There aren’t many managers in the world who can say that they are undefeated against Jurgen Klopp. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta can. Yes, he has only faced the German twice, but the records don’t lie, and he will be looking to continue that on Monday.
Arsenal faced Liverpool three times last season. We lost both games under Unai Emery, but Arteta’s side secured a 2-1 victory against the Premier League champions at the Emirates. Arteta managed to get the better of Klopp again in the Community Shield at the start of this season.
Liverpool fielded a full-strength side against an Arsenal team without Alexandre Lacazette or Dani Ceballos or either of their new signings. David Luiz had just one training session before the game but was brilliant on the day to keep the Reds at bay.
The Liverpool boss is among the best managers in world football. The German has done it all over the years, and he is as good a judge as any to assess Arteta’s progress ever since he joined Arsenal.
Klopp told Liverpool Echo: “Mikel Arteta has shown in a short period of time he seems an exceptional football manager. The structure of his team is exceptional, the balance of the team is really good. He has changed the whole mood of the club.”
“Arsenal defend properly. All the players are involved in defending. They defend in a 5-4-1 and when you have quality players that makes it tricky for the opposition, especially when they have speed in the counter-attack. I can say a lot of positive things about Arsenal because they are true, but I still think we have a chance on Monday night.”
Liverpool will certainly go into the game as favourites. Arsenal’s record at Anfield has been abysmal over the years. We haven’t won a single game there since 2012 – when Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla scored their first goals for us.
Arteta has already shown that Arsenal can go toe to toe against the big teams. We have beaten Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool themselves under the Spaniard. As a result, the feeling ahead of the game is a lot more positive than it has been over the years.
Arsenal will take on Liverpool at Anfield in back to back games. We will face them in the Premier League on Monday, before locking horns again on Thursday in the Carabao Cup. A positive result in the first game will give us the boost we need to win the second, but it will not be easy.