Football

Liverpool, unbeaten at home for 2 years, pose a stiff test for Arsenal

The two remaining teams with 100 per cent English Premier League records this season go head-to-head on Sunday morning (Singapore time) when Liverpool host a new-look Arsenal at Anfield in an encounter that will act as a barometer of the London club's progress.

Unai Emery's Gunners have made a strong start to the campaign with wins away to Newcastle United and at home to Burnley, but they need not look too far into their history to realise the Reds will pose a very different challenge.

Last December, amid talk of progress in Emery's first season, Arsenal were crushed 5-1 at Anfield, with Brazilian Roberto Firmino helping himself to a hat-trick.

It was a display which emphasised just how far the north London club had fallen behind the genuine title-contenders and was the latest in series of crushing losses at Liverpool.

The two previous meetings at Anfield ended in 4-0 and 3-1 defeats for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal teams, but there is a fresh optimism around the club after a successful transfer window.

Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos, on loan from Real Madrid, has made the biggest impression, but Brazilian defender David Luiz has also made a solid start.

A real buzz though surrounds winger Nicolas Pepe, who could help provide ammunition for the impressively prolific strike pairing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Pepe, signed from Lille, for a club-record £72 million (S$120.9 million), has yet to start, but showed flashes of his talent during a substitute appearance in the 2-1 win over Burnley last Saturday.

European champions Liverpool, however, have won a club-record equalling 11 straight EPL games and are unbeaten at home for the past two seasons.

Their last league defeat at Anfield was by Crystal Palace in April, 2017.

Manager Juergen Klopp will still be without his first-choice goalkeeper, Brazilian Alisson, so Spaniard Adrian will continue to deputise. - REUTERS

Football