Liverpool seem to be playing with a much higher line than usual and it might prove costly against Arsenal on Saturday evening.
“I asked Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the pitch after the Norwich game, the first question I asked them was ‘it looks like you’re basically pushing up a lot more, or you’re holding your line a lot higher’ – they said they weren’t, they said they hadn’t been working on anything different in training, but there’s three or four examples now,” Gary Neville told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football (19/08, 10:40pm)
“The Community Shield, the Norwich game, this [Southampton] game, Chelsea the same. Four games now, the evidence is there – something has changed, I don’t know what it is.”
Arsenal’s front three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe is a trident that could hurt any side in the country and if the Reds offer them space to run into, Unai Emery will look to exploit it and get his first win over Liverpool as Arsenal boss.
Southampton and Chelsea both exploited Liverpool’s use of a high line and if the former were more clinical, Jurgen Klopp and his players would have left the South Coast without a single point let alone the three they managed to secure.
The Gunners will be sure to provide a sterner test of Liverpool’s title credentials than the Saints did and playing a high line will offer the North London outfit a sure-fire way to overcome their Merseyside opponents.
Liverpool and Arsenal are the only two teams in the Premier League that won their opening two games of the season and will battle it out on Saturday to maintain their 100 per cent records.
After Manchester City drew 2-2 with Tottenham, Liverpool need to beat Arsenal to ensure they stay ahead of the Cityzens and start piling on the pressure even if it’s only the opening three weeks of the season.
After the two sides reached almost 100 points, every single game counts hugely towards who will be named champions in May.