1 Nov 2013

Molby warns: Arsenal can 'exploit' and 'damage' LFC in two major ways.

After a thumping 4-1 victory over West Brom last weekend, Liverpool will go into tomorrow's top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal on the crest of a wave, and with Suarez and Sturridge on fire, the Reds clearly have a great chance of beating the gunners on their own ground. Confidence is understandable high, but Liverpool legend Jan Molby has highlighted two areas of potential concern for tomorrow's game.

It seems likely that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will persist with the 352 formation, and Molby believes that this could be a possible weak-spot for the team. He told Eurosport:

"Arsenal will be looking at Liverpool's 3-5-2 formation and thinking to themselves that they can exploit that. That formation has been set up to accommodate the two strikers but it will also leave Liverpool exposed on the flanks from time to time and a side as technically gifted as Arsenal's could really do damage in those areas".

Molby also believes £42m signing Mesut Ozil could cause serious problems for his old club:

"Mesut Ozil will of course be a key man at the other end. Liverpool's shape is well set up to try and deal with him but that is only half the battle. Intelligent players can always find space, and if he hits his level, he can do serious damage".

With Theo Walcott expected to miss tomorrow's game, and Serge Gnabry also out injured, Arsenal will be lacking in natural touchline-hugging width, which could be a positive for the Reds. The likes of Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Rosicky etc all tend to cut inside and play narrow and/or centrally, so the width issue may not be as acute as Molby suggests.

The Ozil problem is definitely an issue, though (!) How do Liverpool stop him? Lucas will be key here, and he will probably be tasked with trying to keep the German maestro quiet. Rodgers regularly goes on about LFC's 'intensity', and how important it is to play a 'high-pressing game', but these these things - especially the latter - have been missing at times this season.

Pressing Arsenal in possession will be vital; Arsene Wenger's team cannot be allowed to settle on the ball because if they get space and to pass it around, Ozil et al will - as Molby suggests - do 'serious damage'.

I personally want to see LFC's players incessantly hounding Arsenal as much as possible, and not allowing them any time on the ball. It will be tough and tiring, but ultimately, it will be worth it.



  1. Again three big tests:
    1. How do Sakho and Cissokho do.
    2. How does 352 will do in high intensity.
    3. How our midfield does today.
    To make this point stronger, I blame our midfield for our week performances in second half's this season. They had a nice run lately but if they become inconsistent today once more i believe the current midfield just isn't good enough to sustain us series challengers for any goal we mark.

    I predict Arsenal to score first from an Ozil moves and then assist. Then Suarez goal, and later a Sturridge goal to end first half 2-2.
    Second half in which mostly Arsenal hold the ball ends with Giroud goal to 2-2 finish.

    Hope i see it wrong - come on Brendan, LFC, take it to the next level!

  2. e xactly my thoughts too early for coutinho he might get a late run but we need hendo for his energy more so to close down their midfield

  3. I would have gone today with Coutinho and Hendo in 41212, in aim to simply outplay Arsenal to win.
    Rodgers will probably go with the 352 bench Coutinho and this will be his biggest test so far this season to deliver.

  4. Yeah spot on Jaimie. Hendo's not been far away from a goal or assist, but Coutinho Suarez and sturridge is mouth watering! A lot of people fancy us to win tonight - on the one hand I'm a bit worried we'll be stretched in midfield, but then Arsenal fans must be more than a bit nervous about SaS. I think Liverpool win 3-2.

  5. The best defense is a good offense - start coutinho - if he tires or underperforms, put in Hendo.

    Against the bigger teams we do better when bringing the game to them, not waiting for the counter attack.

  6. I think Rodgers will stick with players unless they under perform, so PC will have to wait for a bit.
    BTW, Thank you Newcastle for making tonight's game a genuine top of the table clash!

  7. ----------------Reina----------------

    - Rodgers should send out a team that can aggressively press Arsenal as much as possible and make it difficult for them to build from the back - Suarez and Moses can fill backwards to make it more of a 451 if necessary, but still pose an attacking threat and not allow the Arsenal fullbacks too much freedom to push forwards.

    - Henderson's energy will be key through the middle, as will Lucas' (as well as Gerrard & Henderson's) dedication to tracking midfield runners from deep

    - Coutinho should wait for his turn from the bench, and Allen should be strongly considered if we are losing the midfield battle again

  8. dunno why he's on my mind today! lol

  9. flanagan what the hell ?

  10. Dunno why I had him on my mind tbh! lol

  11. Whoops, I don't even know why I had him on my mind to be honest!

  12. 3 at the back does not work. We get bullied in the midfield (Gooners, Saints etc)band have conceded at least 1 goal in every game since implementing it.

    Lucas & Gerrard need to be either dropped or at least rested.

    Allen & Henderson (yeah I said it!) are much faster, more mobile, they can press high up the pitch, retain possession and track back when the opposition counter attacks. Lucas & Gerrard possess non of these attributes.

    Out and out holding midfielders aren't always necessary. Look at the job Arteta did against us. Give Hendo & Allen specific tasks and they'll work their socks off for the team and get the job done.

    When fit, our team should line up like this.






    Bench: Jones, Kelly/Toure, Sakho, Gerrard/Lucas, Sterling, Alberto, Aspas.