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Arsenal vs. Liverpool preview: please, not in the face

Recent trips to Anfield have not been confidence-inspiring.

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Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Love me a good composite image of the two managers looking at each other.
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

I’ve reached a zen-like state of mind about Arsenal’s match on Saturday against Liverpool at Anfield. By all accounts, the Gunners are not going to get a result. I’m fine with that. I’m not expecting anything of the side.

Arsenal haven’t won in six straight visits to the red side of the Mersey. The last three matches at Anfield have been 5-1, 4-0, and 3-1 defeats. Liverpool haven’t lost at home in more than two years. Jurgen Klopp hasn’t lost a Premier League match against Arsenal, period. There is little to suggest tomorrow’s match will buck those trends.

If you’d like a sliver of hope to cling to, grab hold of this — the Reds defense has not yet looked the impregnable fortress it was last season. Goalkeeper Alisson is still out with a calf injury, and Adrian conceded off a howler of a giveaway last week against Southampton. Last year, Virgil van Dijk and company would have slammed the door shut and seen out the match without issue. Last week, the Saints managed a few late looks that, had they been more clinical, could have stolen a point. There are chances to be had against the Liverpool defense right now. The question is will Arsenal’s attackers put any of them away.

Realistically, the Gunners need to pot at least two to have a shot at a result; they’ve shipped two or more in each of their last six visits to Anfield. But Liverpool hardly ever give up two — it happened just twice in the Premier League last season. So again, result, not likely.

But that’s why they play the games, right? For the matches where everything goes right, or your keeper stands on his head, or you get the lucky bounce. Arsenal have world-class attacking talent that is going to lift the side to a few unlikely results this season. Why not one against Liverpool?

Team News: Liverpool are without Alisson in net as he recovers from a calf strain. Naby Keita is also unavailable for the Reds. No new additions to Arsenal’s injury list. Granit Xhaka and Mesut Özil are back in full training and will be assessed ahead of the match.

WHAT: Arsenal at Liverpool

WHERE: Anfield, Liverpool

WHEN: Saturday, August 24th, 9:30 AM PT | 12:30 PM ET | 5:30 PM BST

US TV: NBCSN. Stream here.

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