Arsenal v Liverpool tips – Back Reds to avoid defeat at Emirates
Can an injury-ravaged Arsenal manage anything from their opening Premier League game this weekend?
August 10th, 2016
It hardly needs saying that Arsenal’s 2015/16 season was something of a disappointment. OK so they finished second in the Premier League and grabbed themselves a Champions League berth once again, however this was achieved courtesy of an end-of season collapse from North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and the fact remains that the Gunners finished well adrift of the champions with ten points separating them from table-topping Leicester City at the end of play.
Cue protests from frustrated fans as Arsene Wenger was once again the focus of anger and this will hardly have abated following a lack of transfer dealings during the summer. A failure to sign any noteworthy strikers will have been a particular gripe amongst an Arsenal support which have had very little to cheer in recent seasons and despite Wenger insisting that he is still looking for new talent, it isn’t going to arrive in time for this weekend’s opening fixture.
Wenger will therefore have to utilise what he has at his disposal and his choices have diminished following the sidelining of Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil, all absent through injury. The fitness of both Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez is also in question given that neither player took part in much pre-season action. Gabriel also won’t be playing any part in this opening clash having been forced off in the friendly win against Manchester City.
Will this be music to the ears of Liverpool? You bet it will and it will only add to the confidence of a Reds side which thrashed European champions Barcelona in the recent International Champions Cup match. Barcelona fielded a strong side for that clash but they were utterly dominated by Liverpool on that occasion, an indication perhaps that boss Jurgen Klopp may have imposed his stamp upon the side in time for the new season.
An inspired move was the signing of Sadio Mane in a move worth £34million, the Senegalese star impressing in his performance against Barcelona and certain to add to the power and pace of a side which has been lacking following the departures of Suarez and Sterling. He will pose no shortage of problems for the Gunners defence and we’ll be backing him to find the net at some stage on Sunday with 888sport going 14/5 for Mane on the Anytime Goalscorer market.
Is this all pointing towards an easy three points for the visitors on Sunday? It might appear so, however one would be extremely unwise to completely write off the Gunners. Arsenal contain some quality in their ranks and despite numerous star names likely to miss out at the weekend, Wenger still has a depth of talent upon which he can delve into. Nevertheless, a depleted Arsenal defence will struggle against this improved Liverpool side and we’ll be going for Liverpool-Draw in the Double Chance market with Bet365 going 8/13 that the Reds avoid defeat at the Emirates.