X

Arsenal's Matteo Guendouzi: 'I Believe We Can Beat Any Premier League Side'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 4: Matteo Guendouzi of Arsenal during the Club Friendly   match between FC Barcelona v Arsenal at the Camp Nou on August 4, 2019 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Matteo Guendouzi believes Arsenal "can beat any Premier League side" ahead of the Gunners' trip to Anfield on Saturday to face Liverpool. 

After two rounds of the 2019-20 Premier League season, Arsenal and Liverpool are the only sides with six points after back-to-back wins:

Premier League @premierleague

2/38 #PL https://t.co/rTrhZTPSlJ

By contrast, the Gunners began last season with consecutive losses against Manchester City and Chelsea, and they were handed a 5-1 thrashing by Liverpool when they visited Anfield in December. 

Guendouzi told Blake Welton of Sky Sports, though, that Arsenal are a different prospect compared to last season:

"Last year was not our finest hour but it's very different to last season, it's a new game and new team so I don't see why it would be the same result. We've had a much better start as well—last year we started with two losses but this year we are already six points up.

"We have a better team overall and we're feeling good about ourselves, we have a good team and we believe in ourselves. I know we can do really well, we are going there to win and I believe we can beat any Premier League side."

One of the additions Arsenal made to their squad in the summer was Nicolas Pepe, a player Unai Emery has hinted could be in contention to make his first start for the club against Liverpool:

James Benge @jamesbenge

At Colney, where Emery says Xhaka and Ozil are still doubts for Saturday. Confirms Pepe is ready to have "more minutes". He says trip to Anfield is "a very big challenge and a very big opportunity for us to do something."

Arsenal's six points this season have come via a 1-0 win at Newcastle United and a 2-1 victory at home against Burnley.

Though neither was an emphatic win, both came in performances displaying a ruthlessness that Arsenal have been lacking for some time.

Newcastle frustrated the Gunners for almost an hour before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came up with a fine winner on the opening weekend, and the Gabonese forward was on hand again to secure all three points against Burnley after Ashley Barnes had cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette's opener.

In previous seasons, Arsenal may well have dropped points in one or both of those games, and they have often struggled to make fast starts in recent campaigns:

Premier League @premierleague

For the first time since 2009-10, @Arsenal have won their first two games of a #PL season https://t.co/dYdwp62bVM

A visit to Anfield, though, is a significantly tougher prospect than facing Burnley or Newcastle, and Emery's side will need to up their level if they are to get anything on Merseyside.

There will be encouragement in the fact that Jurgen Klopp's Reds have yet to hit 100 per cent.

Their 4-1 win over Norwich City and 2-1 victory at Southampton were relatively comfortable, but their defence, which was rock-solid last season, has looked vulnerable:

Sachin Nakrani @SachinNakrani

This Liverpool defence; they don't look properly switched on, the spacing between the four of them appears too wide and given how high they are, one precise ball over the top and they're in serious trouble. Apart from that, absolutely spot on.

Arsenal will look to exploit the Liverpool back line with Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe, a front line with the potential to match the Reds' superlative attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.