Arsenal travel to Anfield for Saturday’s Premier League encounter against Liverpool.
The Gunners made a dismal start to the season with three successive losses, but have had a terrific turnaround with six wins and two draws from the next eight matches.
The north London giants are presently fifth in the standings, only two points behind the Reds. They can break into the top four for the first time in 14 months with a win.
It won’t be an easy task for them, having failed to beat the Merseyside outfit in a league game at Anfield since 2012. They have failed to pick up a point in the last five visits.
Aaron Ramsdale has been the signing of the summer for the Gunners. He has been excellent between the sticks, barring a couple of mistakes.
He should be full of confidence after making his England debut. The 24-year-old is now an undisputed starter in goal ahead of Bernd Leno.
In defence, there should be a solitary change with Kieran Tierney returning at left-back ahead of Nuno Tavares.
Tavares excelled with his overlapping runs in Tierney’s injury absence. He was picked to start against Watford despite the latter being fit.
However, Tierney should return for the Merseyside trip. He has a tough job on his hands to keep Mohamed Salah quiet over 90 minutes.
Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes are assured starters at the heart of the defence. Takehiro Tomiyasu should continue at right-back.
The Japan international is strong with his aerial presence, but will need to be more agile with his ground work to get the better of Sadio Mane.
In the centre of the park, Thomas Partey should be back in action after a brief absence with a thigh problem.
Mikel Arteta has a big decision to make on who to start alongside the Ghanaian after Ainsley Maitland-Niles stood out in the recent Watford clash.
Maitland-Niles looks better defensively over Lokonga, who had a poor outing against Watford. He lost possession in key defensive situations.
It won’t be a surprise if the Gunners graduate gets the nod ahead of the Belgium international.
Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are expected to start either side of the central midfield duo, but could play higher up in attacking situations.
Alexandre Lacazette appears set to partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front for the fourth game running.
The Frenchman could drop into the number 10 role when required. He likes playing the Reds with three goals and two assists in eight league meetings.
Predicted Arsenal line-up (4-4-2) vs Liverpool
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
Read: Arsenal linked with January move for Juventus forward Dejan Kulusevski.
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