Liverpool vs Arsenal, Match Preview & Predictions

On Sunday afternoon, Anfield plays host to Liverpool vs Arsenal, in both sides’ first big clash of the 2017/18 season. The home side come into the game in good spirits, having booked their place in the Champions League group stages on Wednesday night with an impressive 4-2 victory over TSG Hoffenheim.

Premier League – Anfield, Liverpool – Sunday 27 August, 16:00


Best Odd of: 23/20 at Ladbrokes


Best Odd of: 13/5 at Betfred


Best Odd of: 13/5 at Coral

Match Preview

Manager Jürgen Klopp was delighted with his team’s performance, describing how they quickly raced to a 3-0 lead, with goals from Emre Can (2) and Mohamed Salah, as “Like a Thunderstorm.” The win followed a somewhat underwhelming start to the Premier League season, after a frantic 3-3 draw with Watford and last weekend’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Juergen Klopp
Juergen Klopp

Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss versus Stoke with a win against Liverpool. Despite having 77% of the possession, Arsene Wenger’s side couldn’t break down a resolute Stoke City defence and ultimately paid the price as Jese exploited the massive gap between the central and right centre halves to score the only goal of the game.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool are significantly weaker in defence than in attack.

Arsenal Form

For The Gunners, the problem is their 3-at-the-back system, Nacho Monreal is not suited to a role in the middle of the three and therefore leaves space which the opposition can easily capitalise upon. The wingbacks are also at fault, often failing to track back quickly enough to help out their teammates.

Nacho Monreal
Nacho Monreal of Arsenal during the Champions League

Arsenal fans will hope the return of Laurent Koscielney will sure up their defence, however Shkodran Mustafi is doubtful due to a link with Inter Milan and Wenger’s side may still have to play two fullbacks in defence.

If the German international does start, it may allow Sead Kolasinac to move into his favoured left-wingback role, which would mean either Hector Bellerin or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin will start on the opposite flank, with both players performing poorly when playing on the left.

Liverpool Form

Liverpool’s defensive woes are arguably systematic rather than as a result specific players. The Gegenpress Klopp implements functions brilliantly 9 times out of 10, winning the ball back in dangerous areas or forcing the ball backwards, however on the odd occasion it fails, Liverpool’s defence is left exposed, with the fullbacks and majority of the midfield high up the pitch, leaving the central defenders with little support.

Both sides are also very poor at defending from set pieces, with woeful organization and willingness to attack the ball. Their attacks, however, are what kept them in the higher reaches of the table last season and what will make this an exhilarating game to watch.

Wenger confirmed in a press conference earlier this week that star-man Alexis Sanchez is available for Sunday’s game and will be a likely starter. The Chilean international will slot in behind Alexandre Lacazette and alongside Mesut Ozil in their 3421 formation, a trio with the potential to rip apart any defence in England.

Ozil has been accused of going missing in recent games and making little impact despite his outstanding passing ability and intelligence in the final third. With Lacazette’s ability to drop deep and link the play, Ozil and Sanchez will have the opportunity to make dangerous runs in behind the Reds’ defence. Klopp’s side have an equally potent front three, despite Phillippe Coutinho’s absence due to a persistent link with Barcelona, with the Brazilian trying to force the move which would command a fee in the region of £130m.

Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino form a fluid forward line bursting with pace and technical ability.



Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana, both of whom played crucial roles in Liverpool’s top four surge last campaign, are unavailable due to long-term injuries. While Coutinho is out with a supposed back injury.


The only significant injury in the Arsenal squad is Santi Cazorla’s Achilles tendon injury, which is expected to keep him sidelined until April 2018.


Liverpool (433)

  • Mignolet
  • Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan, Robertson
  • Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum
  • Salah, Firmino, Mane

Arsenal (3421)

  • Cech
  • Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
  • Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac
  • Ozil, Sanchez
  • Lacazette


Due to both sides’ defensive frailties and attacking strength, the clash will most definitely be one with a lot of goals. I’m going to go for a 4-3 win for Liverpool with Mane (x2), Salah and Firmino to score for the home side and Sanchez (x2) and Lacazette (x1) to net for the visitors.