Arsenal travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday evening, and it’s fair to say that these Gooners aren’t looking forward to one battle in particular.
Injuries have left Unai Emery with a real selection headache, with Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos potentially set to be joined by Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal on the sidelines.
As per The Sun, that means the Spanish tactician could be forced to field Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back, with Sead Kolasinac on the opposite side as he has to find a way around his defensive injury crisis.
Given Arsenal have conceded 25 goals in their 19 Premier League games so far this season, that doesn’t instil a great deal of confidence in itself that they’ll be able to come away from Anfield with a clean sheet.
Add their injury nightmare on top, and it could leave the league leaders licking their lips at the chance to get at their backline with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane leading the line.
As seen in the tweets below, it’s Mane’s battle with Lichtsteiner that is leaving many Arsenal fans dreading the thought of what the result might be this weekend.
Although the 34-year-old boasts a huge amount of experience and has won more trophies than many players on either side put together, one thing that he doesn’t possess at this stage of his career is pace.
That is not a good thing especially if you’re trying to keep the likes of Mane and Salah quiet, and so as seen below, Arsenal fans are not the least bit confident about who is going to win that battle.
Time will tell if the Swiss stalwart can surprise them and help the visitors put in a solid defensive shift, or perhaps Emery will come up with a different solution.
I’m not mentally prepared to see Lichtsteiner come up against Mane, Salah and Firmino
— Chrissy Böy (@chri52y0110) December 28, 2018
lichtsteiner cannot play tomorrow please i beg
— oog-oog? (@yoKemzy) December 28, 2018
Mane and Robertson will be tag teaming on Lichtsteiner pic.twitter.com/RYborqcwpd
— #3Özil (@MainManOziI) December 28, 2018
We are doomed..no left back..lichtsteiner vs mane
— neilohh (@neil54907755) December 28, 2018
Lichtsteiner is a guaranteed starter vs Mane/Salah/Firmino/Shaquiri ? that alone is game over
— Gaz (@GaryH15) December 26, 2018
Lichtsteiner is going to get ripped to shreds im afraid
— Alexander Barsnes (@BarsNesta) December 28, 2018
— Ben Haltham (@haltham89) December 27, 2018
No monreal or kolasinac, which means maitland niles at left back meaning lichtsteiner against mane ??? https://t.co/5kSrsC4r5a
— Matthew (@minstrel69) December 28, 2018