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Emery vs Klopp and two summer signings face their biggest test yet – Arsenal vs Liverpool big match preview

Arsenal vs Liverpool TV channel, kick-off time and predicted line ups

When? Saturday 3 November, 5.30pm

Where? Emirates Stadium, London

What channel? BT Sport

Arsenal: Leno, Sokratis, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Monreal, Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang

Liverpool: Alisson, Van Dijk, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino

Keep an eye on…

Mohamed Salah – after a run of just one goal in seven games and talk of the Egypt international possibly being a ‘one-season-wonder’, he’s hit back with five goals and two assists in his last four games. With his pace up against a likely full-back pairing of Lichtsteiner and Monreal or perhaps even Granit Xhaka drafted in at left-back, he could run riot at the Emirates.

Salah vs Huddersfield

Mohamed Salah looks back to his best in recent games

Lucas Torreira – after a lot of hype about the young Uruguayan, this is his first big test, and he’ll certainly have a big job on his hands protecting that defence against Salah, Mane, Firmino and co.

Fabinho – another summer signing facing a big test in midfield, Fabinho will have the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to keep an eye on in that defensive role for the Reds. Both young midfielders and Premier League new-boys will have to be at their very best here.

Form…

Liverpool continued their superb start with a 4-1 win over Cardiff City, remaining unbeaten and joint-top of the Premier League table alongside Manchester City.

Arsenal, meanwhile, saw an eleven-game winning streak come to an end with a disappointing 2-2 draw away to Crystal Palace.

It’s fair to say the visiting team this weekend has generally looked the far more impressive in basically every area this season, and yet just four points separate these two sides going into Saturday’s game.

Some more interesting stats shed yet more light on the two teams though, with Arsenal actually scoring four more goals than an LFC outfit thought of by many as having perhaps the best front three in the world.

There are striking differences defensively, however, with Jurgen Klopp’s men letting in just four all season long as that big bundle of cash splashed out on Alisson and Virgil van Dijk looks increasingly like a bargain considering what a difference it’s made at that end of the pitch. Unai Emery’s men, on the other hand, have conceded a rather worrying 13 in just ten games so far.

History…

This fixture almost always seems to guarantee goals and drama, with ten goals being scored in total in the two league fixtures last season.

Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield early on in the season, before a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Emirates later on in the campaign.

Emery and Klopp also have some history, with the Spanish tactician notably getting the better of the German in the 2016 Europa League final when he was still in charge of Sevilla.

They went behind to the Reds that day but overpowered them with a brilliant second half display that night to win the final 3-1, making it three Europa League trophies in three seasons for Emery.

A slow first half and brilliant second for an Emery team? It’s certainly been a theme in his time in England so far too…

In the dugout…

Emery Arsenal

Unai Emery has done well at Arsenal so far

It’s a huge game for both the managers this season, and both will think the result gives a major indication of where their side is at.

For Klopp, this is a must-win in terms of keeping up with City and keeping ahead of Chelsea, with those two facing easy-looking home games against Southampton and Crystal Palace, respectively.

Liverpool have the habit in recent years of letting you down when it starts to matter most, but they’ve usually been pretty good in the big games under Klopp, winning away at Tottenham this season and snatching a draw at Chelsea.

For Arsenal, this is the hardest game Emery’s had since that nightmare early double-header against City and Chelsea.

The Spaniard lost both of those but has remained unbeaten since then, twelve out of his following thirteen games.

Some have been unconvinced by the performances in that time, however, with the Gunners almost always starting slowly before coming to life in the second half, and looking vulnerable defensively but getting away with it thanks to the superb attacking play of the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

In truth, Liverpool have not been playing their usual Klopp-inspired heavy metal football either, but look more capable of grinding out wins than before thanks to that new-look watertight defence.

It’s all to play for for these two this weekend, and it could be one of the most fascinating tactical battles of the season.

Prediction…

How on earth to pick a winner here?

Liverpool are clearly the better team on paper in every department, but one feels a blip is coming as that front three looks a little less devastating than last season.

Arsenal have rode their luck on more than one occasion but look more organised and confident than under Arsene Wenger in the last few years.

Both teams have injury worries going into this game, but Arsenal’s are probably the more concerning.

It’s very tight and we’re too scared to lean too far one way or another. 1-1 draw.

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