideline the Japanese yet again.
Apart from this, there are no fresh injury concerns for Arteta. And the fans can expect Soares filling in for the Japanese international, yet again!
Meanwhile, Klopp’s side comes into the game with no big injury concerns. While, Mo Salah’s limping walk might have scared many, but the German shrugged off any imminent dangers. However, it is not looking strong that the Egyptian international will start. And in the long run, it is safe to bench him.
Other than that, the Reds look all set to travel to Emirates with a winning intent. With Thiago looking to make a start, after he was given some minutes in the 2-0 victory against Brighton.
Arsenal predicted XI vs Liverpool: Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Lacazette.
Liverpool predicted XI vs Arsenal: Alisson; Trent, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Jota, Mane, Diaz.