Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp have been nothing but complementary of each other.
Heading into Monday’s Premier League contest, Liverpool’s official website noted this in how Klopp called Arteta an”exceptional football manager”. While similarly Arteta has commented on two trips to Anfield side as being a “daunting task for anyone”. However, Arsenal should make it daunting for Liverpool and park the proverbial bus.
In the two games we played Liverpool after Arteta took over, we were very deliberate in our approach. Hold the fort, get everyone behind the ball, and look for a quick strike on the counter or play out from the back, using the high press of Klopp’s team against them. This opened up spaces in behind their defence.
Arsenal also used targeted pressure of our own to force a couple errors during the game at the Emirates, of which I expect to see more of the same from our next two encounters. Though I do hope the reserves get a run out in the Carabao Cup game.
More from Pain in the Arsenal
As for personnel, I would utilize our 3-4-3 which morphs into more of a 5-4-1 in defense and stick to familiarity.
The only choice in goal is Bernd Leno, while I would like to see the back three of Kieran Tierney, Gabriel Magalhaes and David Luiz. The wing-backs should be Hector Bellerin on the right and Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the left, while for the midfield, I would select Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny.
Dani Ceballos would be the more adventurous approach, but that shouldn’t be Arsenal’s gameplan.
As for the front three I would prefer to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left, Alexandre Lacazette through the middle, and Nicolas Pepe on the right. No Willian on Monday.
This particular setup would give us loads of speed down the flanks, with Lacazette there to hold up play and allow Aubameyang and Pepe to cut in from wide positions. The wing-backs will also push into the areas vacated by our wingers when they cut inside to help stretch and confuse the Liverpool defense.
This formation has worked for us in the recent past against Klopp’s team and hopefully will on Monday as well. We don’t need a win, a draw will do just fine. I believe we will have three or four good chances at goal and if we convert them, we could sneak out of Anfield with a win. However, we need to park the bus, settle for a point and make Liverpool’s night very difficult.
Our team is not ready to go toe-to-toe with Liverpool yet – at least not at Anfield – thus we must play smart and be pragmatic in our approach. Try and hit them on the break with pace in wide areas and please, please, take our chances when they come.