Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Arsenal v. Liverpool

Liverpool
vs.
Arsenal

Anfield

15/8/10

16:00

On Sky

The season starts this weekend with Arsenal traveling to Anfield for a massive opening day encounter with wounded giants Liverpool. A year on and not much has changed for Arsenal. A handful of players have left while a couple have come in, as once again Arsene Wenger puts his utmost faith in the squad he has already assembled. The same can't be said about Liverpool. Much has changed with the Merseysiders. Rafael Bentiez out, Roy Hodgson in. Joe Cole swapped for Yossi Benayoun. But more importantly, a much needed change in tactics has swept over Anfield. All this makes for a mouthwatering contest. You can't lose the league on the first match, but wouldn't a cracking start be oh so great?!

Vital Quotes:

Arsenal is playing at Anfield again. Arshavin must be licking his chops. Arsene had this to say on the diminutive Russian: 'It was a massive blow for him to go out of the World Cup with Russia,' said the manager. He also had an end of season which was disturbed by many injuries.'

'But what I expect from him [this season] is that if he remains completely fit he can give the team everything. With his creative side he can be decisive, create chances and score goals. That is what you want from him.'

Liverpool Team News:

While Hodgson would like to get off to the best possible start, he'll most likely have to do that without his best striker. Torres has recovered faster than expected from a groin strain suffered in the World Cup Finals, but to risk him this early would be a unneeded gamble. Milan Jovanovic or more likely David Ngog will replace him at the forefront of the Liverpool attack. Also, Martin Skrtel is out with an ankle injury.

Player to watch: Joe Cole

Cole was the subject of one of the bigger transfer sagas of the silly season. We were interested in his services, as was Tottenham and several others abroad. In the end he choose Liverpool, which probably has much more to do with guaranteed playing time more than anything else. He'll feel liberated under Roy's new system at Liverpool, and I believe he'll be a great signing for them.

Arsenal Team News:

Well I wish I could bring you some sort of concrete news regarding our possible starting lineup, but what Wenger says to the media and what is actually going through his head are not often the same. Here is what I do know. Diaby is fully fit. Song and Denilson are in the squad. Cesc and van Persie will have fitness tests today. And Johan Djourou has a slight knock that will probably keep him out of Arsene's eleven.

In my humble opinion, I don't think Denilson and Song will start. Diaby might get the nod, if Cesc isn't fit enough for match action. However, I feel our captain will be ready. I think he'll just be able recover in time from his 87 minutes of World Cup play. Also, I believe Robin van Persie won't be available, nor should he. If anyone deserves a rest for his summer exploits, it's our flying Dutchman. Considering all of this, my best guess at a starting lineup is probably going to be wrong.

Predicted Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Clichy, Diaby, Wilshere, Fabregas, Nasri, Arshavin, Chamakh

Player to watch: Marouane Chamakh

With Eduardo gone, Bendtner injured, and van Persie wrapped in cotton wool, new signing Marouane Chamakh will lead the Arsenal line. He is an experienced forward with plenty of ability to lead the line. He has formed a nice understanding with Samir Nasri during preseason, and I'm sure he'll be very eager to prove himself in England as fast as possible.

Chamakh! Chamakh! Chamakh! Chamakh! Chamakh!

Match Facts & Stats

This is the 173rd time Liverpool and Arsenal have met. Liverpool lead by 68 wins to 60, with 44 draws

Liverpool have won only three of their last 18 Premier League games against Arsenal.

If Liverpool win, it will be their 2000th victory in league football.

Andrey Arshavin has had six shots at Anfield and scored five goals.

Ref Watch:

Martin Atkinson is the head official for tomorrow's match.

Match Prediction:

I'm obviously worried about our defence to start the season, but I don't think it will cost us too much tomorrow. Neither team will be firing on all cylinders, but with the atmosphere buzzing, I believe the game will be buzzing as well. 4-4 anyone?

Next Fixtures:

21/8 (Sat) - Blackpool (h) - Premier League

28/8 (Sat) - Blackburn (a) - Premier League

11/9 (Sun) - Bolton (h) - Premier League


Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Saturday August 14 2010
Time: 1:59PM

Comments

0
Well, it's finally here folks! Can't wait to get the new season underway.
gunnerkid107
14/08/2010 14:05:00
0
Cheers Brice ! I will be at Anfield tomorrow and don't think you are far off on the starting 11. I will gladly take a point tomorrow, but a defeat is on the cards unfortunately. However, it won't be the end of the world.
Cockney Rich
14/08/2010 14:06:00
0
You might be right Rich, but I can't help being the ever optimist, especially on the opening day!
gunnerkid107
14/08/2010 14:15:00
0
Oh, I'll still shout myself hoarse for the boys tomorrow gk. Would feel alot more confident if we had a FULL strength side, but I can't remember the last time that we had one !!! I fancy Chamakh for a goal tomorrow, but fear it might be a ' consolation ' job.
Cockney Rich
14/08/2010 14:20:00
0
Im sticking with my 1-1 prediction with Chamakh scoring our goal.
True-Gooner-Blood
14/08/2010 14:41:00
0
I never meant to call into question your support CR. I was only saying personally I can't help but predict a positive result.
gunnerkid107
14/08/2010 15:10:00
0
love playing arsenal, great team and tremendous fans. it's one fixture when both sets of supporters can honestly preview the match and assess each other's strengths and weaknesses without it descending to the traditional tit for tat bile. personally i think we will do pretty well this season but score draw tomorrow. old hat i know but you lads will do so much better if you can get a strong keeper in. given's not going to spend the season getting splinters up at city...
SH
14/08/2010 15:31:00
0
Sorry to say but I don't have much optimism for our prospects tomorrow nor for the season. If anything we look a weaker outfit defensively than we have done for a few seasons and even more full of injuries. I truly fear this is the season things will catch up with us. We're playing for 3rd position.
Gooner_Vin
14/08/2010 16:13:00
0
I can see a score draw too. Hopefully Andrey will do his magic again!
GoonerLou
14/08/2010 16:14:00
0
I can see where quite a lot of us are coming from with that pessimism. But you know what, Woy is feeling equally negative about his own squad's condition at this moment, saying that they're 'a long, long way from being a team like Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea.' Maybe he's trying to fire up his players, maybe he's just being honest. But it's true that he's got a hell of a job to do at Anfield, and not just ahead of this game against us. So I'm with Gkid - cautious optimism. COME ON YOU GUNNERS, especially you Andrey and Marouanne!!! http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_6311393,00.html
GoonerLou
14/08/2010 17:58:00
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