Arsenal host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (14 August) in their opening game of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 4pm BST. Live coverage of the game will be available on Sky Sports 1 and 1 HD. Live Radio coverage will be available on BBC Radio 5 Live. Catch the highlights on Match of the Day 2 on BBC One at 10.30pm BST.

Overview

Arsenal and Liverpool would have gladly avoided facing each other in their opening encounter of the 2016/17 Premier League season, but a mouthwatering clash awaits the neutrals on Sunday evening.

The Gunners come into the game following an unbeaten pre-season campaign, which saw them beat Manchester City in their final game building up to the new season. Arsene Wenger will be keen to maintain the winning momentum, but is facing a defensive crisis right from the start with Rob Holding and Calum Chambers the only fit centre-back pairing available to the manager. Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista and Laurent Koscielny are unavailable owing to injuries and lack of match fitness respectively leaving the inexperienced duo as the manager's only options.

Rob Holding
Rob Holding is likely to make his debut when Arsenal take on Liverpool on Sunday Getty

Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy have both been used in central defence and could be called upon once again to partner summer signing Holding, who was afforded more time on the pitch during the pre-season games when compared to Chambers. Wilshere is unlikely to make the squad after returning to training just this week following a minor knee injury, but new boy Granit Xhaka could make his competitive debut for the Gunners in a deep lying midfielder role alongside Aaron Ramsey.

Liverpool were the busiest team during pre-season as they played nine friendlies, which is more than any other team in the English top-flight. They played matches in England, United States and Germany and could be slightly ahead of the north London club in terms of match fitness.

Jurgen Klopp's side also has their fair share of injuries going into the first game of the season, with Daniel Sturridge and James Milner doubts going into the match. The striker is unlikely to be involved, while the midfielder has a chance to make the bench for the trip to the Emirates Stadium. Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez are injured, which will see Dejan Lovren partner summer signing Ragner Klavan at centre-back, while yet another summer signing Sadio Mane could lead the attack alongside Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino.

Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge will be absent for Liverpool's visit to the Emirates Stadium after picking up an injury during pre-season Getty

Both the games between the two sides during the 2015/16 campaign ended in draws. The clash at the Emirates was 0-0 stalemate, while the Anfield clash saw Liverpool mount a late comeback and secure a 3-3 draw.

Betting Odds (betfair)

  • Arsenal Win: 1
  • Draw: 12/5
  • Liverpool Win: 5/2

What Managers Say

Arsene Wenger [on facing Liverpool]: "No, I believe it's not necessarily what Liverpool wanted or what we wanted. Usually you would like four or five games before the big games turn up, but the fixtures are as they are and you have to deal with it. It's the same problem for both teams."

Jurgen Klopp: "Consistency is the only way to be successful. All of these big jumps in performance, up and down, don't help. It's possible because we are all human beings and things can happen that should not happen too often. Consistency is the way we have to choose and for this we have to prepare always for the next game very seriously during the week and by being at 100 per cent when we start."

Team News

Arsenal

  • Injured: Welbeck, Gabriel, Mertesacker
  • Doubtful: Wilshere
  • Suspended: N/A

Possible XI: Cech; Bellerin, Holding, Monreal, Gibbs; Xhaka, Ramsey; Sanchez, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott

Liverpool

  • Injured: Sakho, Gomez, Sturridge
  • Doubtful: Milner,
  • Suspended: N/A

Possible XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klaven, Moreno; Can, Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana, Mane; Origi.