The English Premier League is back and probably the biggest match of the week is the one where the Gunners take on Liverpool at the Emirates. But Injuries look to play spoil-sport in this for both the teams. How can the top bosses manage their team through the crisis is what we look forward to.
As Leceister takes on Hull city, we mark the inception of the 25th season of the Premier League on Saturday. But, on SundayA�evening,A�Liverpool playing Arsenal at North London is the match everyone is looking forward to this week. But this grand opening might be marred by Arsenal’s and Arsene Wenger’s age-old nemesis, the Injury List. Defensive strategies have to be modified and new players injected in the team for the Gunners to successfully compete against Liverpool. On the other hand, Liverpool themselves haven’t left Arsenal alone in this dire situation as they too have a tedious amount of injuries and player availability issues to reconcile with as Jurgen Klopp starts his campaign this season.
This is an important season for both these teams as Liverpool fight their way back into Champions League contention, while Arsenal have a lot to prove after coming one short of the title last season and to be held favourites this year round. But the Arsenal boss faces his old nightmare in the form of an unfit defence line-up and a difficult choice ahead of him. With Mertesacker out with a knee injury, possibly for an entire year, and Gabriel out with an ankle injury for weeks, Wenger has to choose from the likes of inexperienced and new additions to the team of Xhaka and Holding or the experienced but match-unfit Laurent Koscielny. To set up an inexperienced defence in front of a fast-paced Liverpool attack might not be the best move but a necessary one under the current circumstances.
The midfield includes the summer recruit from Bundesliga, Granit Xhaka, who will provide stability, with the help of either Coquelin or Mohammed Elneny to cover for the centre-backs. Aaron Ramsey is likely to take Mesut Ozila��s place having returned from post-Euro 2016 break last week and is unlikely to take part in this fixture. Arsene Wenger will be boosted by the arrival of Alexis Sanchez who suffered a hefty blow on his ankle while playing for Chile in the Copa America Centenario 2016 and is the key factor for an Arsenal victory tomorrow. Hector Bellerin and Callum Chambers would probably be on duty to nullify the Wingers Lallana and Sadio Mane on Sunday.
The attack for Arsenal also looks bleak as Olivier Giroud might be unavailable on Sunday with Theo Walcott or a young Iwobi replacing him. Sanchez and Ramsey look to provide plays for Arsenal upfront but mainly they would look to contain Liverpool and try to score on counter-attacks.
Liverpool are not exactly in a comfortable situation themselves as Daniel Sturridge remains inconsequential in the outcome of this match along with teammates James Milner and Marko Grujic. The Midfield is a worry for the former Dortmund Boss Jurgen, but has a relief in the form of Joel Matip returning to the Liverpool Squad. Absence of Lovren and Grujic might hurt the Reds but there is a chance for recovery. Also Spaniard Moreno replaces Milner for Sunday’s clash giving them stability at the back.
An upbeat Liverpool side is set to take the pitch at the Emirates after a 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona at Wembley. Their record against Arsenal away at London hasn’t been an exciting one with only one victory in 2011 in the last 20 years. But the fans are hopeful this season with a weakened Gunners side and in-form Liverpool side. Jurgen Klopp looks to play his favourite 4-2-3-1 formation with Firminho and Coutinho attacking upfront, and feeded crosses from the wings by Mane and Lallana.
But Klopp faces defensive headaches with Ragnar Klavan or Joel Matip set to get into the Starting XI. Klavan had an impressive pre-season, being selected as the outstanding player in LFC US Tour 2016 while Matip suffered an injury against Wigan Atheltic which forced him out of action for majority of the pre-season games. But he might be back on duty for the Reds on Sunday. Summer signing Loris Karius was about to start Sunday but he suffered a wrist injury which needed a surgery.A�In the midfield role, Emre Can and Jordan Henderson will both be suited for Kloppa��s full throttle football or Gegenpressing. Missing Sturridge on the the pitch might mean a lack of an experienced finisher for Klopp, thus affecting their chances for a win.
Possible Line-ups :
Arsenal -A�Cech; Bellerin; Chambers; Holding; Gibbs; Xhaka; Coquelin; Oxlade-Chamberlain; Ramsey; Iwobi; Sanchez
Liverpool -A� Mignolet; Clyne; Lovren; Klavan; Moreno; Can; Henderson; Lallana; Coutinho; Firmino; Mane
Arsenal 2 : Liverpool 2