Arsenal vs Liverpool: Who will draw first blood?
Arsenal and Liverpool will open their seasons on Sunday as the gunners travel to Anfield in a bid to start the premier league with three points. It is no doubt that this is the biggest of the opening fixtures : Arsenal vs Liverpool, it hardly gets bigger than this.
Both teams will have their fair chance in the match as Arsena look to have a better team on paper and on morale; Liverpool will surely enjoy the Anfield advanatage.
Roy Hodgson will also make his Premier League debut for Liverpool and he has his biggest challenge in front of him in the form of Arsenal. On the other hand, Arsene Wenger has renewed his contract with Arsenal and is likely to end his career at the Emirates Stadium. In these circumstances, Arsene would like to gather the maximum trophies for Arsenal in the coming seasons.
The pressure of the first game is big but if their are any two teams who know how to deal with such pressure, then it has to be Arsenal and Liverpool.
Arsenal are likely to start with Vermaelen and their latest capture Koscielny at the back. Wenger and Arsenal are having some trouble with the midfield as Abou Diaby, Song, Fabregas and Aron Ramsey look set to miss the opening fixture as they look short on training. Also, Arsenal missed these players in most of the pre-season matches.
This measn that Arsenal will field a much younger side against Liverpool which does not come as a surprise given Wenger’s faith in his young gunners.
However, there are many positive signs for Arsenal to go by too.
Andrey Arshavin has had a great record against Liverpool in the past for Arsenal. He will start. Theo Walcott who missed the train to Africa will be on the wing helping out Tomas Rosicky.
Robin Van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner are also likely to start on the bench.
Roy Hodgson had a huge task in hand when he took over the reigns of Liverpool. Hodgson has passed the first test by holding on to Gerrard and Torres. Liverpool will benefit from the added quality of Joe Cole, Jovanovic and their latest signing Christian Poulsen.
The advantage that Liverpool has over Arsenal in terms of the team news is that they have a stable and quality keepr in Pepe Reina. Arsenal are still mulling over the signing of Mark Shwarzer. For the time being, Almunia looks set to start for Arsenal over Fabianski.
Jamie Carragher will have Skirtel or Daniel Agger taking guard in the heart of Liverpool defense. Liverpool have a most dependable full back in Glen Johnson who will contribute a lot to the midfield play.
With Torres still not fit, Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole will play a crucial part to the fortunes of not only Liverpool but this match too. Aquilani might start on the bench but his role will be crucial for Liverpool this season.
The strike force looks decently potent with Dirk Kuyt pushing ahead along with Jovanocic and Ngog.
Predicted Scoreline: Arsenal 1- 2 Liverpool