Mikel Arteta believes our previous record at Anfield presents 'a big opportunity' as we travel north to face Liverpool on Easter Sunday.
In our past ten visits to Anfield in the Premier League, we have managed just one win among seven losses and two draws. Despite Liverpool's inconsistent form this season, the Merseyside fortress has remained an incredibly tough ground to come to and Leeds United are the only side to beat them there so far in the league.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Arteta said: "We've been to a few grounds this season where we haven't won in 17, 18 and 22 years and we have managed to do that. So we are capable of [winning at Anfield], that's for sure.
"We really need to embrace the moment and go for it. The team is full of enthusiasm and positivity and we know that we have a big challenge, but I see a big opportunity to go to Anfield and do something that we haven't done for many years. That's what is driving the team in the last few days."
Whilst we did achieve an away victory over Liverpool in the Carabao Cup fourth round in 2020 (on penalties after a 0-0 draw), our last league win at Anfield came over a decade ago, at the beginning of the 2012/13 season with Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski both on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win.
Arteta was part of the starting XI that day and his knowledge of how to win at Anfield will undoubtedly prove to be a boost to our current squad.
"It felt great because, before that win, it had been many years since we had done it. We did it once more: I think it was the year before when van Persie scored in the 95th minute. So some beautiful memories, an incredible stadium to play in and just a unique experience for any player or manager."
Last season's visit to the ground saw Liverpool break our six-game unbeaten run with a 4-0 win and Arteta stated that lessons had been learned from that performance.
"We know that we're going to have to be our very best to win the game and certainly better than we were there last year, especially in the second half when we just opened up and allowed Liverpool to have space in a really comfortable way."
When asked why Anfield was such a tough ground to visit, the boss had the following reflections: "They are a great team, managed by a top manager and they create an incredible atmosphere that makes it really difficult for us, for any opponent, as it is when to come to the Emirates.
"It's very, very difficult, so we know that, and the opportunity is ahead of us there on Sunday to do something that we have done in the last two or three years, to win in places that the team didn’t do for many, many years."
"We have prepared for that, expecting the best possible Liverpool and us being the best that we can be and with that, we're going to have a chance to win the game."
Our head coach reiterated that history would not predetermine the future and that this season's circumstances are vastly different compared to our club's previous matches at Anfield.
"First of all, it’s a different group, we are coming from a different position and what I see is enthusiasm, positivity and something that you need to have: courage. Courage to play, courage to impose yourself on the game and be dominant. On Sunday we will try to be that team."
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