Arsenal are the hosts as Liverpool travel to the Emirates on Saturday for the biggest game of the young Premier League season so far.
With most believing these are two teams heading in opposite directions after two very different summers, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will have to prove his side are still capable of mixing it with the best as the dark clouds continue to gather over North London following the most difficult period of the Frenchman’s time in charge at Arsenal.
Having failed to pick up a trophy for the sixth successive season and with key players ready to jump ship, Arsenal will be desperate to pick up three points against their fierce rivals and show that despite their inactivity in the transfer window they are still contenders for a top four finish.
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Despite both teams picking up disappointing draws in their first games of the season, Liverpool fans will be the most optimistic after acquiring the likes of Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Jose Enrique over the summer break while Arsenal have dealt mainly in losses with Cesc Fabregas departing and Samir Nasri seemingly on the brink of following him out of the club.
And the Gunners woes don’t end there –both Alex Song and new signing Gervihno were handed three game bans for their part in the melee against Newcastle, while Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou are a doubt for the game against Liverpool after limping off in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Udinese with hamstring injuries on Tuesday, meaning the inexperienced Carl Jenkinson, a summer signing from Charlton, could be thrown in at the deep end on Saturday.
Liverpool meanwhile will be hopeful that their spate of new signings will be able to gel quickly enough in order to avoid a start to the season similar to last year where Roy Hodgson guided the Reds to their worst set of results in over 57 years.