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Arsenal's Sokratis Says Playing Liverpool Could Be Easier Than Burnley

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  Chris Wood of Burnley and Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal during of the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Burnley FC at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Visionhaus/Getty Images

Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has suggested facing Liverpool could be easier than Burnley.

The Gunners beat the Clarets 2-1 on Saturday and will play the Reds next Saturday. 

Per Goal's Charles Watts, Sokratis said:

"For a defender it is more difficult [to play teams like Burnley] because you have to fight a lot.

"It [Liverpool] is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don't have to fight a lot—but they also play football.

"If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard."

Sean Dyche's side are among the most physical in the Premier League.

The Gunners have historically struggled somewhat against such teams, with the likes of Bolton Wanderers and more recently Stoke City giving them problems over the years. From 2008 to 2014, Arsenal failed to win half of their 14 meetings with the Potters.

In Liverpool, they'll be coming up against a much more technical side, but it's unlikely to be any easier for them at Anfield on Saturday.

Arsenal haven't beaten the Reds since 2015, and not since 2012 have they won at Anfield. In the eight times they've met since the 2015 victory, the Gunners have shipped three or more goals on six occasions.

Football commentator Phil Schoen noted that for all the positives to Arsenal's start to the season, things are about to get much tougher for the Gunners:

Phil Schoen @PhilSchoen

Two wins from two for Arsenal out of the gate for first time in a decade. Ceballos looks like the Ozil they've been missing & David Luiz might be the steal of the transfer window, BUT a rude awakening awaits if they're not much sharper in the next two at Liverpool & vs Tottenham.

The north London outfit will hope that on-loan midfield schemer Dani Ceballos can put in a repeat performance at Anfield after he shone against Burnley.

Football.London's James Benge was impressed with the Spaniard's showing, while statistician Dave O'Brien shared the numbers behind it:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Standing ovation for Dani Ceballos and richly deserved at that. The best full debut at the Emirates in a very long time.

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Dani Ceballos’s game by numbers vs. Burnley: 90% pass accuracy 25 final third passes 4/4 take-ons 3 key passes 3 fouls won 2 assists Dream debut. 🇪🇸 https://t.co/N9YyDLCP87

Arsenal need their creative and goalscoring players at their best, because keeping Liverpool out at the other end seems unlikely given their recent record against them and the Reds' considerable firepower.

Even if the Gunners are able to eke out a positive result against Liverpool, it's likely to be a long game for Sokratis and the rest of their back line.