Arsenal’s final preparations for the Premier League clash against Liverpool are complete.
The Gunners go into the game – the first after the international break – on the back of a 3-3 draw against London rivals West Ham United as they battled back from three goals down.
However, draws aren’t good enough if the north London outfit are to ensure their only route to European football is not solely on lifting the Europa League trophy in May.
Victory over Jurgen Klopp’s side will move Arsenal to within a point of last season’s champions of England and they could end the weekend closer to the top six if results go in their favour.
Before the big Premier League game, Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff put the Gunners squad through their paces during a training session at London Colney on Friday afternoon.
And there has been media footage released to get fans in the mood.
Here’s what we spotted from the video and those training pictures and what it tells us ahead of the game against Liverpool on Saturday evening.
Calum Chambers was somewhat of a surprise starter against the Hammers a couple of weeks ago, getting the nod at right-back ahead of Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares.
But come full-time, he showed enough to keep hold of his spot when Liverpool come to town.
A constant threat down the right-hand side, Chambers was just as key as anyone to the dramatic comeback and was only denied two assists because of a technicality.
Yet his assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Friday’s training session can’t be taken away from him – even though it won’t count to his total.
As spotted in Arsenal’s ‘Behind the scenes’ at training video uploaded to YouTube, at around the 2.06-minute mark, Chambers whips a great ball into the box and Aubameyang taps home from close range.
Free-kick king revealed
Mikel Arteta has a number of players at his disposal who are all very capable of scoring direct from a free-kick for Arsenal.
This season has seen Granit Xhaka score a brilliant free-kick against Chelsea on Boxing Day as Arsenal‘s Premier League revival began with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium.
Meanwhile, there was a stunning effort from captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to seal victory for 10-man Arsenal at home to Aston Villa last season.
But the true free-kick king was revealed in training on Friday as Alexandre Lacazette showed his teammates how it’s done with a stunning effort.
Nicolas Pepe, Xhaka, David Luiz and Aubameyang are usually found over the ball when the Gunners are awarded a set-piece in a dangerous area.
Although, it would seem that Lacazette has now pulled rank.
Partey’s perfect response
Thomas Partey came in for criticism over his shooting during Arsenal’s draw with West Ham United.
Despite a good performance at the London Stadium, the former Atletico Madrid midfielder’s shooting left a lot to be desired.
And an Arsenal fan took to Instagram to tease the midfielder over that, saying: “Please stop shooting from miles away, still love you tho” with two laughing emojis.
Judging by Friday’s training session, Partey took that criticism on board.
Finding the net with a stunning strike from range, it was certainly the perfect response from the Ghana international, but can he replicate the goal against the Reds?
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The Gunners have been handed a huge boost ahead of clash against Liverpool as wonderkid Bukayo Saka is back in full training.
As mentioned by Arteta in his pre-match press conference, Saka has been training individually in recent days after being forced to withdraw from the England squad for their World Cup qualification triple-header during the international break.
But the 19-year-old has taken a major step towards being available for selection once again as on Friday he was involved in a session alongside his teammates.
Ahead of the game in north London, Saka was put through his paces at the club’s London Colney training base.
One would assume that as long as he doesn’t suffer a setback following the session, he will be in contention to start against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.
One of several notable omissions from the session was Emile Smith Rowe after the attacking midfielder reported back from international duty with the England Under-21’s injured