Arsenal vs Liverpool preview: Visitors without Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson

Liverpool will be without midfielders Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson for their trip to Arsenal on Saturday.

Both are only scheduled to return to training over the next couple of days after hamstring injuries but are not likely to be available until next weekend.

“Hendo probably the start of (next) week will be in training,” said Klopp. “Naby is the end of this week, which doesn’t make a big difference match-wise but that’s how it looks.”

Klopp has also addressed the issue of forward Mohamed Salah wearing strapping on his wrist in training, allaying fears the Egypt international could miss the game at the Emirates Stadium.

“Mo is nothing really serious,” he added. “It is an inflammation of the tendon and it’s pretty much protection, it has no influence.”

Meanwhile, Unai Emery is desperate for Arsenal to turn around their poor form against top-six clubs, starting against Liverpool on Saturday

Last season, the Gunners won just once out of nine games against Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

Asked about improving their record, Emery said: “We want to write a new history. Our new history is with the present and also with our players and with our quality.

“I believe in our players and this project and we are starting this project very positively and in our mentality. We need to improve but each match gives us a lot of information on how we develop and I trust in our players.”

Team news

Emery could be unable to call upon a host of defenders at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Hector Bellerin (thigh) is being assessed ahead of the game alongside fellow full-backs Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac – who are both recovering from hamstring issues – and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (ankle).

Laurent Koscielny is still not up to speed following an Achilles injury, while midfielder Matteo Guendouzi is suspended and Mohamed Elneny (thigh) is also missing.

For Liverpool, Andrew Robertson is set to return at left-back after being rested last weekend.

Opta stats

  • Arsenal are winless in their last six Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D3 L3), their longest such run against them since a run of 12 between 1994 and 2000.
  • Liverpool have won just two of their last 18 away league games against Arsenal (D8 L8), though these victories have come in their last six such visits.
  • Liverpool have scored at least three goals in each of their last five league games against Arsenal (17 in total). Liverpool have never done this in six consecutive top-flight games against an opponent, while no side has ever done so in six against the Gunners.
  • The last five Premier League meetings between Arsenal and Liverpool have produced a total of 27 goals (5.4 per game).
  • Arsenal haven’t been ahead at half-time in any of their 10 Premier League matches this season. Indeed, if games finished at the 45 minute mark, the Gunners would be 17th in the Premier League table.
  • Roberto Firmino has both scored and assisted in each of his last three Premier League games against Arsenal – no player has ever done this in four consecutive games against an opponent in the competition (Steven Gerrard vs Newcastle and Theo Walcott vs West Ham also three).
  • Mohamed Salah has scored in all three of his Premier League games against Arsenal (one for Chelsea, two for Liverpool). Only Charlie Austin has a better 100% strike rate against the Gunners in the competition (4).
  • Klopp is unbeaten in all five of his Premier League games against Arsenal – only Jose Mourinho (12), Gerry Francis (8) and Alex Ferguson (6) have waited longer for their first defeat against them in the competition.
  • The only previous meeting between Emery and Klopp was the 2016 Europa League final – Emery’s Sevilla beat Liverpool 3-1.

Merson’s prediction

I can’t see anything but a Liverpool win. I think this is the day Arsenal show some big cracks.

I just think the defence is terrible, all over the place, and no different to what it was before. If Hector Bellerin is injured, you’re talking about Granit Xhaka at left-back, a central midfield player, and Stephan Lichtsteiner at right-back, who has been a good player but is nearly 35 now. How many 35-year-old’s are there in the Premier League?

We saw Leicester rip Arsenal to shreds for 30 minutes; they scored, Harry Maguire missed a sitter, they had a stonewall penalty turned down. Leicester’s front three aren’t even in the same class as Liverpool’s. I just cannot see how Arsenal will live with them.

People will say: ‘Oh Arsenal will score goals…’ but Liverpool’s defence has been superb. I watched Arsenal win 11 games on the trot, and they could have easily lost four of them, let alone drawn them.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (14/1 with Sky Bet)

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