Philippe Coutinho remains sidelined for Liverpool when they host Arsenal today at Anfield. The Brazil international has been the subject of continued transfer speculation this summer and is yet to play this season due to injury. In his absence, Liverpool have taken four points from their two league games and qualified for the group stages of the Champions League with a 6-3 aggregate win over Hoffenheim.
The Reds boasted the best record against the top six sides in the Premier League last season, winning five and drawing five of their 10 matches, and Jurgen Klopp is keen to build on that.
“Last year we had an outstandingly good record against the top six, but we didn’t take any points from the rest of the league,” he said. “So we thought it makes sense to do the one thing again and get a few more points from all the other games. But it’s still difficult, it was always difficult and will stay difficult.
“Arsenal are still an outstandingly strong side…But I think we can all still remember the atmosphere of Wednesday night and that’s what we want to have again, even though it will be Sunday afternoon. It’s what we want to have again.”
While Coutinho misses out for the hosts, Alexis Sanchez could make his first appearance of the season for Arsenal. Like Coutinho, there has been plenty of speculation over Sanchez’s future this summer, and he has also missed the opening two Premier League matches with injury. But Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he looks “absolutely ready” to play.
“He works very hard, focused and gives absolutely everything,” he added. “He loves to play so much that is sometimes difficult to stop him but he looks absolutely ready. He has not played for a long time so I will have to decide what I do with him but he looks ready to play.”
While Coutinho misses out, Klopp is hopeful Emre Can and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be available after sustaining minor issues against Hoffenheim. Georginio Wijnaldum returned home to the Netherlands for the birth of his third child in midweek but is in line to play today. Sanchez is set to return for Arsenal, as is defender Laurent Koscielny, who returns from a three-match ban.
Wenger has a largely-fit squad to choose from, although long-term absentee Santi Cazorla (ankle) is still sidelined.
Liverpool won both of their Premier League meetings with Arsenal in 2016-17 – they haven’t won three in a row versus the Gunners since May 1998 (four in a row).
Games between these two clubs in the Premier League have produced 17 goals in the 90th minute or later; more than any other fixture.
Arsenal won the fewest points in matches between the top six sides in 2016-17 (9) and lost half of their 10 matches against fellow top six opposition while Liverpool won 20 points from 10 Premier League matches against the rest of the top six in 2016-17; more than any other side.
These two sides have attempted the most shots on target in the opening two matchdays of the 2017-18 Premier League season – Liverpool (18) & Arsenal (16).
Sadio Mane has had a hand in five goals in his five previous Premier League starts against Arsenal (three goals, two assists).