Competition: Premier League – Arsenal FC vs. Liverpool FC
Venue: Emirates Stadium – Monday, August 24 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)
Match Odds: Arsenal 7/10 – Draw 3/1 – Liverpool 18/5
Both sides have failed to set the world on fire in their opening two games but have got some vital points on the board nonetheless. Arsenal responded to their opening loss to West Ham with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last Sunday and will now look for a first home win of the campaign.
Arsene Wenger is under pressure to bring a new striker in before the transfer window closes but will be focusing on on-the-field matters ahead of this one.
The Gunners have shipped four goals in two games and need to make sure they tighten up at the back if they are to build on last year’s third place finish.
Liverpool have opened the season with back-to-back 1-0 wins over Stoke and Bournemouth but have yet to really impress.
Six points from six is still a great start and if they can step up a gear, they could walk away from London with three more on Monday night.
Brendan Rodgers has a whole host of new signings at the club and he will be delighted with the fact Christian Benteke opened his account in a Reds shirt in the win over Bournemouth on Monday.
Arsenal beat Liverpool 4-1 in the most recent meeting between the two at the Emirates after they played out a 2-2 draw at Anfield last season.
The last time Liverpool won at Arsenal was in August 2011 and they will hope that another early season clash can deliver the same rewards.
Arsenal are likely to name an unchanged side from the one that beat Crystal Palace last Sunday. Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck remain out through injury. Olivier Giroud should keep his place up front with Hector Bellerin keeping his right-back berth ahead of Mathieu Debuchy.
Liverpool’s main concern regards the fitness of Jordan Henderson as he limped off in Monday’s win over Bournemouth. If he is unable to play, Roberto Firmino may push for a first league start, though his fitness is still questionable. Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen and Jon Flanagan are all still sidelined.
Arsenal’s form: L/W
Liverpool’s form: W/W
Key Stat: There has not been a 0-0 draw between these two sides since January 1999.
Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean star started at Crystal Palace last week after coming on as a sub in the opening loss to West Ham. This will be his first home start of the campaign and he can be expected to be a constant threat.
Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool – Expecting a very tight contest between two sides who have yet to hit the kind of form they will want to this year. This is always a huge fixture but it has perhaps come too early and so the goals might not fly in like they did last year. Arsenal to edge it by one goal.