So the pre-season games are finally over and the now the teams are preparing themselves for the big stage. The Premier League will be kicking off this weekend and on 14th of August, the Merseyside club, Liverpool, will be travelling to London to face the Emirates outfit, Arsenal.
Well, it is safe to say that the Merseysiders were very inconsistent in their pre-season fixtures as they suffered a defeat against Chelsea, Roma and Mainz, but they will be carrying a bag full of confidence as they defeated the Catalan giants Barcelona with a thumping score line of four goals to nil.
Arsenal, on the other hand, will be carrying a great form as they faced some positive results lately, especially over; MLS All-Stars, Chivas de Guadalajara, Viking FK and Manchester City, but the major concern for the Gunners would be the injury issues as they will be playing without their centre-backs Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and even Laurent Koscielny can’t be risked as he has returned to the training recently, hence, it will be an interesting sight to see whether the manager includes him in the squad or not.
This is no secret that the first game of the Premier League means a lot because it actually sets a tempo for the rest of the season, hence a nail-biting encounter is expected between the two ambitious teams, and here, we give you a combined line-up for Arsenal vs Liverpool’s game:
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech-
The Big Pete is an obvious choice for the spot, isn’t it? Liverpool will be facing a torrid time as they have lost their number one man Loris Karius due to injury and even if the German was available, Cech would have been here without any doubt. The 34-year-old Czech international, who won the Premier League golden glove last season, will have to be on his toes as his side will without their star central defenders.
Defenders: Clyne; Koscielny; Lovren; Monreal-
The right back spot was a difficult one to choose as both the teams have great players, but eventually, we would go with the 25-year-old English defender, Nathaniel Clyne, who unarguably was one of the most consistent performers for the Reds last season. Though Bellerin is a great prospect, he lacks the end product and needs to work more on his deliveries, hence, Clyne.
The centre-back pairing would be a mixed one in the form of; Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny and Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren. With Sakho out injured and Matip still inexperienced (for the Premier League), this would be the best pairing for the game. Lovern though had a tough start, but he eventually regained his shape under Klopp and a great defensive performance is expected from him this season.
On the left side, we have an obvious choice, in the name of Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, who was far better than Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno during the last campaign.
Holding midfielders: Can; Xhaka-
This would be an interesting spot in the game as the players from both the sides will be commanding the game from the centre. It was an easy task to choose Liverpool’s Emre Can over Arsenal’s Coquelin for the defensive spot, but for the central area , we had a few more options, but eventually we would go with Arsenal’s new signing Granit Xhaka, who surely is a reliable candidate for the spot.
Attacking Trio: Mane; Ramsey; Coutinho-
Liverpool’s new arrival, Sadio Mane is an obvious candidate for the left flank, and will be given the task to exploit the defences, while on the parallel area, Liverpool’s player of the year (last campaign) Philippe Coutinho will be doing his regular work.
We all are aware of the fact that Mesut Ozil will be missing the game, hence, choosing an attacking midfielder was a tough task, but eventually, we would go with Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey over Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.
Striker: Alexis Sanchez-
The Chilean international, Alexis Sanchez, is likely to feature in the game, and if that is the case, then this would be the perfect spot for him. Yes, Liverpool have Sturridge and Origi, but when we have an option like Alexis Snachez over them, the choice is easy.