Red-hot Arsenal face hungry Liverpool | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:55 AM, November 03, 2018

Red-hot Arsenal face hungry Liverpool

Handed an unforgiving start as Arsenal's first new manager for nearly a quarter of a century, Unai Emery has quickly put defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea behind him with a 13-game unbeaten run to earn the respect of the Gunners' support.

However, the real test of how far Emery's Arsenal have evolved since being outclassed by City on the opening weekend of the season comes when Liverpool travel to the Emirates on Saturday.

Arsenal have won 12 of those 13 games unbeaten, the only slip coming at Crystal Palace last weekend when they conceded two penalties in a 2-2 draw.

Yet, they haven't faced any of the Premier League's top six from last season in that run, with defeats of Watford and Everton their only victories over sides in the top half of the table.

It is to Emery's credit that Arsenal only trail league leaders City and Liverpool by four points heading into this weekend but the priority for Arsenal this season remains a top four finish and a return to the Champions League rather than a title challenge, and Emery is well on course for that goal.

However, the Spaniard can look to his opponents for inspiration in what Arsenal could look like as the finished product.

Jurgen Klopp has taken almost three years to find the right blend between attack and defence despite reaching two European finals with Liverpool, one of which he lost to Emery's Sevilla in the Europa League two years ago.

To have any chance of keeping pace with City in the quest for Liverpool's first Premier League title for nearly three decades, Klopp needed to drastically improve results on the road against top six opposition.

In total Liverpool conceded 15 goals in five games and were beaten at City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea last season.

Already there has been an upturn in fortunes with victory at Spurs last month and Daniel Sturridge's stunning late strike earning a well-deserved point at Chelsea.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, City show no sign of letting up.

In most other seasons, a point at a rejuvenated Arsenal would be seen as a good result, but in trying to just keep pace with City, Liverpool need another statement win on Saturday.

FIXTURES

SATURDAY: Bournemouth v Manchester United, Cardiff v Leicester, Everton v Brighton, Newcastle v Watford, West Ham v Burnley, Arsenal v Liverpool, Wolves v Tottenham

SUNDAY: Man City v Southampton, Chelsea v Crystal Palace

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