13 Aug 2016

Injury Nightmare: Boss confirms 5 players 'out' of Liverpool/Arsenal, including 'world-class' £42m attacker

On Sunday, Liverpool face Arsenal in the club's first Premier League match of the season, and ahead of the game, the Reds have received some potentially massive news, which may - in theory - give Jurgen Klopp's team the upper hand.

Arsenal away is never easy, but going into the game, the Gunners have massive injury/availability issues, with Ozil, Giroud, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gabriel all set to miss the match.

On Wednesday, Arsene Wenger told reporters:

"Liverpool will come too early for them [Ozil, Giroud and Koscielny]. Gabriel has an ankle problem, and will be out for six to eight weeks".

During his press conference today, Wenger reiterated:

"Mertesacker, Gabriel and Koscielny, who is not ready, are out of the game".

Obviously, there are no guarantees, but with Arsenal's first-choice defence basically decimated, there is clearly an opportunity for Liverpool to capitalise.

Defensive issues notwithstanding, I can't help but feel this is a double-bluff from Wenger. Ozil, Giroud, and Koscielny are massive players for Arsenal, and it's dubious (IMO) to suggest that Euro 2016 has rendered them physically incapable of playing in the Premier League.

With that in mind, I fully expect to see Ozil^, Giroud, and Koscielny on the bench as an insurance policy.

As for the game, I see it going one of two ways:

* Liverpool capitalise on defensive inexperience and pull a Barcelona and annihilate Arsenal.

* Arsenal's replacement defenders have a worldie, and Liverpool lost the game by a single goal.

With such a difficult opening to the season, it's vital that the Reds somehow capitalise on Arsenal's injury issues, but the last thing the club needs is overconfidence and/or complacency, especially since Liverpool have beaten Arsenal away only once in the last 20 matches (!)

Hailed by Michael Ballack as 'world-class'. Cost Arsenal £42m.


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