Arsenal welcome Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium in what should be an entertaining clash on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.
Arsene Wenger’s team will be eager to improve upon their second-placed finish last season, which was seen by many as a wasted opportunity to win the title.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side have grand ambitions of their own, as the men from Merseyside will be desperate to regain European football at Anfield for next season, after they ended the 2015/16 campaign in eighth position.
The Gunners have been largely impressive during their pre-season campaign, with victories over the MLS All-Stars and title rivals Manchester City last weekend.
Arsenal’s tours of the United States and Norway have displayed the north London outfit’s goalscoring qualities, particularly their emphatic 8-0 win over Norwegian powerhouse Viking FK which will no doubt sharpen their ruthlessness in front of goal.
Similarly, Liverpool have had no trouble finding the next during friendly matches, especially in their 4-0 win over La Liga champions Barcelona at Wembley. However, unlike their London counterparts, the Reds have been susceptible to conceding goals at the back too, as they also lost 4-0 to Jurgen Klopp’s old employers FSV Mainz in Germany in their last friendly.
On the transfer front, Arsenal got the ball rolling with the signing of highly-rated Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka from the Bundesliga, who will no doubt be looking to provide that much-needed steel in midfield that the Gunners have been missing since the glory days of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva.
Likewise, Liverpool have added Premier League experience to their squad in the form of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum from Southampton and Newcastle United respecitvely, who both showed flashes of brilliance at their respective clubs last year.
For the hosts, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel have been ruled out with long-term injuries while Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil are all set to miss the opening match after only retuning to training recently following their exertions at the European Championship finals earlier this summer.
Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner are both unlikely to feature at the Emirates after suffering injuries in pre-season, while Loris Karius (broken hand) and Mamadou Sakho (ankle) will also be missing.
Last Season: Arsenal – 2nd (71pts); Liverpool – 8th (60pts)
Last Meeting: Liverpool 3-3 Arsenal (January 13, 2016)
League Form: Arsenal – DWDWDW; Liverpool – LWWDDL
Key Men: Arsenal – Alexis Sanchez; Liverpool – Sadio Mane
Shoot Says: Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool