This is usually a brilliant football match, for the most part dominated by Liverpool, but I think the more recent editions might serve up a far tastier affair.
You have one side in absolute football ecstasy and dizzy about their start to the season, whilst the other is trying hard to fight off the reality of their lackluster and somewhat limp opening scene to this year’s league season.
To Win (90 mins)
Arsenal is still ‘top of the pops’ as they say. A little more than a third into the season now and they are still at the summit, setting the pace for the rest of the league. Their victory against Spurs was emphatic and intentional, with a clear statement being made. They are happy to be a team who take you out to the deep-end and entertain a game of football where you just cannot afford to make a mistake.
To be completely honest, I was quite surprised to see Gabriel Jesus left out of the Brazil squad – and so seeing how he would then perform against Spurs and in Europe was always going to be interesting…but he’s been his brilliant self hasn’t he?
Arsenal have been outstanding at home in recent fixtures, over a period of 22 league fixtures they have managed a 2.30 xGF and just 0.99 xGA per game at home! Yes, I am trying my hand at the analytical and somewhat scientific approach at interpreting these games – but I’m also justifying my treble prediction in the SBN Premier League preview…
These sorts of statistics go hand in hand with Arsenal’s overall improvement this season. They have shown a desire to win every time they play, the patience shown in the manager and his support in the boardroom is paying dividends (yes, I’ll say it again and again) and the very apparent mood around the team should not be misconstrued by any means. This is a quality football team, with a quality mentality, playing quality football.
However, in Liverpool, you find an opposition who certainly have the firepower to make life incredibly uncomfortable.
It’s no secret that Liverpool has made an extremely flat and nervy start to the season. They haven’t always played to a level we have come to expect from the Reds, but more concerning would surely be the way in which they have failed to register results.
Of course, the media picks up on various storylines and ideas and looks to suggest correlation to some fantastical reasoning (think about the superstitious suggestions around Jurgen Klopp’s seventh year in charge, or the occasional mention of Sadio Mane’s departure).
There was a suggestion that the inadvertent break caused by the passing of the Queen Elizabeth would have benefited the men from Merseyside, but after their draw with Brighton those whispers seemed to dry up. October is a difficult month though; Liverpool has games every other day and they don’t get any easier. Failing to get going soon might have lasting repercussions.
The reality however is that Liverpool have won just two Premier League games so far this season and are now required to travel to the Emirates to face an Arsenal side full of vigour. It’s certainly not going to be an easy fixture, but we must acknowledge the opportunity…
Should Liverpool come away with a win, I would argue their season already possibly looks a little different. The media will lap it up of course because it suits their narrative and so the perception of Liverpool immediately changes…
Prediction: Arsenal (31/20)
I would love to have enjoyed this and really written it with a smile on my face, but I don’t want any part of it to be undone or taken lightly. Arsenal at 31/20 is an absolute treat of an opportunity. One that doesn’t come around every day.
For me, Arsenal win this. Get on, spend your money and add it to everything…ok I smiled.