Liverpool experiment with a new formation paid off in the 2-0 win over Rangers in the Champions League, though there are suspicions that Jurgen Klopp could be set to make further changes ahead of a visit to North London.
Paul Merson has suggested that both Bobby Firmino and out-of-form Fabinho could return to the starting lineup in a clash that may demand increased protection for the backline.
“Roberto Firmino could come back into the team for this one, while Fabinho could slot into midfield to give them some more protection away from home. I just fancy Arsenal, but I’m not as confident as I was against Tottenham,” the former England international wrote for Sportskeeda.
“There was no way Arsenal were going to lose that game, I’m not as sure with this one as it represents a different test for the table toppers.
“This is a massive game for the Gunners and could be one of the biggest tests of Arteta’s managerial career so far.”
As arguably the leading defensive midfielder on his day, there’s a certain logic attached to the 54-year-old’s comments given that the Reds are set to face-off against one of the most in-form sides in the English top-flight this year.
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Assuming that our German coach opts for a two-man midfield once again in the English capital, it would seem wholly unfair to drop one of Thiago Alcantara or Jordan Henderson – especially given our No.3’s struggles since the start of the campaign.
Whilst the temptation will be to play more conservatively away from home, an aggressive start where we replicate pinning our opponents back in their own third with a forward-heavy XI would arguably suit us infinitely better.
It’s a risk given how unreliable our form has been of late but we’d be considerably less confident with a decision to revert back to a formation that has appeared less than convincing this term.