Top-flight Arsenal will be hoping to regain the Premier League spot from Manchester City as they host Liverpool in a heavyweight encounter at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners were knocked into second place thanks to City’s crushing victory over Southampton yesterday but will be confident of overtaking the champions once again with surging momentum amid a brilliant start to the 2022/23 season.
Mikel Arteta’s side have won all but one of their first 10 matches in all competitions after a decisive transfer summer to raise hopes of a genuine title challenge, with Takehiro Tomiyasu as a surprise starter at the back left today. Liverpool, on the other hand, had their worst start to the campaign under Jurgen Klopp, winning just two of seven to sit in 10th place and 13 points off the starting pace.
The hosts have won just one of their last 14 top matches against today’s opponents, losing the last four in a row, but that could all change here as Liverpool bet with an attacking formation that could expose them. Follow Arsenal vs Liverpool with the Standard Sport LIVE blog below and Simon Collings in the Emirates!
OBJECTIVE! Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool | Gabriel Martinelli 1′
1 minute: WHAT A START!
Liverpool concede possession high up the pitch, Tsimikas is caught out of position and Saka leads an incisive Arsenal break.
He eventually finds Odegaard, who passes a perfect pass in defense to Martinelli, who makes no mistake with a cool finish.
The Emirates explode! Wow.
TO START UP
Here we are!
Deafening noise at the Emirates as referee Michael Oliver whistles and Mo Salah throws us into a huge Premier League showdown.
Both sets of players are taking the knee as part of the league’s No Room For Racism campaign.
A big afternoon in perspective for both teams…
Here are the teams!
A brilliant atmosphere already in a waiting Emirates, where the autumn sun still shines.
A real big game feel about this one.
Final preparations made in the Emirates!
Can this man add to his five-goal run for the season today?
Simon Collings at the Emirates Stadium
The warm-up ends here with Granit Xhaka – who graces today’s fixtures program – receiving his Arsenal Player of the Month award for September.
Well-deserved, he’s arguably been the Gunners’ Player of the Season so far.
Arteta gives update on Zinchenko
Arteta, meanwhile, is telling Arsenal to forget their form as they anticipate a dangerous Liverpool test this afternoon.
He wants his team to feed on all the positivity found at the Emirates, while not saying much about the decision to start Tomiyasu.
On Zinchenko, he says it’s a muscle injury and Arsenal will have to see how that develops over the next few days.
Klopp: Liverpool trying to create ‘new defensive stability’
Here’s Klopp on Liverpool’s formation change in his pre-match TV interview…
“It’s new for us the slightly different configuration. I thought the changes didn’t make too much sense,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s not so much about the opponent. These are the areas that we need to close. This is to create new defensive stability.
Klopp: Liverpool must become unpredictable again
Speaking ahead of today’s game at the Emirates, Klopp claimed Liverpool need to rediscover their unpredictability in order to get back on track in the Premier League.
“It’s important to become unpredictable again,” he said. “We need different systems for that too, and so [4-3-3] is not the only system we can play.
“With a 4-4-2, is it 4-3-3, is it 4-5-1, is it 4-2-3-1, we don’t want to complicate things but obviously there’s more systems available to us and we must now choose the one that best suits us to face the next opponent.
“When you spot a problem and think about it, you want the solution to click instantly. Immediately. We’re always finding a way out, that’s how it is. You can’t say we were in a dark place and now we’re back, we need consistency, and for that we need to defend everyone’s garbage, pretty much.
Standard Sport spoke to Tomiyasu after Arsenal’s Europa League win on Thursday when he vowed to fight for his starting spot and insisted competition with Ben White would make him a better player .
I wonder if he had planned to compete with Tierney and Zinchenko on the other side instead.
Tomiyasu actually expressed his displeasure with this performance against Bodo/Glimt, but Arteta clearly saw it differently.
“For me, it doesn’t matter what competition I’m in. Even if it’s the Europa League or a cup game, I want to help the team on the pitch,” said the Japan international.
“But if you want your position back, you have to be much, much better. Today wasn’t my best performance, so I’m not happy with my performance.
“If you play at a big club, like Arsenal, there’s always competition with other players. Competition makes me a lot better. To be fair, he (White) is doing very well, he’s doing very well. I also need to learn a lot from him during training.
Simon Collings at the Emirates Stadium
It’s certainly bold of Klopp and Arteta will really feel that Arsenal can dominate the exchanges in midfield.
Here are Simon Collings’ thoughts on this team news, including a potentially key battle between Salah and Tomiyasu…