English Premiership

Arsenal's Emery dreading Liverpool trip

2019-08-19 14:36
Unai Emery
Unai Emery (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Arsenal boss Unai Emery admits he's not looking forward to facing Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

The Gunners have made the perfect start to the Premier League this season, winning their first two games in the league for the first time since 2009-10, after seeing off Burnley on Saturday.

They haven’t been at their brilliant best, but their attacking options have helped them to come through tests with Newcastle and the Clarets.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in particular, has been key with his two goals helping them over the line in both of those matches.

It’s in defence that Emery still has plenty of issues to resolve and that will likely come to the fore when they face Liverpool at Anfield this weekend.

Arsenal lost captain Laurent Koscielny over the summer and injuries have left them short in that position so far this term.

Callum Chambers and Sokratis Papastathopoulos started in the heart of defence at St James’ Park, while summer signing David Luiz played alongside the latter on Saturday.

Shkodran Mustafi has been omitted from the matchday squad so far this season as Arsenal hope to move him on before the European transfer windows close.

They are even looking light in the full-back positions at present with new arrival Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin both on the treatment table.

All of that considered, a trip to face Liverpool, who were the second-highest scorers in the league last season, doesn’t seem desirable.

Certainly, that is the opinion of Emery and it’s understandable when assessing their most recent trips to the face the European champions.

Arsenal fell to an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at Anfield last season, while they lost 4-0 on Merseyside when visiting in 2017/18.

Indeed, Anfield hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners over recent times, having not won there since 2012, while they have conceded 22 goals in the six games following that triumph.

Emery said: "For us, we don’t want to play against Liverpool ever.

"We’d prefer not to play against them."

Liverpool have already notched six goals this season, having also won both of their games, after hitting four past Norwich and two against Southampton.

But there is hope for Emery, as Liverpool are yet to keep a clean sheet and have looked unusually nervy at the back.

Jurgen Klopp has sent his side out to play with a high defensive line in the opening two fixtures and they don’t look entirely comfortable.

Arsenal’s pacey forward line will likely be licking their lips at the prospect of trying to beat the offside trap and it could prove to be a very open game.

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 11 April 2020
Norwich City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Carrow Road 02:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 02:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 02:00
Southampton v Manchester City, St. Mary's Stadium 02:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 02:00
Burnley v Sheffield United, Turf Moor 02:00
Sunday, 12 April 2020
Liverpool v Aston Villa, Anfield 02:00
Chelsea v Watford, Stamford Bridge 02:00
Monday, 13 April 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal, Molineux Stadium 02:00
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