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Arsenal vs Liverpool: Team news, predicted line-ups and match preview

Arsenal face Liverpool in the standout fixture from the opening weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League season, with both sides desperate to start off well.

The Gunners will hope to build on their second-place finish in the league last season, but a lack of signings has left a cloud of doubt over the club heading into this encounter.

In contrast, Jurgen Klopp has been active this summer and has now stamped his identity on the Liverpool squad, which in turn will give him confidence that they can continue to make progress.

As for teams, Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis as Gabriel joined Per Mertesacker on the long-term injury list last week, as reported by The Independent, while Laurent Koscielny will not be rushed back after his involvement in Euro 2016 this summer.

In turn, that leaves Arsene Wenger with the likely solution of fielding Calum Chambers and summer signing Rob Holding in central defence, while fellow new boy Granit Xhaka could make his debut in midfield.

Olivier Giroud misses out too so Wenger will be forced into a reshuffle up front, but he will hope to have all of his first-team stars back next week as they continue to build their fitness after extended breaks.

Meanwhile, Klopp has lost Loris Karius, Joel Matip and Daniel Sturridge to injury and fitness concerns, while Mamadou Sakho will miss out after experiencing various disciplinary issues in recent months.

However, new signings Ragnar Klavan and Sadio Mane are expected to start, with Roberto Firmino potentially fielded up front depending on whether or not Divock Origi gets the nod in place of Sturridge.

All in all, it promises to be an exciting start to proceedings at the Emirates this season, with both sides boasting great attacking talent in what should be an open game with chances.

Whether or not the encounter lays bare the requirement for reinforcements for Arsenal, or if time and patience will be needed for Klopp’s men to get it right remains to be seen, but it’s an intriguing encounter to mark the start of another fascinating title race.

Predicted line-ups:

Arsenal XI: Petr Cech; Héctor Bellerín, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Nacho Monreal; Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Alex Iwobi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey; Alexis Sánchez

Liverpool XI: Simon Mignolet; Nathaniel Clyne, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno; Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana; Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino

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