Arsenal will be hoping to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table when they host Liverpool on Sunday at 4:30pm (UK time).
The Gunners have lost just one of their eight Premier League matches so far, beaten by Manchester United before the international break. However, they bounced back with a strong 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby last weekend to keep them one point clear of Manchester City.
While Arsenal were beating Tottenham, Liverpool dropped points yet again against Brighton, having to come from 2-0 down to eventually draw 3-3 at Anfield. It was their second consecutive draw in the Premier League after a stalemate with Everton before the international break, but Liverpool did bounce back by beating Rangers in the Champions League in midweek.
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Arsenal v Liverpool betting acca tips
Things are really rolling with the Premier League and some teams are already threatening to pull away before the schedule is interrupted by the winter World Cup. After their fine start to the season, the tough games are starting to roll in for Arsenal and this will be their big test.
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Arsenal team news
Arsenal have been thriving this season in both defence and attack, with the summer signing of Gabriel Jesus proving to be a key change to Mikel Arteta’s side. But it’s another Gabriel that Jurgen Klopp will be wary of.
Gabriel Martinelli perhaps goes under the radar slightly among Arsenal’s attacking players, especially as he isn’t the lead goalscorer or big assist maker. But the Brazilian is one of Arsenal’s most dangerous players, and one of the best in the Premier League right now. Martinelli is the only player in the Premier League this season with 15+ chances created and 15+ take-ons, with his 20 take-ons also a league-high.
“This is an outstanding footballer,” said Joe Cole during BT Sport’s coverage of Arsenal’s Thursday night win over Bodø/Glimt, adding: “I’ve loved him from the moment I laid eyes on him.
“He’s so busy, he reminds me of Alexis Sanchez and Luiz Suarez. He’s exceptional with the ball at his feet, he’s got great technique and he affects the game.
“He works so hard and I thought he was the man of the match in the north London derby [on Saturday]. When he gets the ball, there’s no thought of going back, he just keeps driving forward. He’s so tenacious.”
But this isn’t news to Klopp. The Liverpool boss has never shied away from praising Martinelli, especially when Liverpool and Arsenal meet. Shortly after Martinelli starred in a 5-5 draw between Liverpool and Arsenal in the EFL Cup, Klopp dubbed the Brazilian the “talent of the century” in explanation of why his defence struggled.
In that game Martinelli was playing primarily as a striker but now he has switched more to the left, where he will go head-to-head with Trent Alexander-Arnold who comes under a lot of criticism for his defensive abilities. Klopp has been very vocal in his defence of Alexander-Arnold’s abilities and towards the end of last season he highlighted a performance against Martinelli as proof of what the Englishman can do.
“Trent did exceptionally well against Gabriel Martinelli. If anybody tells me Trent can’t defend, I’ll knock them down. I don’t know what the boy has to do anymore,” Klopp said in March.
Liverpool team news
Sunday will be the biggest test of Klopp’s trust in Alexander-Arnold and although the Englishman will be one of the first names on Liverpool’s team sheet, there is still a doubt over who will start on the other end of Liverpool’s defence. Andrew Robertson has been injured but could return at the weekend, though it would be harsh for Klopp to drop Kostas Tsimikas after his good form in the Scot’s absence.
Also unknown is how Liverpool will line up, having switched to a 4-4-2 of sorts in midweek after seeing his 4-3-3 struggle in recent weeks.