Arsenal will collide with Liverpool in Saturday’s late Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners have not succumbed to a defeat since the second gameweek of the campaign and their run has helped them cement the fourth spot on the standings, four points behind table-toppers Manchester City.
On the contrary, the Reds are yet to suffer a defeat in the current top-flight campaign and a run of eight wins and two draws sees them occupying the second position on the table. They have matched the Citizens in most facets of the game this term and only an inferior goal difference sees them Pep Guardiola’s side.
Two things to watch for:
Arsenal’s defence versus Liverpool’s attack: Arsenal’s high-line of defending has not proved successful against the counter-attacking teams and they have been lucky to have avoided defeats in their current 13-match unbeaten run. However, against Liverpool, they cannot expect much leverage when the chances are offered to them and the Gunners backline is set to witness a tough test of their credentials. Shkodran Mustafi, in particular, has come for criticism for his indecisiveness in terms of his positioning and tackling and such uncertainty could cost the Gunners dearly unless the German steps up to the plate. Arsenal have managed just two clean sheets from their opening five matches.
Mesut Ozil’s performance: The Germany international produced one of his best-ever performances in the Gunners shirt against Leicester City where he contributed a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win. However, in the away trip to Crystal Palace thereafter, he struggled to show any signs of the same form and to his frustration, he was brought him off the field after the hour mark. Ozil is unquestionably a sparkling talent to have in any team but he has the tendency to be a liability when it comes to the big matches. Emery’s decision to hand Ozil the captaincy proved a sublime trick against the Foxes and it will be interesting to see whether he is handed the armband once more ahead of a crucial game in the top-four race.
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