Liverpool v Arsenal

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Pre-Match Report

Liverpool v Arsenal: The Brief

It’s the end of a dramatic year; let’s hope the final act isn’t a tough watch.

We’ve made significant progress under Unai Emery, a 22-match unbeaten run keeping us well in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

But our resources have been stretched almost to breaking point over the festive period by a badly-timed batch of injuries.

Liverpool certainly have the pace, power and panache to capitalise on that, and they are undoubtedly the Premier League’s form horse after rattling off eight straight wins since that 1-1 draw at the Emirates in November.

Our head coach says that Saturday will show us how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go, and it’s true that we could be in for a reality check.

But, while we start as underdogs at Anfield, we can take heart from taking Liverpool to the limit in our last encounter.

We just have to do it all again.

For the very latest team news, scroll down this page. You’re also in the right place for classic goals, match stats and an expert view of the opposition.

The Breakdown - Liverpool
Emery quote - Liverpool
Team News - Liverpool
Opposition View - Liverpool
AN Live - Liverpool

Team news

Team news: Mustafi, Monreal and Bellerin

Shkodran Mustafi

Here's the latest team news update from our medical team ahead of our Premier League clash against Liverpool:

Nacho Monreal
Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Liverpool (a) on Saturday, December 29.
 
Shkodran Mustafi
Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Liverpool (a) on Saturday, December 29.
 
Hector Bellerin
Left calf. Being assessed ahead of Liverpool (a) on Saturday, December 29.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Right foot. Fractured metatarsal. Expected to return to full training in six weeks.
 
Emile Smith Rowe
Right hip. Expected to return to full training in December.

Gallery

First-team squad train ahead of Liverpool match

Laurent Koscielny

After our Boxing Day draw in Brighton, we’re back on the road again this weekend when we travel to face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Unai Emery and his side spent Friday finalising preparations ahead of the game. Our club photographer was also at London Colney and sent back these pictures:

Interview

‘We spoke about signing Salah while at PSG’

Salah

Unai Emery knows all about the threat posed by Liverpool - and in particular that of Mo Salah.

Our head coach was keen to sign the Egypt international when he was in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, but ultimately decided against it.

Since then Salah has established himself as one of the premier players in Europe, and Emery knows just how dangerous he will be at Anfield on Saturday.

“We spoke about the possibility to sign Salah for Paris St Germain when he was playing at Roma,” the Spaniard said.

“We had some doubts – and then he signed for Liverpool and these doubts he has broken. Now, if you are speaking about the five top players in the world, one is Salah.

“[We had doubts over] how he can take the performance in one big team. For example like PSG in Paris. And today I can say to you … if we sign him, we sign one player in the top five in the world. 

“I remember also three years ago. Liverpool had a problem in their defensive moments and bought some people – for example van Dijk – with a good investment and the result is we are looking at them today and their progress.

“They are very strong in defence and also they improved a lot when they bought Salah and now offensively they are a very big team.

“I think the Premier League is now the best and most important competition in the world for the teams, with Spain, maybe Italy and Germany. But I think here are the best teams and players and now the leader in the table is Liverpool and it is because they are doing things very well.

“For us it is a good example but also a good test, how is the difference between them and us. It is clear, they are unbeaten and with many great performances as a team and individually with some big confidence but we need, and we can take, this test.”

Press conference

Can Liverpool emulate Arsenal's Invincibles?

At the halfway stage of the Premier League season, Liverpool have stolen a march on title favourites Manchester City to lead by six points.

But perhaps the standout number in the league table is the zero in Liverpool’s loss column. That means they are halfway to emulating the Invincibles team of 2003/04, who completed an unbeaten season under Arsene Wenger.

Can Liverpool match that astonishing achievement? As Manchester City found out last year it’s a very tall order, but our head coach thinks it could happen in 2019.

"They can do that because they are doing it at the moment," said Unai Emery.

"We played against Liverpool three years ago with Sevilla in the final of the Europa League and I look then, at this progress, in this process and they are a very good example.

"I am also looking, with the coaches also, at how we are now and with the difference in the table before those years and with us and with other teams.

"The progression with Liverpool is clear. Three years ago, they were out of the Champions League through the Premier League and through the Europa League, because they lost against us [at Sevilla].

"This progress is also one example for us, now, in our moment. But we need to be very, very demanding of ourselves to do this step quickly in our way. But we need also time, and sometimes the patience is very important for us."

Interview

‘Every time I hear it, I feel so proud’

Lucas Torreira

Lucas Torreira has made quite an impact since joining from Sampdoria in July.

The Uruguay international’s tenacious yet technical approach has captured the hearts and minds of Arsenal fans - and they’ve been sure to let Lucas know, creating him a chant of his own.

“It’s incredible. Every time I hear it, I feel so proud,” the 22-year-old said. “It gives me a real energy boost and that strength to go after every ball.

“I can only really say thank you to the fans. They’re incredible and fill out every stadium, whether it’s home or away.

“They’re singing for the whole 90 minutes and that’s massive for the team because it makes us feel that we have their support.

‘When we’re out there playing, we want to do our best to entertain them.”

Fixtures

Premier League
Ticket Info
The Emirates FA Cup
Ticket Info

Results

Premier League
The Emirates FA Cup