Liverpool’s boss Brendan Rodgers is confident he has found the blueprint for Liverpool to record a rare win at Arsenal on Monday.
Liverpool have won once in their 12 visits to Emirates Stadium, a 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory in August 2011, and were beaten 4-1 in last season’s corresponding fixture four months ago. But Rodgers believes his side, buoyant after beginning the season with successive 1-0 wins over Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth, have what it takes to turn the tables on Arsene Wenger’s men this time around.
“If you assess the games we’ve had against Arsenal, especially at home, we’ve had dominance of the ball,” Rodgers said. “If you assess the last 10 games they’ve lost at home, the teams that have won have had dangerous possession.
“The winners have averaged four shots on target with 43 per cent possession. You can’t dominate the ball, but you can dominate space. Tactically, we arrive with a good mind of how to win it.”
Rodgers’ plans could be affected by the fitness of Jordan Henderson. The Liverpool captain was substituted early in the second half of Monday’s win over AFC Bournemouth due to a foot problem.
“We’re just assessing Jordan by the day,” Rodgers said. “We’ll see how he goes over the next 48 hours and take it from there.”
Liverpool have no new injury concerns, with Christian Benteke, who scored his first competitive goal for the club against AFC Bournemouth, set to lead the line again.
Wenger is eager for Arsenal to kick-start their campaign at home following a shock 2-0 defeat there by West Ham United on the opening weekend of the season.
“If you want to have a successful season you want to be strong at home,” said the Arsenal manager. “Normally we are strong at home. This is an opportunity to show that.
“We missed our first game and we had to look at ourselves, and we responded very well [with last Sunday’s win at Crystal Palace]. Now we need to come back to our usual strength that we have at home.
“This is a very important game where the result will of course be vital. It’s not a result that will decide [our title chances] but in our heads we know it’s very important.”
Alexis Sanchez made his first start of the campaign in the 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park, and Wenger expects the Chilean to be close to full fitness for Monday following his extended post-Copa America break.
Wenger also has no new injuries to contend with, although Jack Wilshere (ankle), Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky (both knee) remain sidelined.
Arsenal (from): Cech, Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Debuchy, Gabriel, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Arteta, Cazorla, Coquelin, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Ramsey, Campbell, Giroud, Sanchez, Walcott.
Liverpool (from): Bogdan, Mignolet, Clyne, Jose Enrique, Gomez, Lovren, Moreno, Sakho, Skrtel, Toure, Can, Coutinho, Henderson, Ibe, Lallana, Lucas, Markovic, Milner, Balotelli, Benteke, Borini, Firmino, Ings, Origi.
Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: S Bennett, J Brooks Fourth Official: N Swarbrick