Arsenal ‘favourites’ for Liverpool clash as pundit predicts Reds duo to be ‘ripped to shreds’

Paul Merson reckons Arsenal will topple Liverpool this weekend and thinks Jurgen Klopp could be made to pay if he starts Jordan Henderson and Thiago in midfield.

The Gunners are top of the Premier League after eight games having won seven matches so far.

Mikel Arteta’s side beat Tottenham 3-1 on Saturday and will face another stern test when they welcome Liverpool to the Emirates.

The Reds have endured a difficult start to the season and many think they are there for the taken against a team in Arsenal’s form.

Merson thinks the match at the Emirates is the “standout fixture” and has predicted a 2-1 victory for his former club.

“Arsenal vs Liverpool is undoubtedly the standout fixture of the Premier League weekend, as two greats of English football prepare to lock horns at the Emirates Stadium,” he wrote in his Sportskeeda column.

“Jurgen Klopp’s side have had the upper hand in this fixture in recent years, but judging by current form, would anyone bet against the Gunners?

“Form is usually thrown out of the window in such games, but can Mikel Arteta and co cement their position at the top of the Premier League standings? Only time will tell.”

Merson added: “This is a harder game for Arsenal than the Tottenham one and I say this because the fans and the players were naturally hyped for the derby.

“If Arsenal win against Liverpool and manage to stay close to Manchester City in the coming months, they could well be contenders for the Premier League title this season.

“They need to keep their players fit, but Mikel Arteta will believe the Gunners have reasons to believe they can go all the way.

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“Liverpool played against Rangers in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and won quite comfortably, while Arsenal are in UEFA Europa League action later today.

“The Reds will have a bit more rest heading into the much-anticipated Premier League clash, but on current form, Arsenal are probably favourites as things stand.

“Liverpool played four forwards against Rangers and dominated the game as they secured a 2-0 win at Anfield.

“Against Arsenal, though, I think they’ll get ripped to shreds if they play Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara against the likes of Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard as the Gunners trio have been in sublime form this season.

“Roberto Firmino could come back into the team for this one, while Fabinho could slot into midfield to give them some more protection away from home.

“I just fancy Arsenal, but I’m not as confident as I was against Tottenham. There was no way Arsenal were going to lose that game, I’m not as sure with this one as it represents a different test for the table toppers.

“This is a massive game for the Gunners and could be one of the biggest tests of Arteta’s managerial career so far.”

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