Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has predicted that Liverpool will beat Arsenal 3-1 on Saturday, conceding that he doesn’t see the Gunners backline containing Liverpool.
The two teams are the only sides to have picked up maximum points from their opening matches, but Liverpool are the significant favourites.
Part of the reason for that is our devastating recent home record against the opposition – we’ve won by an aggregate score of 12-2 over their last three visits to Anfield.
And Nicholas, who made just under 200 appearances for Arsenal, expects our frontline to inflict yet more pain.
“As a former Arsenal player, I’m dreading this game,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s been a good start for Arsenal. They haven’t played fabulously well but they got a dogged win at Newcastle and then beat Burnley, which was a bit of a grind. But how are they going to defend against Liverpool?
“Arsenal have improved a bit defensively but it will take time. David Luiz could make mistakes or he could have a man-of-the-match performance. Sokratis doesn’t offer enough for me and they are still vulnerable in the full-back areas.”
Nicholas does, however, expect the visitors to cause us problems after our early defensive jitters.
By uncharacteristically throwing caution to the wind, he says, Unai Emery could potentially spring a surprise.
“Liverpool are strong favourites for me, but there is some intrigue in seeing Arsenal try and take on Liverpool’s defence at the moment, especially with Adrian in goal instead of Alisson,” he said.
“I think Unai Emery will go a bit more cautious and play Aubameyang with Lacazette on the bench, maybe along with Ceballos. If he does that then Liverpool will win.
“Arsenal have to look at a way to get the first goal and try to hurt Liverpool and put them on the back foot. However, I have a feeling Emery might be a bit more negative.”
It could well be a high-scorer this weekend, but you would certainly back us to prevail in terms of firepower and organisation.