By Bulldog Drummond
There was an excellent article in Goonernews recently which made the point that “Liverpool have not lost at home in 40 matches in the Premier League. You have to go all the way back to April 2017 when they succumbed to Crystal Palace in the league.”
The article also points out that Liverpool “have been expected to concede 1.25 goals per game this season in their first four fixtures. Compare that to last season’s xG conceded of just 0.72 per game and you can see there is a lack of security at the back at the start of this campaign.”
Now generally Untold is not a great fan of xG given that it can so often be highly inaccurate as a predictor, but there might be something in that decline, as even the notoriously lopsided Jamie Carragher has warned that “Arsenal could exploit this weakness, and with the form that both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have started the season, fans have to be optimistic that Emery’s side can score a goal or two at Anfield.”
As the article continues, “Liverpool conceded 14 shots against Southampton. They only conceded more on one occasion last season, in the Champions League final versus Tottenham, showing Arsenal could get more than the six they managed last season.”
Much depends of course on whether the win against Newcastle signifies a renewal of our old away form – the form that could take us through a whole season without losing away from home. You will recall I am sure that in both 2001/2 and 2003/4 we went through the whole season without losing away.
Now I am not saying we can jump from last season’s eight defeats to zero in one go. But we moved from 11 defeats away two years ago to eight defeats away last season. If we can get that down to four this season then we are getting close to the older form which made going to away games so pleasurable. Whether that turnaround can start with this match, may be an awful lot to ask, but things do change…
As Goonernews concludes, “Whether that will be enough against Liverpool this weekend, it is difficult to tell. It certainly won’t be easy but it is hardly an insurmountable task that previous results at Anfield suggest it might be.”
Now moving on here are the latest injury details, based on information from Physioroom…
|Player||Reason||Further Detail||Potential Return||Playing?|
|Hector Bellerin||Knee Injury||Continuing with on-field rehabilitation.||21/10/2019||No|
|Konstantinos Mavropanos||Groin/Hip/Pelvic Injury||Will be out of action for at least 6-8 weeks.||21/10/2019||No|
|Kieran Tierney||Groin/Hip/Pelvic Injury||Aiming to participate in full training in October.||21/10/2019||No|
|Granit Xhaka||Lower Back Injury||Bruising to lower back and leg. Being assessed.||24/08/2019||75%|
|Mesut Ozil||Match fitness||24/08/2019||50%|
|Rob Holding||Match fitness||Coming back after a long injury. Played 60 minutes for under 23s.||No Return Date||50%*|
* Rob Holding is scheduled to play the full game in the next under 23 match against Everton. The 50% figure comes from Physioroom, but I can’t see him having any chance of playing in the Liverpool game. After such a long injury the last thing one would do surely is to give a player his first full game, away to Liverpool.
iNews offer a team prediction of
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Monreal;
Dani Ceballos, Xhaka, Guendouzi;
Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Meanwhile those mighty jokers Football.Loondon have this suggested line up
Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, David Luiz, Monreal
Guendouzi, Ceballos, Xhaka,
Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette
Yep it is the same team except for a spot of positional changing.
Here is a third, this from the Standard and at least this one has some variation…
Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis, Monreal;
Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos;
Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Many pundits are coming in with their opinion at the moment and one favourite idea is that Arsenal need more experience in the defensive midfield role. So just as we are all getting excited about the young players coming forward, the pundits are telling us that this is not a good approach, because we will be torn to bits by Liverpool.
As ever we shall see although of course these days that hardly seems necessary as the “Supercomputer” (whatever that is) at BT Sprout has already told us all the results in advance.
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