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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020

Preview: Reds face another big test at Anfield

Seven days on from handing Man City a point, Liverpool host Arsenal.

New Liverpool loan signing Nuri Sahin in the stands to watch the midweek meeting with Hearts.
New Liverpool loan signing Nuri Sahin in the stands to watch the midweek meeting with Hearts.
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

LIVERPOOL WERE UNLUCKY not to defeat Manchester City last Sunday but face another huge challenge when Arsenal head to Anfield today.

After a patchy display in a 3-0 defeat to West Brom on the opening weekend, Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool appeared to take giant strides last week in a much more fluid display against City, despite conceding a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

The Reds twice surrendered the lead due to defensive errors but Rodgers will have taken plenty from the match to build upon.

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, meanwhile, are also without a win, or a goal, in their opening two matches.

If Arsenal fans were to be reminded of departed striker Robin Van Persie’s importance, they did not have to wait long in the form of rare consecutive goalless results.

Ten-million-pound signing Olivier Giroud has not yet hit the same heights for Arsenal after his move from French side Montpellier, while Lukas Podolski (Cologne) and Santi Cazorla have impressed despite neither getting on the score sheet and should prove valuable acquisitions.

On the other hand, the Gunners’ defence looks more solid with Per Mertesacker back available after missing much of last season with an ankle injury, while Abou Diaby is also back and has provided an avenue in the holding midfield role.

Midfielder Nuri Sahin could line up for the Reds after snubbing Arsenal for his loan services from Real Madrid, while Theo Walcott is expected to be in the squad after Wenger confirmed the winger had verbally committed his future to the club despite turning down a contract.

Arsenal have a terrific recent record at Anfield with an unbeaten streak stretching back to March 2007 and both sides will be intent on collected their first win of the season.

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