Good Day fellow Reds!!! On Saturday, the Reds look to raise their first trophy of the new season. Although some people in the football world see this match as nothing but a glorified scrimmage, the teams involved can use this match to springboard them into the new season… even though I doubt the Reds need any type of outside motivation this far into Klopp’s tenure. The weather in London will be in the low 60s with a 20% chance or rain. The match can be seen on ESPN+.
Liverpool will still be without skipper Jordan Henderson for Saturday’s clash. He has still not recovered from the knee sprain that kept him out of the last two matches of last season. He looks close to being able to return to training and is eyeing the league opener on 12 Sept. as a possible return. The same toe that has kept Joel Matip out since 21 June will also keep him out Saturday but he is also looking to return to action on the opening day. Joining the list of players missing Saturday’s match is also Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with a knee injury he picked up in training. No time table is set for his return.
Virgil Van Dijk should be a go after the cut above his eye he received in the last friendly. Klopp also has said that Trent Alexander-Arnold is close to being selected, although without him be able to participate in any pre-season activities, that may be optimistic.
For the Gunners, the injury list looks to be just as long as Liverpool’s. Shkodran Mustafi is still out with the thigh injury he incurred in the FA Cup semi-final. Garbriel Martinelli and Callum Chambers are out with a knee injuries, and Pablo Mari is out for his ankle.
Well since its the first match of the year, lets look at the last five times these two clubs matched up and a little rivalry history. If you guys like this, let me know, and I can add it as a regular part of the previews for this season.
This will be the fourth time Liverpool and Arsenal have met in the curtain-raising match of the season, the previous three times being in 1979, 1989, and 2002. Liverpool is 2-1, with wins in ’79 (3-1) and ’89 (1-0), and a loss in ’02 (0-1).
The last five games between the two clubs results are: L (1-2); D (5-5, won on penalties); W (3-1); W (5-1); D (1-1).
Liverpool’s all-time top goal scorers in the match are as follows (and this is kind of funny): Robbie Fowler with 12 goals in 17 appearances; next is Arsenal own goals with 10 (haha!); Jack Parkinson netted nine in 11; Gordon Hogson had nine goals in 15 appearances; and Harry Chambers with eight goals in 20 features.
Lineup and Prediction
Based on what we saw in the two friendlies, and how we know Klopp’s way of managing (where no game is just a runout for the boys), I expect to see a very competitive lineup put out on Saturday.
Alisson will be minding the pipes. Robbo starts at LB. Virgil starts at CB with Joe Gomez. I would love to see Virgil in a head wrap here (a la Martin Skrtel in the same fixture in December 2014). Neco Williams should get the nod over Trent at RB, but I would expect to see the normal lad from Liverpool get a few minutes here. The midfield will have Fabinho in front of defense, with Gini and Naby flanking him on either side. The front three are as constant as the Sun Rising in the East, Death, Taxes, and Abu Dhabi FC never making it to a Champions League final: Sadio, Bobby and Mo up front.
These games always seem to be entertaining, and there are never a shortage of goals. Liverpool win 4-2 and the match ball goes to Naby for MOTM.
Seems like just yesterday we were lifting the trophy and now its time to go attack another one! Get at ‘er Lads! The road to glory starts here.