Arsenal have made the perfect start to the 2019-20 campaign.
Two wins from two. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette already off the mark. And, with new faces arriving in the summer, we can only expect the Gunners to improve.
Yet the fixture organisers didn’t wait long in the season to give Arsenal a gruelling test. Next up for Unai Emery’s side is Liverpool away.
Arsenal will make the trip to Anfield for Saturday’s evening kick-off between the league’s top two sides.
They’ll be desperate for a different outcome than last season’s clash on Merseyside.
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Arsenal were thumped 5-1 by Liverpool, with Roberto Firmino grabbing a hat-trick and Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah also on the scoresheet.
The Gunners seem better equipped to avoid a similar rout – Shkodran Mustafi won’t be in the line-up, for a start – but Liverpool are hard to stop when they get going.
‘We don’t want to play Liverpool’
And Emery knows the challenge that awaits his side, even joking that he never wants to play against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“For us we don’t want to play against Liverpool ever,” Emery joked, per football.london. “We’d prefer not to play against them.”
Sorry, Unai. That’s not how it works.
The Spaniard actually breached a positive message, insisting the Liverpool clash will be a good test for his players.
“That is really our challenge, a good test. For the supporters, for all of us, going there with six points is good,” he added.
“Really our target is to reduce the distance to Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea.
“When we play against them it is a big challenge to show how we can be. Next week is going to be a very good match.
“We are going to prepare first with the adaptation to them, their gameplan and individual players and after to impose our gameplan and capacity. We are going to prepare both defensively and offensively.
“I think first is to be positive in our capacity and then work hard. I know my past is to work hard, the present and future is going to be the same.
“After we can win, we can lose. But above all is be positive and keep moving ahead.”
Emery’s positivity can only be a good thing as his team seeks redemption for last year’s horror show.