Arsenal are still without a goal in the Premier League thus far, as they travel to Anfield (Sunday, 1.30pm GMT) for a crucial tie with Liverpool.
Maybe it’s a case of Arsenal’s frontline still needing time to adjust, but manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping that his new players get up to speed with the rigors of English football sooner rather than later.
Olivier Giroud has squandered a few chances over the past two weeks to get himself on the score sheet. I believe last season’s top scorer in Ligue 1 will be able to find the net on a consistent basis in the Premier League, but the first goal is so important to get himself going.
Meanwhile, Lukas Podolski took up his place on the left flank against Stoke last week and Theo Walcott was dropped in favour of Gervinho on the right.
Again, there’s nothing wholly wrong with Arsenal’s attack, as both Podolski and Giroud look to be confident in their abilities. The goals will come eventually for Arsenal.
It’s difficult to say whether Theo Walcott will be reinstated into the starting line-up, especially considering the on-going contract negotiations between himself and the club. Coincidently, he has been linked with a move to Liverpool in the recent past.
There are few injury worries for Arsene Wenger this week, with Laurent Kosciely back from injury – a huge boost to the defensive line. However, Wojciech Szczesny will have a late fitness test to determine if he can take part in the game. Elsewhere, the club are still without long-term absentees Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Tomas Rosicky.
Bet365 odds on this match:
21/20 Liverpool, 12/5 Draw, 13/5 Arsenal
Arsene Wenger will be relying heavily on Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla in particular for inspiration in the midfield. Both are technically excellent players who know how to retain possession. Cazorla will once again be Arsenal’s main source of creativity.
It is interesting to note that Santi Cazorla is not shy of taking shots in the game. And with Pepe Reina’s ability to fumble shots into his goal, Cazorla looks a good shout to score at anytime.
Liverpool, on the other hand, gave a really good and certainly surprising performance against Manchester City last week at Anfield.
Brendan Rodgers’ side seemed to launch themselves out of that slump that saw them to a 3-0 defeat to West Brom on the opening weekend, and they really gave Manchester City a good scare.
Were it not for Martin Skrtel’s schoolboy error, Liverpool would certainly have landed all three points. But that’s the trouble with Liverpool, they always seem to have a mistake in them. I find it hard to believe this side can keep a clean sheet, even against goalless Arsenal.
It will also be interesting to see which Liverpool team turns up this Sunday. They obviously come alive for big games against their home crowd, but they’re not always consistent.
Luis Suarez has finally opened his account in the Premier League following his excellent free kick against Manchester City last week, while Raheem Sterling was also impressive against City. However, I’m sure Brendan Rodgers will be weighing up whether to start Sterling in another high-profile Premier League game.The Liverpool attack can get at Arsenal’s defence. The Gunners are weak down both flanks, with Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs likely to be the two full-backs.
This may also be the first opportunity we get to see Nuri Sahin in the Premier League. The Turkish international has joined Liverpool on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.
Arsenal are without the striker who won them the corresponding fixture last season, but despite not scoring so far in the league, I believe Arsenal are the more settled side.