Liverpool welcome Arsenal to Anfield in a massive fixture ahead of the international break, with both teams looking for their first league wins in the 2012-13 Premier League. The game, for the neutral, could be an exciting encounter and a win for either side will be a huge morale boost. However, a defeat, or even a poor performance, could make life really difficult for either side.
After an underwhelming conclusion to the transfer window for both clubs, the attention will now be back on the field. Brendan Rodgers' side looked to have some measure of control in their last league outing, against defending champions Manchester City, walking away with a commendable 2-2 draw. The Northern Irishman will want a similarly formidable performance and a better result against a revamped Gunners side who are yet to score a goal this season.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has similar concerns. The Gunners are clearly missing the goal-scoring talents of Robin van Persie and while his replacements - Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud - are certainly top players, the fact the two are still bedding into their new club and positions means Wenger must ensure the goals come from somewhere else... anywhere else... if he is to improve upon last season's performances.
Team News and Tactics:
Liverpool: AnchormanLucas Leiva is expected to sit out three months due to a thigh injury he picked up against City. Rodgers has no other injury concerns going into this tie, although there haven't been updates on creative midfielder Joe Cole's fitness status. On the plus side, with Danish international Daniel Agger back after serving a one-match suspension and wing back Jose Enrique believed to be regaining match fitness, the first-choice back line from last season will resume service: Glen Johnson on the right, Martin Skrtel and Agger in the centre and Enrique on the left. However, should Rodgers decide not to risk the Spaniard, Johnson will move to the left and Martin Kelly will come in at right back.
No points for guessing who will feature in Rodgers' three-man midfield, particulary since Lucas is injured, Charlie Adam has been sold and Jay Spearing is out on loan. The Anfield faithful will have the chance to welcome new signing Nuri Sahin to their club; the Turkish international from Real Madrid will join captain Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen in the centre of the park.
Up front, Andy Carroll has left on loan, meaning Fabio Borini and Luis Suarez are automatic first choice picks. Teenager Raheem Sterling, who was impressive against the Premier League champions, should see off competition from Stewart Downing for the last spot.
Arsenal: Centre back Laurent Koscielny makes a return to the side after recovering from a calf injury and could replace Per Mertesacker. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who missed the last game with a rib injury, will once again undergo a late fitness test. The bad news for Wenger is that Szczesny's deputy, Lukas Fabianski, is also struggling for match fitness. If both Poles are unavailable, Italian Vito Mannone will once again feature between the sticks.
Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna, Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Frimpong all remain long term absentees.
Wenger is most likely to field a 4-2-3-1 formation against Liverpool. Carl Jenkinson, Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen and Kieran Gibbs should line-up at the back, while Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby will sit in front of them. Santi Cazorla will be pulling the strings, with Theo Walcott and Podolski offering support from both sides and the 6ft 4in Giroud playing as the lone striker up front. The transfer speculation surrounding Walcott could mean Gervinho might replace the England international, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Andrei Arshavin could come on in the latter stages.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Allen, Sahin, Gerrard; Borini, Suarez, Sterling
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Mannone; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Diaby; Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud
Where to Watch Live:
Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm BST, with Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD showing the match live.