For the first time since 2016, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are looking up at Arsenal ahead of their clash.
Mikel Arteta's side have started the season in exemplary fashion, winning seven of their opening eight Premier League matches. Their convincing 3-1 victory over Tottenham in the north London derby kept their noses slightly ahead of a prowling and dominant Manchester City.
Lots of deep breaths are being drawn in north London as Arteta, the Arsenal players, and the north Londoners’ fan base try not to get too excited or nervous about their campaign. However, they should also find a moment to savour their lofty position, as they have not found themselves in this position, ahead of a match against Liverpool, since Arteta was still donning Gunners’ colours.
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Klopp and Arteta were on their respective benches, but their roles were completely different. While Klopp was in his usual club tracksuit and baseball cap, Arteta was wearing a Gunners’ tracksuit and bib, as he was named on the Arsenal substitute bench by Arsene Wenger.
The iconic Arsenal manager looked to the Spaniard in the second half to help see out what would have been an enormous victory at Anfield. At the time, Arsenal were leading the Merseysiders 3-2 and victory would have kept them at the top of the table.
Tottenham and Leicester City were hot on the Gunners’ tales in the Premier League title race, but a miserable run of one victory in four away matches saw the unexpected title rivals gather significant ground on them. Unfortunately, Arteta’s introduction did not help too much, as Joe Allen came off the Liverpool bench to net a late equaliser for Liverpool.
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It proved to be a confidence sapping strike from Allen, as Leicester sensationally caught up with the Gunners and won the title themselves. Incredibly, before their Anfield clash six years ago, Liverpool were also occupying the very league standing as they are now – ninth position.
Fortunately for Arteta and his side, they will be the hosts on this occasion. It would also be fair to attach the label of favourites on the Gunners.
Arteta will certainly be hoping there are not too many omens at play for his side to secure another vital three points on their way to, what would have been deemed to be an almost impossible title challenge.
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