Arsenal’s first game after the November international break is a massive one.
The Gunners are unbeaten in 10 games across all competitions and put that record to the test against a Liverpool side still smarting from their 3-2 loss at the hands of West Ham United just under a fortnight ago.
As a result, just two points separate the sides in the Premier League table.
One look at the form guide and it’s in Arsenal‘s favour. Over the last five league games, only Chelsea (13) and the Hammers (12) have picked up more points than them (11) across the entire division.
Furthermore, the Gunners have conceded four fewer goals than Liverpool during this period and have kept clean sheets in each of their last three away games in the Premier League.
Albeit despite coming under huge pressure from Brighton and Leicester as the likes of Benjamin White, Gabriel Magalhaes and Aaron Ramsdale needed to be at their very best in those two games.
That should fill Mikel Arteta with some shred of confidence ahead of his side’s trip to Anfield on Saturday as they’ll be facing the divisions leading scorers so it will be another test of their defensive resolve.
However, the Spaniard has every right to be worried about a potential backlash from the Merseyside giants as recent history does the north London outfit no favours whatsoever.
It’s common knowledge that Arsenal do not have a good recent record at Anfield in the Premier League. In fact, it’s dismal with five straight defeats and conceding 18 goals in the process.
With that said, they did technically win at the famous ground last season, but it was on penalties after a goalless draw in the Carabao Cup fourth round.
A repeat scoreline wouldn’t actually be the worst outcome on Saturday.
So if Arsenal are to end their dismal run at Anfield in the Premier League this weekend, they’ll most likely need to become the first side to ensure Liverpool draw a blank at home this season.
Of course, that is a feat that is easier said than done, although Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed his theory on what makes the Reds so dangerous.
“It’s a team that loves to attack space,” the Spaniard said ahead of his side’s trip to Anfield earlier in the season. “Salah plays wide sometimes but Robertson and Alexander-Arnold like that wide space. They create gaps because of their movements.
“They create space in the middle and have high intensity in all places. It’s very Jurgen.
“If they win a lot of games it’s because they are good. Not a lot of secrets. They won a Champions League and one Premier League.
“All the time they are competing. I admire that. No matter what the situation, they try to play their game.”
Guardiola naming Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson as three of Liverpool’s main threats won’t come as much of a surprise, but it serves as a warning for Arsenal.
Similar to Man City who didn’t have to contend with the England international for their trip to Anfield last month, the Gunners could face a Reds side without the other full-back as the latter is doubtful with a hamstring injury.
But Salah is fit as is Alexander-Arnold, so the Gunners must still heed Guardiola’s warning and perhaps attempt to replicate his setup.
The Man City boss set about denying the Reds space and it worked wonders in the first-half particularly as the visitors were the better side and just lacked a goal for all their dominance.
However, despite Guardiola’s best-laid plans, it was two moments of brilliance from Salah that undid his side. Something that, in fairness, can happen to any team, as the Egyptian has been in sensational form this season.
Arteta will be aware that his side must ride their luck at times on Saturday and if he’s to end Arsenal’s dismal record at Anfield in the Premier League then borrowing a page from the Guardiola handbook is a good place to begin.