Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his side will beat Liverpool at Anfield for the first time in the league since 2012 if they “raise their game” on Saturday.
Arteta was in Arsenal’s starting line-up as a player the last time they topped Liverpool away, when Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla scored in a 2-0 win for the visitors on September 9, 2012.
In11 league meetings since Jurgen Klopp took over at Liverpool, Arsenal have won just once – a 2-1 comeback victory at the Emirates last season.
Arteta knows they face a tough task every time come up against Klopp’s side.
He said: “It’s always a test [to play at Anfield]. It is a fascinating stadium to play football in.
“You have to be at your best. You have to raise the level to your maximum standards – emotionally, physically, tactically, technically – because if you don’t, you will get exposed.
“To go to Anfield is always a test. There are not that many grounds as good as that to feel you are a footballer.
“Jurgen and the staff have managed to bring the club to the best moments in their history, and to sustain it, which is probably the hardest thing to do.
“They have transformed the energy around the place.”
Although the two sides sit right next to each other in the Premier League table, with Liverpool fourth on 22 points and Arsenal fifth with 20 points, the visitors come into the game on a 10-match unbeaten run across all competitions and having won their last four games.
Meanwhile, Klopp’s side have dropped points in their last two league outings, having lost away to West Ham and drawn 2-2 at home to Brighton.
Arteta said in order to capitalise on that form and finally beat Liverpool at Anfield: “First of all, you have to believe that you can go there and beat them.
“If somebody doesn’t have that mindset they should not put the shirt on and go to Anfield tomorrow.
“And then, you have to raise your game individually, to your best.
“You have to be able to suffer at the right moments because there will be moments you have to do that.
“Then as a team, you have to have very clear ideas of what you have to do on that pitch to beat that side.”
Watch Liverpool vs Arsenal on Saturday Night Football, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off at 5.30pm.
Pressing issues, injuries and set-pieces ahead of Saturday Night Football clash
In other times, Liverpool’s run of form might draw more attention. Two wins from six and points dropped against West Ham, Brighton and newly-promoted Brentford doesn’t look on paper to be the hallmark of a team on course to lift the Premier League title.
But the Reds are still within touching distance of leaders Chelsea and in no need of panic. After all, Liverpool were the only unbeaten side in the division before their defeat at the London Stadium last time out.
Jurgen Klopp’s team are also the highest scorers in the division, with arguably the best player in the world, Mohamed Salah, leading the charge. They have scored in every league match since a home defeat by Fulham in March, some 21 games ago.
Even so, there are concerns at the other end of the pitch. “Defensively, he’ll be worried,” was Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp’s brief assessment after throwing away a lead – twice – at Brentford in September. Little more was said at the time, and it appeared to be a one-off. After all, Liverpool had started the season with four clean sheets from five games.
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Is Ramsdale the English Ederson?
By Nick Wright – Comment and Analysis
Aaron Ramsdale’s whirlwind start to the season continued with an England debut in Monday’s 10-0 win over San Marino. The 23-year-old was a spectator for much of it but it was still special. “I’ve been dreaming of this day for a long time,” he said afterwards.
His £30m move to Arsenal in the summer was met with scepticism following back-to-back relegations at Sheffield United and Bournemouth but Ramsdale is proving his critics wrong.
Since Mikel Arteta handed him his first Premier League start in a 1-0 victory over Norwich in September, Arsenal are undefeated. Six wins and two draws have lifted them from the bottom of the Premier League table up to fifth place.
The improvement has been dramatic, with five clean sheets and only four goals conceded in the last eight games, and Ramsdale, now a senior international targeting a spot at next year’s World Cup with England, has played a significant role in the transformation.
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