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Arsenal vs Liverpool: Can Mikel Arteta take Advantage of Floppy & Injury stock Liverpool?



While it appears that not even winding the clocks forward can expedite the insipid international break, Arsenal will finally make their return to Premier League action on Saturday night when they take on reigning champions Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

From Kieran Tierney’s impressive Scottish exploits to Martin Odegaard’s injury-troubles with Norway, the involvement of several key players on international duty means the domestic hiatus was not as restful as Mikel Arteta might have hoped, and the boss may therefore opt for a pragmatic approach to nullify Jurgen Klopp’s typically-prolific Reds.

However, do our results in big games this season suggest an attacking line-up would be a more prudent choice?

Arsenal’s respectable haul of ten points from eight games against the ‘Big Six’ this campaign suggests the team has developed a competitive edge since the infamous away-day thrashings of Arsene Wenger’s final years.

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That said, while the results are not as embarrassing as before, closer inspections of these scorelines demonstrate how they do not tell the full story.

Should Mikel Arteta play his Arsenal side to their attacking strengths for the weekend clash with Liverpool?

Beginning with our trip to Merseyside in September, the Gunners spent long periods of the match camped inside their own box while Liverpool laid siege on Bernd Leno’s goal, with the home side recording 21 shots compared to our four in a comfortable 3-1 Premier League win that propelled them to a share of top spot.

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Meanwhile, despite the even narrower margins of defeat in our matches against Man City, each game followed a similar pattern of sky blue domination and Pep Guardiola’s outfit never really had to get out of second gear.

Even though we must acknowledge both the opponents’ calibre in these encounters and our own comparable inferiority, in truth a conservative style neutralised our offensive quality and gave us little chance of causing an upset.

To his credit, Arteta has thrown caution to the wind on occasion and such bravery has inspired some of our finest performances.

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From a thrilling home triumph against Chelsea and a rare win at Leicester, to our first north London derby victory since 2018, these matches showcased Arsenal’s considerable attacking prowess and highlighted how, at our free-flowing best, we are capable of beating any side.

As we look ahead to the weekend, our current league position suggests there is little to play for and Arteta will no doubt have one eye on next week’s must-win Europa League tie with Slavia Prague.

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However, three points on Saturday would provide a welcome morale-boost for our continental endeavours and results this season indicate releasing the handbrake could be the most feasible way of acquiring it.


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