With a good chunk of the team missing due to injury or transfer, Arsenal looks to turn their luck around as they take on their foe, Liverpool Football Club. Sure, their rivalry has lost some of its importance over the past few seasons with so many departures, (the most recent being Robin van Persie) but both clubs look to get into the full-swing of things in this early season battle.
Date: Sunday, September 2nd
Time: 8:30 AM (ET), 14:30 BST
Where: Anfield, Liverpool, England
Live stream: Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Neither club has started off particularly well this season. Arsenal forced another stalemate against Stoke City on Sunday, as they were simply unable to do anything. That marks the second consecutive draw for Arsenal, but more importantly, that was the second straight match without a goal for the Gunners. Before Arsenal fans go bonkers and say it is all due to the loss of Robin van Persie, remember that this isn't the first time they've lost a big name talent to transfer.
Arsene Wenger, who has been through so much scrutiny during his long tenure with the club, did the team right by signing the Spaniard star, Santi Cazorla over the summer. Although no goals were scored in the match against Stoke City, Cazorla was one of the bright spots.
He, along with Mikel Arteta gave Stoke City's goalkeeper Asmir Begovic a scare on multiple occasions Sunday, but to no avail. The club is simply missing something—or someone—thus far. Sure, it is a matter of getting acquainted with the group, but Cazorla could really use some help shoring up the attack for Arsenal.
That's where young-gun Jack Wilshere comes in. Nursing an ankle injury for over a year now, signs are finally pointing to Wilshere coming back to action sometime this year. People say van Persie made this club tick, but the "addition" of Wilshere will be magic to Wenger's ears. Add in the health of winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arsenal will be just fine.
For Liverpool to win this match, they must rely on the savvy of Luis Suarez. But not on his own.
Liverpool is in dire need of another finisher ahead of Suarez; someone who can take the great pressure to perform off Suarez's shoulders. A combination of the two could lead the club to an unlikely finish in the league and surprise the football world.
Suarez, an all-around talent could be a good assist man if he ever had a chance at doing so.
The addition of midfielder Nuri Sahin a week ago will add a whole new dimension to the Liverpool attack and considerably help Suarez and the club as a whole, but will it be enough?
Sahin, too, has the ability to perform multiple roles, but is unlikely to shift over unless need be. And no one knows if he will stay past this season, leaving many question marks for the club. Either way, Sahin will prove to be a vital cog to Liverpool's success.
What else is missing for the Reds? A certain midfielder whom many have already forgotten the name of: Jordan Henderson.
The once solid attacking mid has disappeared almost overnight. He is a competent player with a decent skill set and is full of potential, but was pushed to the side for "creativity" purposes. Maybe Liverpool is simply going through an adjustment period, but whatever the case, they need an injection of intensity to wake them up a little. It is not time to sell, yet.
Arsenal had a bad start to the season last year, and hasn't really gotten it going yet. Liverpool beat the Gunners last year to the tune of 2-0, but Arsenal came back to win 2-1 in Anfield later on in the year. With the recent changes surrounding both clubs, I see more upside with Arsenal. Arsenal will not make it three matches in a row without a goal. They will beat the Reds 2-1.
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