Aside from Tottenham, Arsenal haven’t had a really tough game in the Premier League this season. But with a home game against Liverpool and an away game at Old Trafford next weekend, we’ll finally see if we have what it takes to be champions this season.
Liverpool are in some really good form at the moment thanks to the brilliance of the Sturridge and Suarez partnership. But we are also in some pretty good form and being the home team, we have to be favourites to take all three points.
This game is going to no doubt be difficult but I believe the key to winning this match will be winning the midfield battle. Rodgers seems to favour a 3-5-2 at the moment and if he does play it against us, he’ll essentially play wing backs as the wide players with Lucas, Gerrard and Coutinho in his midfield. I can see him playing this formation against us as it aims to keep the 3 midfielders but also utilise an extra striker up front. It would struggle against a team with natural width and had Walcott been fit, he may have been too scared to play the formation but without him, and Gnabry injured, Liverpool won’t be exploited much on the wings.
Sagna – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
Arteta – Ramsey
Rosicky – Özil – Cazorla
Flamini is still injured but should be back for the game against Man Utd at Old Trafford. Mertesacker and Koscielny will need to be impeccable if we are to get a win. They need to work together and shut down any space for Sturridge and Suarez to exploit. Ramsey will need to be more defensively disciplined that he has been recently. We need a similar performance to those that he provided through the second half of last season.
Providing the midfield three behind Giroud move fluently, they’ll have no problem dominating the ball. Lucas and Gerrard aren’t the best partnership to get possession back and keep it. Coutinho will also be rusty after a long injury lay-off.
This game is obviously going to be difficult but if our midfielders do their jobs correctly, I can see us coming out as 2 – 1 winners on the evening.