The biggest match of the weekend will be played at Anfield, as Liverpool host Arsenal. These two teams are expected to finish in the top six again and it will be interesting to see if either can score a mental victory at this early stage of the season. Last season, the Reds managed to win both fixtures and they will head into this weekend’s game as the favourites to take three points. This is normally a dramatic fixture and it has produced 17 goals in the 90th minute or later, which is more than any other in the Premier League.
Liverpool managed to qualify for the Champions League with a convincing win over Hoffenheim. They were at their best on Wednesday, with Roberto Firmino the star of the show with a goal and an assist. The Brazilian is growing into his role as the leader of the attack and he will be a key figure this weekend. The end of the transfer window is looming and the Reds will be hoping to add to their squad in order to fight on multiple fronts. They have started the season in good form, but it will be difficult to maintain it unless reinforcements arrive.
This weekend is going to be an important match for Arsenal, as they are coming into it off the back of a defeat to Stoke City. Ahead of the season, supporters were optimistic that the club could have a good campaign and maybe even challenge for the title. However, their first two performances suggest more of the same. Alexis Sanchez should be back to play a part on Sunday and he will be crucial for the club this season. It may be financial suicide, but the Gunners have made an admirable stance on their best player and it will be interesting to see if the gamble pays off.
The home side are waiting to see if Trent Alexander-Arnold is fit for Sunday as there is hope he can pull through in time. However, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne are all unavailable.
Alexis Sanchez is expected to return to the matchday squad, which is a hueg boost for the visitors. Laurent Koscielny is also set to return after completing his suspension that carried over from last season.
Liverpool won a total of 20 points against the rest of the top six last season. This was the best of any side and underlines Jurgen Klopp’s ability to win big matches.
Meanwhile, Arsenal had the worse record in games involving the top six, as they took only nine points.
Sadio Mane has been one of the best Premier League signings made in recent seasons, despite many doubting he was good enough for a top six club when Liverpool bought him. The Senegal international is now a key player at Anfield and he is particularly important in matches such as these. The Reds will look to use his pace and movement to cause problems for the Arsenal back four. Their opponents have struggled defensively during the opening two matches and have already conceded four goals. Jamie Vardy caused them a lot of issues a couple of weeks ago and that will give Mane a lot of confidence ahead of this match. The 25-year-old already has two goals in the Premier League and there will be a good chance for him to add to his tally this weekend. It is likely that the home side will look to spring attacks quickly when they win the ball high up the pitch and Mane’s pace will be central to their game-plan. If he has a good day, it should be a comfortable win for Klopp’s men.
The Frenchman has looked good over the first two weeks and there is a lot more to come from him as he adjusts to English football. It will be interesting to see how Arsenal approach this as they are unlikely to play Liverpool off the park. They need to be clever and try to remain compact to make it difficult for the home side to score. Arsene Wenger will know that his team would struggle to outscore the Reds, but Gunners’ supporters should take confidence from their recent performances against other top-six sides. They managed to beat Chelsea in successive matches at Wembley, while they also managed to beat Manchester City towards the end of last season. A trip to Anfield is a daunting taks, but it isn’t impossible. In Alexandre Lacazette, they have a player that has pace and can use it to stretch the opposition defence, which will open space for the midfielders to exploit. Arsenal don’t have the best defence, but neither do Liverpool. That is why the striker is vital this weekend.
This one is going to be the fixture of the weekend as both teams have exciting attacks and neither can defend. It should be a great match for the neutral to watch with goals going in at both ends. Liverpool are the favourites and I would favour them to win at Anfield. They were very good in the Champions League and if they deliver a similar performance on Sunday, Arsenal won’t be able to live with them. Arsene Wenger has continued to use players out of position and he would be asking for trouble if he does that this weekend. Jurgen Klopp’s men will have too much for them.