Arsenal-Liverpool At Anfield Tomorrow

Posted: September 1, 2012 in Arsenal Previews
Tags: , , , ,

Going into the third game of the season, I’m betting even the biggest Negative Nancy wouldn’t have believed we would’ve tallied zero goals so far.  Luckily for us we haven’t allowed a goal yet either, but as we face a Liverpool side themselves looking to get their first win tomorrow at Anfield, it’s a safe bet to go ahead & call tomorrow’s match our first real test of the season.

With no further signings yesterday on Transfer Deadline Day, with only the departures of Niklas Bendtner & Ju-Young Park being the only moves we made, Arsène Wenger has chosen to go ahead & go with the Arsenal side as is.  That means the squad, in some rough depth chart, looks this:

Goalkeepers:   Wojciech Szczęsny, Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone, Damián Martínez

Defenders:   Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker, Johann Djourou, André Santos, Sébastian Squillaci, Ignasi Miquel

Midfielders:   Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Tomáš Rosičký, Emmanuel Frimpong,

Attackers:   Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marouane Chamakh

Apart from that roster, you’ll likely see youngsters such as Chuks Aneke, Thomas Eisfeld & Serge Gnabry blooded into the squad in the Carling Cup & perhaps even making the odd league appearance here or there in a substitute’s role.  We can sit here & argue whether or not that’s an upgrade counting the players coming back from injury last year but as it is being done everywhere else, I wont linger on that.  Obviously, Robin van Persie leaving was a huge blow, but I don’t think we’ll miss Alexandre Song as much as people think, especially his propensity to not track back in key moments.

So, on to Liverpool & they’re a club that’s in transition like us moving away from Kenny Dalglish’s style to Brendan Rogers’ short passing game that heavily relies on wing play.  The Arsenal official site’s weekly scouting report gives a quick rundown of Rogers’ tactics as well, noting that Rogers also likes to play a high line, like we do too, and will likely look to press high up the pitch & win the ball in the opponents’ half.

In other words, there should be a good bit of similarities between us & the Scousers, so I think the match will probably hinge on a key refereeing decision here or there. Or more likely the home crowd boost may prove decisive, which at Anfield with the steep Kop end stand can be quite massive.

With Liverpool’s high line, and the fact he didn’t leave on Deadline Day, I suspect Arsène Wenger may re-insert Theo Walcott back into the startling lineup to try & take advantage of the space behind the defense.  Especially now that we have a midfielder in Santi Cazorla who can distribute the ball long &/or diagonally rather quickly & accurately often.  I would also guess that Wenger will start Olivier Giroud again so as to not send a message of “you have to score or you’re dropped” so early into the French striker’s Arsenal career.  Lukas Podolski is probably the second name on the team sheet behind captain Thomas Vermaelen’s.

Coupled with Liverpool’s high line, their defense has been asked to pass the ball more which has led to some issues early on in the season, including Martin Škrteľ’s gift to Carlos Tevez last week for Mansour City’s equalizer.  Hopefully, that unease in the defense will still be there though I imagine Rogers will have worked heavily on defensive communication & organization all week long in the Liverpool camp.

With all that said & Laurent Koscielny returning from injury, I think we’ll line up something like this:

Szczęsny

Jenkinson — Koscielny — Vermaelen — Gibbs

Arteta

Diaby — Cazorla

Walcott — Giroud — Podolski

Injuries
Arsenal: Rosičký (tendon), Sagna (leg), Frimpong (knee), Wilshere (ankle)

Liverpool: Joe Cole (hamstring), Lucas (thigh)

Prediction
As everyone is stating, including myself, there should be  a good bit of space for both sides to look to exploit (another reason Koscielny will replace Per in the lineup) & I think both will do so.  Rejoice, Gunners!  We get our first goal tomorrow!  However… we also concede for the first time tomorrow.  I also have a sneaking suspicion Luís Suárez, El Perro Langosta, will win a PK or an FK in a dangerous position which will lead to a Liverpool goal, maybe even the winner.  Or maybe he’ll just racially abuse every Arsenal player.  Anyway, I smell a draw even though we’ve looked much better defensively than Liverpool has.  I think away at Anfield is too much to ask for all three points & even though we look much better equipped physically to deal with trips to the North of England, I still get leery about them.  A draw for me Over The Hills And Far Away in Liverpool.  Obviously, I hope I’m wrong.          Liverpool 2, Arsenal 2

Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold. 

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Comments
  1. Brandon Ellis says:

    Seriously, week 1 college football and you’re still rambling on about soccer. What’s the world coming to?!

    On Saturday, September 1, 2012, The Tasty Nuggetz wrote: > curtisimo posted: “Going into the third game of the season, I’m betting even the biggest Negative Nancy wouldn’t have believed we would’ve tallied zero goals so far. Luckily for us we haven’t allowed a goal yet either, but as we face a Liverpool side themselves looking to” >

  2. curtisimo says:

    What the world is coming to is between work & trying to keep some sort of life outside of it, I don’t have time to deal with both (Arsenal & LSU) at the moment.

  3. curtisimo says:

    Dealing with meaning writing about.

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